Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dead White

In May I had more occurrences of the Raynard's Syndrome (when fingers or toes loose blood circulation randomly). This time I took notice that it always happened to the same finger on the same hand (my left middle finger that supposed to be symbolic? If I lost that finger I would be giving people the bird every time I wore gloves!)

The first incident happened the day after we returned from Vegas and I went grocery shopping. Perhaps my body was in a state of shock from going to a hot and arid climate to a rainy and cool one. While I had been wearing my light gloves, I took them off to leave in the truck before entering the store. My gloves are like glasses. I did not want to loose another pair (I have lost 4 pair within the last few years).

Immediately when I arrived Costco it started to lightly hail. So I hurried to the entrance not far away (maybe 300-500 feet). Once I entered the store, my finger began to feel stiff and hard to move. I looked down at it to see that my finger was beginning to change color and turn white.

"Oh great!" I thought. The store was only going to be open for a half hour more and I did not have time to go in the bathroom and fart around trying to revive it under hot running water. The store (Costco) is a rather large warehouse and would take me that amount of time to quickly race my cart from end to end picking out what I needed. Sigh

So I went ahead with shopping while vigorously rubbing the finger. It was no luck and the finger continued its unusual metamorphosis into a stiff white popsicle. The finger literally looked like it was dead and frozen.

Desperate to revive it, I put my hand under my shirt and tried to warm it with the heat generated from my belly. Stilll, the popsicle remained! Even though I had reached the point of seriousness and was in need of some real heat, I was not about to go walking around the store with my hand down my pants!

What to do? What to do? At the time I was in the cooler section so there was nothing that was going to help my situation and the bathroom was a very far jaunt away at the other end of the store. If I had gone there to attend to my finger, there was no way I was going to be able finish shopping in time or even be able to checkout probably. Thus, it would have been a wasted trip and my mission to get food for us would have been futile.

Luckily, the roitesserie chickens are located next to the meat department. To keep the chickens warm, they are put under heat lamps in a display case. Ah! That should be enough warmth! There was a signed posted on the metal part of the case that read "Caution: Hot. Do Not Touch!"

Not wanting to burn myself unknowingly at first as I had lost feeling in the finger, I tested the temperature of the metal with my other fingers. It was hot but not too hot to touch. It did become hot over time but would offer enough warmth to re-invegerate my finger.

I must have looked absolutely ridiculous standing there not looking at the chickens but holding my finger to the metal. I am sure the employees passing by to inform customers that the store was closing soon thought I was a loon! Out of the corner of my eye I saw the butcher standing there as if waiting for a reply. He probably asked me if I needed help as I was just standing there at this chicken case but not grabbing any of the hot chickens to put in my cart. Since I could not hear him, he got no response from me at all (I am sure confirming the thought that I was not all together with it.!) Finally I saw him walk away. I did not want to look at him. I did not feel like explaining about being deaf and further telling the story of my weird dead finger.

I don't know how long I stood there....5 minutes, 10? When the sensation and color returned to my finger I was greatly relieved as I could finish my shopping and go about my normal business instead of looking like an idiot with my hand on the hot chicken counter.

The next week I had 2 more incidents the day after another. Again, I was in the store shopping and briefly touched something cool (yogurt). In one case my finger had turned pure white and stiff by the time I made it to the cash register. To warm up the finger I had to turn on the seat heaters on the way home and sit on my finger while I was driving.

Fortunately I have not had any occurances this month. Although it is June, we are in a cold spell with temperatures in the 50s and rain so I am wearing my gloves everyday. I did something really stupid and forgot my gloves on a day when it was raining and I was out for a training walk of over 2 hours. For a long time I had to walk with my hands in my pockets which I luckily became able to do again after surgery. It is rather hard to walk for a very long time keeping your hands in your pockets so eventually I pulled the arms of my thermal shirt over my hands and tucked them up into the arms of my jacket. The energy used and created by quickly walking generated heat from my body and hands. Then rain stopped and the sun came out which helped me get through the training without incident.

No comments: