Early last week, I arrived home from work with an odd feeling in my left index finger. It was the first really cold day of the season, though only in the upper 20s. It's only a seven minute drive home for me but my car was cold by the time I got it started at 6:15pm. I walked in, pulled off my glove, my finger tingling, semi-numb and visually much whiter than the other fingers on my left hand. Instinctively, I ran a sink of warm water, stuck my hand in and it all cleared up in about 3 minutes.
What was going on??
I replayed recent experiences. As the weather has cooled, the simple cotton garden gloves I've used for years while running were not working as well. I often came in from a run with my left hand really cold. My system for running garb has held up for many years; why was it failing now?? I got some heavier garden gloves; I added a small plastic bag over the gloves to try to cut the wind. It was still uncomfortable.
The white-finger-thing happened again on Friday evening during my short drive home. Time to try to figure this out. Enter the web.
It appears I have a thing called Raynaud's Phenomenon. It's really not a big deal and treatment falls in the category of the old joke: "Hey, doc, it hurts when I do this." "Well, then, don't do that!" A decrease in circulation creates some pain in cold temperatures. It's probably related to the sense of arthritis I've seen developing in the same finger over the past six months or so. My mother had real issues with arthritis in her hands. We are forever swimming in our own gene pool.
The solution?? One local friend dryly suggested I quit running until April. Yeah, right. I got some good input from several friends on FB and came up with a new plan. I picked up a pair of nylon-covered mittens, in size XL so I can wear liner gloves underneath. Then, I tried out a hand warmer for the 10 mile run I did in the snowfall on Saturday...boy, was that effective!! I was amazed at how the simple hand warmer in the closed space not only kept my hand warm but it also kept entire arm was warmer as well. But I don't like the idea of a throw-away hand heater, even though they are so very inexpensive. So, I ordered some reusable hand warmers this afternoon.
So, I'll soon have to update my temperature chart. No surprise to you who follow this blog...I'm a systems geek and updating the system is part of the fun of running, applying the principles of kaizen.
Winter is here, we're looking at single-digits overnight most of this week. And we persevere.