Jeepers, it’s cold

Although Central New York is very snowy in winter, we are fortunate that, for the most part, we are spared the bitterly cold temperatures that some of you guys deal with in January.

Well, spared for the most part.

Every winter we get at least a week where the daily high never gets above ten degrees and the lows are so brutal, my hand sticks to the storm door handle when I let the dog out.

And we’re having that kind of cold right now.

It’s so freaking cold outside, even my dog who loves romping in the snow hesitates at the door and gives me that, “You’re kidding, right?” kinda look.

For Lupus gals like myself, this cold has another downside.

See, like 30% of those with Lupus, I suffer from Raynaud’s disease.

Because why just have Lupus when you can suffer even more?

Raynaud’s is an unfortunate contraction of blood vessels which, in Lupus patients, is triggered by extreme cold.  My hands and feet turn bluish/white and it hurts like a bastard.

Now, ordinarily, I just stay inside with the heat up wearing warm socks and fleece slipper boots with a fleece blanket wrapped around me like a Mexican serape.

But yesterday, I had about 18” of snow to contend with. So, like an idiot, I went out to shovel off the municipal sidewalk and the end of my driveway.  The city is cracking down on snow scofflaws.  So I didn’t want to get a fine for not clearing.  The ass-clenching cold was compounded by a frigid wind. And boy, howdy, did my Raynaud’s kicked into hyperdrive.

I didn’t finish shoveling. I couldn’t.  Hell, I could barely walk.

I felt like Dr. McCoy from that episode of Star Trek when he and Spock end up in some prehistoric frozen wasteland.

Jeepers it's cold

Whenever I whine about the cold, I try to remind myself that the men of Easy Company held the line at Bastogne for weeks in the dead of winter during the Battle of the Bulge – crouched in freezing foxholes with no cold weather gear and very little supplies.  Then I stop whining.

Besides, I am blessed with an amazingly kind neighbor who goes out of his way to help me out ever since the ambulance came to take me to the hospital in December of 2016.  He worries about me.  And that’s nice.

Yesterday afternoon, once he finished clearing his driveway and front walk with his snowblower, he came over to finish up mine.

Being on Twitter for any length of time can make you question if there are any decent people in the world.  But they exist in abundance.  And one of them is my neighbor Russ.

Except for my toes feeling like someone drove over them with a steamroller, the Raynaud’s is abating.  Though typing is odd because even 24 hours later my fingertips are a wee bit numb.

Yeah, I know. In a few months I’ll be bitching about the heat again.

But this is how much I love my Mom.

The winters in Central New York are incredibly hard because of my Lupus.  But this is where my Mom lives, so by golly, I’m staying.

Only until this blistering cold goes away, I’m staying inside.

Keep warm everyone.  I’ll leave you something a friend of mine from Florida posted on Facebook today:

cold cold cold

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14 thoughts on “Jeepers, it’s cold

  • January 21, 2019 at 8:23 pm
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    As a fellow Reynaud’s sufferer, I can honestly say I feel you pain.

    “My hands and feet turn bluish/white and it hurts like a bastard”

    Nailed it! That’s exactly what happens.

    It happened this morning when I was trying to strap down a load on my truck in -8 degrees.
    (that’s -8 actual. wind chill was colder than that)

  • January 21, 2019 at 11:12 pm
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    Hey Lady
    Wow, two in one day – another one never heard of before just an hour ago – Huntington’s disease, and now Raynaud ‘s – which appears to react well with the following:
    ◦ Vitamin B complex – the “anti-stress” vitamin group, this supplement contains inositol (also known as vitamin B8) and niacin (vitamin B3), — both of which have shown promising therapeutic effects in studies ….
    ◦ Omega 3 Fatty Acids – in the form of fish oil.
    Will remember yer mum and Russel to the Lord in our prayers.
    BTW: thank you for reminding us of the sacrifices made in the Ardennes Forest on those cold days in January …. dangerously cold here tonight.

  • January 21, 2019 at 11:19 pm
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    cold sucks. So does florida. Thats why i’m in arizona

    Another great piece, Dianny. Thanks for putting in the effort.

  • January 22, 2019 at 12:34 am
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    I live in “The Big Bend” area of Florida (Florida with a Southern accent). Although we don’t get that body numbing cold of upstate New York, I manage to burn about a cord and 1/2 of oak each winter.
    My last winter in the north as a child was in 1959 in Plattsburg N.Y. (my dad was USAF) I hear it was -50° some nights.
    My last winter in the north as an adult was 1966 in Champaign/Urbana , Ill. It got so cold the heating oil got so thick it wouldn’t feed through the lines to the boilers.
    Those are the two main reasons i have lived in Florida since 1969.

  • January 22, 2019 at 5:44 am
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    saturday in tampa it was 78, sunday i woke up to 39. i am moving to the keys next.

  • January 22, 2019 at 9:48 am
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    You’re gonna hate the weekend. Here in Chicago, overnight temperatures are supposed to go to eleven below for several days. I think the east coast is going to get the same treatment.

    As for shoveling snow, I hit the wall when I turned 65. I finally decided that a clean sidewalk was not worth a heart attack. That includes horsing around with snow blowers. We have somebody else do it, and it’s money well spent. I can’t imagine doing it with lupus.

    • January 22, 2019 at 9:58 am
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      I lived in Chicago for more than a decade. I remember one January the temperature was minus 20 with a minus 50 windchill. Brutal. Standing on the El platform, it didn’t matter how many layers of clothing you had on, the wind tore through them. When I first moved back to CNY and we had January temps of ten degrees, my reaction was, “You guys think this is COLD?!” But since Lupus ravaged me, ten degrees is agonizingly cold to me. I can’t imagine being back in Chicago now.

      • January 22, 2019 at 11:30 am
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        And this is why God made Gore-Tex

      • January 23, 2019 at 2:18 pm
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        It ain’t cold until the snow crunches when you walk on it.

        Winter of ’78, we got 82 inches of snow, and the temps dropped to below zero and stayed there for over 43 days. That was the year they shut down the El and Mayor Bilandic lost his job.

        With the El shut down, I had to take the Northwestern from Evanston to the Loop and then walk to the Standard Oil Building, which is on the other side of Michigan Avenue. That’s about a mile in the coldest weather I can recall.

        Only time I ever wore longies under a suit.

        It didn’t help.

        • January 23, 2019 at 2:39 pm
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          Snow crunching. Hmm. I use the Snot-Freezing Measure myself.

          From Evanston to the Loop. Good Lord. I’d have died somewhere near Wrigley Field.

  • January 22, 2019 at 12:06 pm
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    Stay inside. Keep warm. That is what I do these days.

    in my not so distant past, I used to be very active and weather was not an obstacle I could not deal with. Aging and injuries and medical complications have put me in a place where I am pretty much unable to do much anymore; especially outside. In the past I would rail against any limitation without a pause. Now, I do not do so. Not just because it is beyond my practical abilities but also because I could get seriously injured trying.

    As you said, we get a week or so of this bitter cold each year. Sometimes more; sometimes less. The snow is a constant and where you are in the ‘snow belt of central NY’ it is worse than it is where I am near Binghamton.

    You neighbor sounds a lot like mine who helps me in the same way Russ helps you. I pray that God blesses people like these two who are so generous. I try to return the favor to my neighbor if only so he knows I take nothing for granted and that I appreciate his help. It works out as I can still do many business oriented things that make his life easier.

    We each bring our unique gifts to the world and share them as we can. Your sharing on the web is a great teacher for many and for others who agree with your thinking a great affirmation of a shared belief. Keep doing those things you can.

  • January 22, 2019 at 12:54 pm
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    Take her on vacation down south a couple of times in the winter.
    She’ll change her mind.

  • January 24, 2019 at 4:09 pm
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    Dianny, I do hope you are feeling better.
    And I f I was there, I’d shovel your driveway.
    Just curious…does Russ know what an internet celebrity his neighbor is?

    • January 24, 2019 at 4:20 pm
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      Nobody knows my secret identity.

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