Living with Rynaud's Disease
What is Rynaud's Disease? Don't Worry it's not contagious i promise, it's also not as scary as it sounds. Too be honest Doctors aren't even sure what causes Rynaud's.
There are two types of Rynaud's Disease, primary and secondary. Primary Rynaud's is the condition on it's own, its not linked to other health conditions. Secondary Rynaud's is triggered by an underlying condition. I have secondary Rynaud's triggered by Lupus.
In short Rynaud's is spasm of the arteries. Resulting in temporary loss of blood flow to the hand's and less commonly feet, it can also effect your ears, nose and lips but it is rare.. But i like doing things in style, having Rynaud's effects my hands, feet and lips. In the winter months my lips are typically a blue tinged colour.
What Triggers a Rynaud's attack.
The Cold. Not just cold weather though, It goes beyond that. Cold weather outside, the fridge section at the supermarket, an air-conditioned car, getting something out the freezer even holding a cold can of coke, all of these things can and have triggered a Rynauds attack.
Stress is another thing that can cause a Rynauds attack, i have two boys so there is always some form of stress. however when it comes to big events such as birthdays and Christmas i definitely notice it getting progressively works. usually more frequent attacks and more painful attacks.
Water, no not drinking it. When your skin is wet, from getting out of the bath, sweating or when you've been in the rain. The body tries to match the temperature which causes a drop in body temperature. It can be a real struggle to regulate body temperature.
I also take precautions when indoors, i always have socks on. usually two pairs, one thin pair of trainer socks and a thick/ fluffy pair of socks. I wear socks and gloves to bed especially during the winter months. Many times i have woken up with severe stabbing pain in my hands and feet.
Preventing Rynaud's Attacks
i can only speak for myself, but when going outside especially in the cold months it's a whole routine. Thin layers is key for me, hat, scarf. two pairs of socks and boots. I also wear a pair of orthopedic gloves, i got mine from amazon i'll put the link below (i am not affiliated with amazon just recommend these gloves from personal use)
I avoid places such as supermarkets as the temperature change from aisle to aisle and the change from outside and inside causes an attack for me.
Self-care is a big part of management for myself. Sometimes something as simple as taking my time and not stressing myself out is a huge preventative action. In general when im having a really bad day, me and the boys will have a PJ and film day with arts and crafts to fill it up.
Day to Day life.
This very much follows on from preventing the attacks. I moisturize my hands a LOT. When getting food out of the fridge or freezer i wear my gloves. It can be tough because there are situations that are unavoidable and rynauds attacks are often painful.
I have too take each day as it comes, but with some planning.
It's a bit hard to say about day to day life, as each day is extremely different, some day the attacks come continually and no matter what i do to prevent them they don't start. Other days i have maybe one attack and that is an absolutely amazing day.
Compared to my other conditions. Rynaud's disease isn't emotionally taxing, it's just another condition i deal with on daily basis. I've learnt to deal with them in my own way, and i'm still learning how to deal with them. But its part of who i am and i am perfect in my own way.
How do i explain it too others?
Imagine putting your hands in a bowl of ice for a minute then in a bowl of hot water. The pain may not last long but initially its searing and a sort of stabbing sensation. I've had the odd comments about my hands the most common is "are you okay" whilst they stare intently at my blue, purple, red and white hands.
Amazon link for the gloves - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anti-Arthritis-Gloves-Increases-Circulation-Compression/dp/B077P7GFYV/ref=sr_1_3_sspa?hvadid=80401819822364&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&keywords=orthopaedic+gloves&qid=1577046429&sr=8-3-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExVjJVV04xWDdEOFhJJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwOTc2MzY2MTdLM0g2TDlNM01CVCZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwMTIzNDM4M1QxNFpWT0pQQzhLUiZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=
Link to Scleroderma and Rynaud's UK - https://www.sruk.co.uk/ If you can please donate they do amazing work!