A personal account by Jonathan Parker
I am 60 now. Sometime in my 30s, I started exhibiting issues with my fingertips in the cold. They would begin to feel numb and turn white. I probably lived with it for a couple of years, not really thinking much of it other than being an annoyance, but it persisted. I finally went to the doctor and the diagnosis was Raynaud’s.
Living with Raynaud’s
It is a very frustrating disease. I never minded being out in the cold. I look forward to snowstorms and going out to spark up the snow thrower. Knowing I have Raynaud’s takes away a bit of winter excitement because I know it’s waiting in the wings.
I love to run and like running in the cold. I also like taking my dog out for runs. It’s frustrating that something I enjoy gets tainted thanks to this disease. Over the years I have experimented with many gloves and mittens. I have spent countless dollars on high-end ski gloves. I’ve tried ones that say they are waterproof, those that say they are good in -30 degree weather, etc. In short spurts they worked fine, but if I’m outside for extended periods (which for me is about half an hour) it doesn’t matter if they get wet or not, the Raynaud’s almost always has an effect.
In recent years I have noticed my symptoms more indoors, too. I have found that 70 degrees in the house is the low point before there’s a good chance of triggering my symptoms. As I am typing this, I can feel Raynaud’s wanting to come out, as my hands are cold and a bit sweaty since it’s a cool day.
I believe it was 2015 when I stumbled onto ORORO. I saw this cool heated jacket; something I honestly had never investigated before. I gave it a little thought and decided to buy the jacket. I thought that on cold days, a heated jacket would stabilize my inner temperature enough to fend off Raynaud’s. It keeps me warm, but it doesn’t cover my hands, so it really doesn’t help my Raynaud’s symptoms. Then came their heated gloves and I jumped on those. After that came their mittens and I jumped on them, too. I have yet to get the socks, but I think those might be next.
In most of my outdoor winter activities now, I wear the ORORO gloves. Once Raynaud’s kicks in, the gloves or warm water or most other things don’t really help. But, the gloves for the most part prevent Raynaud’s symptoms from starting and that is the key. Ski gloves or any other unheated gloves let just enough cold in to trigger my symptoms. It was great to finally find an article of clothing that actually brings back some of the enjoyment of outdoor winter activities for me.