I stood behind the glass doors at the ice rink watching my friends participate in Curling. (In case you missed it in the Olympics, it’s kind of like shuffle board with 40 pound polished granite stones played on ice.)
“Why aren’t you out there playing?” a man asked as he approached me. I didn’t know the guy, but I recognized him (and his green sock hat) as the Zamboni driver.
“It’s too cold,” I responded, still chilly even in my winter coat and gloves.
“That’s weak,” he said as he walked through the doorway.
He stopped when he came back through a few moments later. “You can go out there to watch,” he offered.
“When I said it’s too cold, I wasn’t just being a wus. I have a disease that doesn’t allow me to be in cold for extended periods of time.” I explained.
He had never heard of Raynaud’s Disease (also known as Raynaud’s Phenomenon). Most people haven’t.
Essentially, my body doesn’t send enough blood to my extremities, so they overreact to cold temperatures by turning white and going numb.
Most mornings when I go out to scrape my car, my fingers and toes go numb within a matter of minutes. Even after I return to a warmer environment, it can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour for my body to re-heat the areas.
It’s not a debilitating disease, by any means, but it’s definitely annoying. I guess I can scratch skiing and curling off my future Olympic sports. 🙂