Managing My Raynaud’s Symptoms

I hate Raynaud’s. Raynaud’s is one of those tag along syndromes of chronic illnesses such as Lupus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, CRSD, and Fibromyalgia. My hands and toes get so cold it feels as though they’re frost bitten. The day I knew my life sucked was when I had a hot flash during a Raynaud’s flare. My hands and feet were so cold but the rest of me was hot. I was like, kill me now! lol

I’m not going to go into the ins and outs of this syndrome, I want to focus on the outlook I was given and the one I currently hold. What I’ve been told is there’s nothing I can do but wait it out. I’ve been told it’s something I must endure and accept. I hate it when doctors tell me that. There is something I can do. There are things to help me through the flare, but I had to look for them. The tips I have are from others with this issue. I tried them at my own risk. A doctor didn’t instruct me to do these things. But desperation makes people take risks, doesn’t it? The risks I took were slight and they work for me. That’s what this entry is about, what works for me.

The main way I fight Raynaud’s is with heat. Heat expands blood vessels and that’s the issue with Raynauds, the vessels are freaking out and aren’t getting enough blood to them. That’s why they’re blue, purple, wrinkled and cold. So what do I do?

Cover my head
I put a hat on to help my overall body heat. Staying warm, trying to keep an even body temperature is the goal.

Sometimes the symptoms are stronger in my hands than my feet. When this is the case I grab one of my heating pads that already has a towel around it. I turn on the heating pad on low and wrap my and up in it. Putting on gloves is for cold weather. This isn’t cold weather, this is Raynauds.

Thank goodness I drink tea, there’s always a pot of hot water ready. When it comes to warming my feet it works well for me to put my feet in a tub of warm water for a few minutes. I’m not going to state a time because I’m not a doctor. I’m simply giving you an idea of what I’m doing to manage these symptoms. This technique seems to sooth quickly.

Be Prepared
I just gave three simple ways I get through Raynaud’s flares, but there’s more. Being prepared is the best way to manage any chronic illness. The items I need right now are in one location. I don’t have to go looking for the heating pad or go looking for the foot bath I found at Dollar Tree. I don’t have to go looking for a hat. It’s all in the same spot. I’m ready for this. Knowing I have some amount of say over how I get through this is helpful.

This is my life, my dignity and self worth we’re talking about.
I am one who doesn’t like the look of medical devices. I don’t want to feel like a patient so you best believe I put fresh lavender in my foot bath. That aromatherapy helps calm me. When I wrap my hands in the towel I sometimes first put my homemade lavender oil on them. It’s care taking that matters during a time of distress. What I choose to cover my head with varies. Sometimes I just snag my cap that makes me look like a Rastafarian, other times I use a scarf. It matters to me that I keep my dignity while enduring chronic conditions hell bent on systemic misery.


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2 thoughts on “Managing My Raynaud’s Symptoms

  1. I don’t have Raynards but I appreciate you sharing this. First, it may be helpful to other sufferers (I hope they find it – maybe you also want to give this post the tag ‘Raynards’?). Second, it makes me think I could be a lot more proactive about preparing for “flare ups” of my depression. I know they are going to come. I know what they feel like. I could make my own kit, like you did. I need to think about that.

  2. Absolutely you should make a safety kit, I do. I’ve been doing it for a long time. Sometimes when depressed or overwhelmed its hard to think, so I have it written down so I can look at it and know what to do when things go south. I have a safety plan in writing in a spot where I’ll see it.

    Since I have a lot of visitors, I keep my room off limits to them. However, I still want to keep my written safety plan in a private place. That place is in my Purple Kit as I like to call it. lol. The color purple is for Lupus. That kit isn’t large, it doesn’t take up a lot of space but it holds vital aides. The kit contains a scrunchy, a hat, heating pad, a tub just big enough to fit both feet in, compression stockings, arm compressions and hand compressions. The compression help with CRSD pain.

    This isn’t a big ol gigantic box. It’s not decorated with a bunch of stuff, it’s just one of those foot tub things I got from Dollar Tree. I roll up the stockings and compressions, roll the heating pad and fold the hat inside the tub and slide it under my bed. That’s it. The safety plan is was written then scanned so I could have more than one copy.

    I’ll do an entry about the safety plan. I’ll also put up a Raynaud’s tag. Thank you,

No need to feel nervous, comment if you'd like.

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