Last fall I had discovered that one side effect of the blood pressure medication I’m taking is I developed Raynaud’s Syndrome. I had noticed my middle toe would go numb just standing in the house but especially out on the bike. It was a weird change for me. I was the person in the military that had such sweaty feet my boots were always encrusted with salt. My training Sargent helped me get an extra pair of boots so I’d stop failing inspection. Until last fall I rarely wore socks in the house and would wear open toed footwear until the snow flew. So, in some ways, I had forgotten that Raynaud’s applied to me because once the weather warmed up in the spring the symptoms went away.
I was walking to work couple weeks ago, the weather was cool but forecast to warm up so I had sandals on. As soon as I got out the door my one toe went numb. My walk is about twenty five minutes so I thought flexing my toes and ramping up the pace would help the circulation. I was wrong and by the time I got to work both feet had several toes that had gone white and completely numb. It’s not painful at that point, it feels like dental freezing, weird but not painful. Once inside the circulation returned and my toes turns very red, swelled up and it was really uncomfortable, painful even. Right. RAYNAUD’S!
It reminded me that anytime the temperature is below 10 C I have to be careful and that this winter I need to focus on my foot care. Thinking back on some of the challenges of the very cold triathlon in September I was incredibly foolish to not be more careful about being ready for the cold.
I have noticed that the soft tissue in my hands and feet ache when it’s cold, the joints feel stiff. I now walk to work with socks, closed toe shoes, gloves and a toque while others saunter about in only a light jacket. It’s annoying but necessary and I’m trying to think of how I can keep moving my body outside while not being ridiculously bundled up.