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  • Kate Forest

Did I mention how cold I am?

It’s February. Which means it’s time for another temperature rant from me.

Let me explain that it’s not simply that I don’t like the cold. Or merely a matter of my experiencing discomfort. Cold = Pain. This is because I have Raynaud’s syndrome. (It’s also called Raynaud’s phenomenon, which I prefer since “phenomenon” is such an awesome word.)

The phenomenon occurs when the little blood vessels in fingers, toes, tips of ears and nose, spasm and constrict. Blood stops flowing to those places which places a person at risk for frostbite (okay that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I do yell “FROSTBITE” when I have to touch something cold).

It’s also called the Red White and Blue disease.

I love diseases and disorders that have great names (My veterinarian husband knows many good ones like pizzle rot and scrapie, it seems sheep have the best diseases).

Auguste Gabriel Maurice Raynaud (1834 – 1881) first described the syndrome in his doctoral thesis while studying in France, so he got to claim the disease with his name.

I don’t think I’d want a disease named after me. Maybe a mountain (Kate’s Peak), or even just a really good chocolate cake (Kate’s Really Yummy Good Dessert). But not something in which people suffer (Kate’s Terrible Malady that Makes People Ill or Very Uncomfortable).

Having Raynaud’s means I never unpack groceries that belong in the freezer. I make the less delicate members of my family do that. It means I have a supply of those hand warmers you stick in your gloves. It means that if you see me wearing my winter coat in October, don’t be surprised. I’m freakin’ cold.

It also means I can’t wait until I’m in my golden years, when I can move to Miami Beach and play mah jongg.

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