I can’t pinpoint the exact date it all went down, but I think it was in 2016 that my hatred of cold began.
It started when a couple of my toes turned purple and then blackish. I thought at first I must have bumped into something I couldn’t remember, but the supposed bruise got darker and darker.
I refused to go to the doctor for a long time since I thought it was just a bruise but it kept getting worse. It got to the point where wearing socks and/or shoes was painful so I went without but it still hurt. My fingers started hurting and burning sometimes too.
I didn’t want to go to the doctor. I had been to the doctors many times for my chronic rib pain and they hadn’t been able to do anything much about it. We tried so many things, but it wouldn’t lessen the pain significantly.
Eventually my mom said I was going to the doctor. She really put her foot down, because I could not bring myself to care enough to actually go despite the pain.
The doctor was none too happy that I didn’t come sooner. Apparently, it was a circulation issue that was more serious than I thought. He said I could lose toes if it continued like this, and that I couldn’t risk hitting my toes off of anything at all.
I was horrified. Lose my toes?
Apparently, I needed to stay as warm as possible, in bed or on the couch, to avoid knocking my toes against things by accident. I remember one of my first questions was if I could keep doing Tang Soo Do, the martial art I had been practicing at the time. He said absolutely not.
I was miserable because after a few days in bed I developed a cold and was really stuffed up. I was in high school and was a cyber school student, so I was doing classes under several blankets wearing several pairs of socks. I couldn’t even use dayquil because it could not be used in combination with the blood thinner I was using to increase circulation to my toes
My fingers started turning greyish so I wore fingerless gloves
It started to hurt to touch anything cold, including drinks from the refrigerator.
I had a bunch of blood testing done and went to more special doctors. I remember one time I got bloodtesting done, the nurse dumped 7 or 8 tubes on my lap of varying sizes. It was a lot of blood those vampires were taking from me. (They were actually quite nice about the whole affair.)
The specialist determined I had Pernio, which is similar to Raynaud’s. He said this would cause pain, burning, or itchiness when I encountered cold or when there was a change in temperature. He also told me that when my fingers and toes were cold any impact would hurt more than normal. He said that Pernio was like being “allergic to cold.” That was indeed what I had been experiencing. He went on to explain that it was not really a circulation issue like the first doctor had thought.
When my toes changed back to their normal color, I was able to get out of bed more and go back to martial arts. I had to wear special socks at the studio because my feet would otherwise turn purple again. My feet still hurt because I could feel some of the cold through the socks, and martial arts requires lots of impact.
I used foam cupholders around cold drinks to alleviate the pain in my hand when I went to restaurants.
Even in the summer, I had to wear multiple pairs of socks at times and fingerless gloves because I was always cold and the pain wouldn’t go away.
A couple of years ago, things began to improve. As of now, I still feel pain when I touch cold things but it is much more manageable. It hurts, but I can hold cold drinks without a foam barrier. I do my best to stay warm to avoid my fingers and toes turning purple, but neither have turned completely purple in some time. This summer I had to wear fingerless gloves to my workplace because the air conditioner was too cold, but I work in a call center so at least no one really noticed.
Overall, much better. But you won’t see me playing in the snow.