Raynaud’s in Washington

img_1107Those of you that have been following this blog already know that I recently moved from Florida to Washington state.  I have been here for about 6 months and in some aspects I love it here.  My best friend is close by, minimum wage is $5 higher than it is in Florida and marijuana is legal here.  My husband landed an amazing job that he loves.  My daughter recently relocated here as well and that has given me one more reason to love Washington.

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The time that I have spent here in Washington so far has not allowed me to see much of the state due to COVID-19, but from what I have been able to see this is a place with four seasons.  This is exciting to me because I am originally from the Mojave Desert and have rarely ever experienced winter weather.  I live on the eastern side of the state, and my view all around is wheat fields as far as the eye can see (not my favorite view by the way).  In it’s own unique way, there is beauty here as well.  

IMG_20190822_213948_102.jpgI already feel the temperatures starting to drop and our overnight temperatures are usually in the 40’s.  For most people this would not be an issue, but when you have Raynaud’s Disease cold can be a huge issue.  I can not personally be in any temperatures below 70 degrees or I get a Raynaud’s attack, which causes my fingers and toes to turn completely white.  It hurts, it aches, it’s embarrassing and frustrating.  And the closer it gets to Winter, the worse it will be for me.  

This will be my 4th Winter since my Raynaud’s was diagnosed, but my first Winter in a place that gets cold weather and snow.  (I’m terrified of that part!)  Every year I learn a little bit more about what to do and not to do.  It has been extremely frustrating trying to adapt to a life of avoiding anything and everything that is cold.  This means not just avoiding the outdoor activities, but also cold chores around the house.  I can not clean out the fridge or freezers.  I have trouble preparing a meal from cold ingredients.  I can’t hold a cold cup, can or bottle without having an attack.  Raynaud’s disease can, in some ways, be a disability.

8dbb696d-4bad-4e4e-b218-dedb1e7dd6c7When the decision to move to Washington was originally made, the biggest concern for me was the cold weather.  We had a choice to stay where it’s warm but life is difficult or move to where we can have a better life and deal with the cold.  Obviously, we chose the latter.  I have been stressing and worrying about the coming Winter since the day my plane landed, and the closer it gets the worse my anxiety is getting.  

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1 thought on “Raynaud’s in Washington

  1. I’m living in the Denver area with Raynaud’s; I totally know what you are talking about. I have come up with so many coping strategies for the cold, but it is still a never-ending struggle. Wool is my best friend in the cold, so I have wool socks, fingerless mitts, cowls, and armwarmers. Layers are the way to go, and you can never go wrong with a down vest or sweater. I never drink cold things, and I have gloves that I use when I handle cold things from the freezer or in the grocery store. Yep. I look like some type of kook wearing gloves and a hoodie with the hood up in the freezer section because the cold air in that section is enough to start an attack. I have learned to never leave my wrists bare and now wear those microfiber long sleeved shirts with the holes for the thumbs all the time. I buy handwarmers by the case at the start of the season and last year I bought little rechargeable hand warmers that I can slip into my mittens that are absolutely fabulous. You are absolutely right that Raynaud’s can be disabling and I have thought of asking for a handicap parking decal just so I can get into stores faster in extreme cold. Hugs, and I hope that you find your own strategies soon.

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