“Sometimes when I get cold enough – I just burst into tears because it hurts me to down to the bone,” I said to my burly orthopedic doctor.
Just this morning, actually. He shook his head, shrugged his shoulders and answered with an, “I am blessed that you allow me to have a private window into your journey – it’s a true honor. Also, move south and be warm!”
I used to live in the south, ironically. I lived in Florida with my ex-husband and roommate. It was gorgeous every single day with the lowest temperatures averaging in the 50’s with a single day that constitutes winter in Florida.
Based on the side effects of the autoimmune diseases that I have – cold intolerance is a symptom of two of the three. Ever heard of Raynaud’s Phenomenon?
It is a symptom of many autoimmune disorders, but essentially it is an extreme reaction to the cold by your body. The blood vessels in your distal body parts (nose, lips, fingers, toes) dilate which restricts the amount of blood flow to those areas. as a result – the skin becomes pale, purple, bone white, and then red as the Raynaud’s attack persists. It is incredibly uncomfortable and in turn makes the cold weather nearly unbearable.
No, I do not like the cold. Frankly, I hate it. However, there isn’t much to be done until the flare passes and the weather gets warmer. Not to mention, no sun = Seasonal Affective Disorder and depression.
There are many reasons that the cold seasons are my least favorite, but the mental health implications have to be, by far, the most difficult aspects of the cold.