Yesterday, on my way to work, as I was walking out of the Twin Towers--the building catercorner to the Capitol and where the MARTA station is--I was hit by a frigid wind that knocked my breath away and clamped my lungs shut. Of late, my fingers turn blue every time I go outside (and sometimes even when I'm inside)--my Raynaud's syndrome coming out of its southern climate-induced dormancy--and my skin feels so dry I think it should crackle when I smile.
I remember all of these sensations in icky, vivid clarity. It's what winters are like in the Midwest: freezing, arid, and painful. It's not how winters are supposed to be in the South! Wah!
At least it's not snowing. But this weather makes me utterly miserable.
On the non-griping-about-weather front, dire_epiphany swung by on Sunday and taught me the rudiments of Adobe's InDesign. So much better than MS Publisher. I'll be using it to lay out the Daily Dragon from here on. And now I have the urge to engage in gratuitous desktop publishing.
I'm way distressed at email right now. In addition to getting undeliverable error messages when I try to send to aol.com accounts, it seems some of my emails to other, non-aol accounts aren't getting through, and I'm not getting any sort of bounce message.
The editor of Writing-World sent me a query about the status of my Writing For Young Readers December column, the one I emailed to her over a week ago. I emailed her my column again and asked for a receipt confirmation (from a couple accounts) and haven't heard back. Ack!
While the bounce messages are annoying, at least they told me when something I sent didn't make it. This no error thing is freaking me out, wondering what emails I've sent that might've gotten lost in transit, and what ones I'm not receiving that the sender hasn't realized didn't make it to me. So much of the nuts and bolts of my writing career dealings are dependent upon reliable electronic communications. This is so not good. Also, WTF?
I've got MCTD. Raynaud's was one of the first manifestations of it--and one of the indicators that prompted my GP to run lupus tests when they couldn't figure out why I was having such high fevers and achy joints/muscles. (I was initially diagnosed with lupus until I started seeing a Rheumatologist who ran a more thorough barrage of tests.)
When I lived in the Midwest, every winter, my fingers would go white down to the second joint every time I went outside, and it would take forever to get them warmed up again. And even when I was indoors, my fingers often maintained a bluish tint. It was very painful, excruciatingly so. I also got the effect in my toes, but it was less visible--that whole footwear thing.
Since I moved to Atlanta, my Raynaud's manifests very infrequently, thank goodness. And even when it does, it's usually less severe than it was up north. I tend to stay in the blue, not white, spectrum, and it rarely extends beyond my first finger joint.
"I'm not familiar with MCTD at all. Sounds like something that would be very interfering with day to day life."
It's actually not that bad, now that I'm under the care of a specialist. My GP wasn't well versed in how to handle connective tissue diseases, and her treatment was to just address the symptoms when I had flare-ups. But the flare-ups were getting more frequent and progressively worse, until I had one that lasted over a month. When I finally started seeing a Rheumatologist, he got me out of that flare-up with a cocktail of immunosuppressants and steroids, and eventually got me on a long-term med (Imuran) with minimal side effects. I've been pretty stable since. So all-in-all, it could be tons worse.
Okay, you two, break it up. No fun at work! ;)
Manicure gloves from Crabtree & Evelyn are good for working in without getting in the way of typing fingers. The cotton is warmer than knit, I think, like those thin, silk long-underwear. (I love my silkies.)
They look like these. I didn't see them online. They might only have them in the warmer months, or in the stores. If you sign up for their membership card, you might get a free pair. (Like I can pay $20 for cotton gloves regularly?)
Ooo. And they don't interfere with typing? I routinely wear a pair of unlined, Isotoner spandex gloves with the fingers lopped off to provide a little extra warmth, yet still maintain functionality. Sometimes I layer crocheted fingerless mitts over them when it gets really cold. I've been hesitant to go full-glove 'cause I'm afraid I won't be able to type.
I've tried thicker spandex style ones, too, and typing wasn't fun with tips on them. These have no fat seams to get in the way, and are rather like a t-shirt version of magic stretch gloves, allowing them to form fit your hand. That makes a huge difference for me, because my pinkies are one joint shorter than most and I always end up with floppy fabric in my way on the keyboard.
Do you get the sausage effect when your Raynaud's flares? My fingers don't get huge, but they will stiffen, swell a bit, and turn colors.I ask because typing with these on is like that first bit of stiffness you might feel. Odd, but not really cumbersome, especially if you're used to typing on a laptop's keyboard. Also, the warmth and softness takes away some of the hurt and itch quickly enough that you're given back more than you lose.
It appears that AOL, in it's attempt to anti-spam itself, has gone to extreme excesses so that people who are not on their systems generally cannot communicate people who are on their systems, and a large percentage of the folks on their systems equally cannot communicate with folks outside.
I have a friend on one of my mailing lists with which I cannot send or receive from because of these problems. (The mailing list has a mere 12 members, and is primarily used for scheduling get togethers, so it's not like it's a major list or anything).
Hee! I'm not sure if I have the qualifications to write a restaurant review--assuming your readers expect a more sophisticated write-up than "mmm, yummmy!" or "yucky-poo didn't-like-it" . But eating out is all good. And hey, I've been meaning to tell you that the ginger-peach jam (preserves?) you made was amazing.
I share your frustration with email. It's one thing when it bounces, but what is this invisible hole thing that is growing in IntrawebLand?
Of late, my fingers turn blue every time I go outside (and sometimes even when I'm inside)--my Raynaud's syndrome coming out of its southern climate-induced dormancy--and my skin feels so dry I think it should crackle when I smile.
Yeah. Boy, I feel for you there, too. I've nearly eliminated an entire vat of Eucerin caring for my hands in the cold-warm-rain-cold-warm-WTF weather we've had the last few weeks. It has been bitterly cold the last few days here, and things are just getting started!
Don't know if it would work for you or not, but Neutrogena has a facial moisturizer that has been great for me lately. It's their "Healthy Radiance" lightly tinted stuff in the opalescent pink tube.
PS- Look, I'm logged in. ;)
And what's worse with the Reynaud's is that it makes my skin more frail too. There were times when I lived up north when it got so cold and dry that the skin on my fingertips would split, all by itself--no matter how much moisturizer I slathered on to protect them. And then, of course, it took forever to heal, 'cause I had no circulation. Man, that hurt. Fortunately, I'm no where near that bad now. I hope never to be ever, ever again.
"Don't know if it would work for you or not, but Neutrogena has a facial moisturizer that has been great for me lately. It's their "Healthy Radiance" lightly tinted stuff in the opalescent pink tube."
With the SPF 30? Yep, yep! That's the same stuff I use. And it's a nice, broad spectrum sunscreen too!
Warm heart, cold hands. Let's hope for this chill to end soon!
I hate email issues and I'm such a ludite that I am totally lost in the ether. Wishing you better success with curing your current set of e-woes.
And kudos on another reprint credit; woohoo!
Hey, we share a syndrome! :P
Along the sharing knowledge lines--
Walgreen's sells some cheap booties with microwaveable grain bag inserts that help keep the feet from getting too bad, and I keep a candle burning on my desk so I can rub my hands over the warmth every so often. Still need to get a new pair of fingerless typing gloves, though....
Ooo, thanks for the head's up on the warming booties. I like the candle idea, but I don't know how my officemates would feel about fire on my desk. Plus, I think it might set off the sprinklers . . .
I've been eyeing a pair of "convertible" gloves/mittens like these ones for some added warmth during my commute. Going fingerless isn't cutting it when I'm waiting outside in the cold for the MARTA, but I want to be able to type once I'm on the train.
Glittens (glove/mittens) are awesome! Most hunting/outdoorsy stores sell them. I use them because then I can take photographs, get out my bus pass, find change--whatever requires actual manipulation--without having to take off my gloves. Actually, when the mitten part is fastened in place, I've found that they're warmer than insulated winter gloves--individual fingertips don't do a good job of keeping themselves warm inside of gloves.
You just thought it was cold... 'til tonight. Now, it's all the little astericks and exclamation points cold that makes you want to find a warm burrow with your sworn enemies and sleep 'til Spring cold. It's that d**n cold out here. I thought we lived in the South?!