Living with Cryoglobulinemia.
I live in the SE of the UK. Fairly temperate. Where snow in winter is rare and in summer maybe high 20’s C. But I’m beginning to understand how people in frozen latitudes survive! It can only be done with 24/7/365 awareness of the dangers around them and for which they prepare. Cold is our common foe. As a Cryo sufferer I too can only maintain a state of wellness by vigilance in not getting exposed to too much cold. Cold which might manifest itself as an almost unnoticed draught indoors, a gentle breeze on a hot summer day or full on winter. Or as a cold drink, ice cream, A/C or the difference in temperature from one room to another.
From a position of being well and able to function normally, one or two small cold washes may not have much initial impact. But without a recovery period, one or two more small cold washes will cause a landslide in my wellness levels. Recovery will take much longer. Days rather than hours.
Wellness means I can run upstairs and down, think straight, have good humor and am pain free. After a Cryo landslide I’m an old man without the energy to roll off the couch to trudge to the kitchen to make a cup of tea. Pain accompanies every move. The Black Cloud of gloom/depression invades my head. I can barely hold a simple conversation, never mind a bit of banter. Panting for hours on end doesn’t help either. It also makes eating a chore.
So I make like an Inuit. Not in furs but certainly with enough layers, head to foot, to keep any chill or draught out. With extra precautions like blankets, scarfs, gloves etc available for emergencies. And I’m always aware of my environment. I balance the probable impact of being outdoors against necessity to be outdoors. But mostly my best survival tactic is ‘Attention to Prevention’. Hoping for a medical solution is valid. Self maintenance is immediate. And much more rewarding than blindly grinding on between Dr. appointments!