Raynaud’s phenomenon – to embrace, or fight the cold?

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Hey there, sorry it’s been a while. Can you believe it’s nearly 2016 already!

It’s been a hectic few months for me since being back in the UK, keeping busy with follow up appointments, university and allowing my body to adjust to non-sushi life (cryy!). Priorities are hard to get straight when everything comes at once, unfortunately this blog has been at the end of my to do list. 

Updates: Finally, I have answers regarding my foot issue (or rather feet now that both are feeling the effects). Following the MRI scan, results have shown inflammation in the joints of my feet that is most likely caused by my good friend Lupus. Being back in the UK has helped with this as the cold weather reduces swelling, my foot was especially bad from beginning to end in Hong Kong. Though I was prepared (with plenty of Celebrex!) as I knew what I would be up against with the swelling only getting worse in the heat like it did in Barcelona. My only option was to soldier through as best I could, I cannot thank enough those who helped me on the days I really couldn’t walk, you know who you are!

There has been a tug of war going on for me with the cold weather, while it helps with inflammation it is an annoyance in other ways. Since it’s winter now, I thought I’d share with you what Reynolds actually looks like, it’s quite craazy looking and affects my toes as well as my fingers. For those who are unsure, Reynolds phenomena is a condition that affects the blood supply to certain parts of the body and is triggered by cold weather, anxiety and stress. I have secondary type Reynolds, meaning that it is caused by an underlying condition i.e. my Lupus, with no symptoms of Reynolds until probably 1-2 years after my diagnosis, at first I thought it was something that would go away over time but I guess it’s here to stay! It takes about 30 minutes once back in the warmth for the blood to return fully and my hands to look normal again. Crazy right, that your fingers and toes can go so long without blood, then return back completely normal like nothing happened. The first time it happened to me I was freaked out, I thought I would have lost feeling or damaged some nerves but to my relief it was fine. 

Honestly, recently I’ve been feeling the effects of my condition more. After reflecting back on the year from Pericarditis, to limping around the whole year and waking up stiff almost every morning, I don’t remember feeling this bad in the past. I decided to raise concerns with my specialist who agreed as my bloods have been on a rollercoaster this year. Mycophenolate does not seem to be cooperating very well with me, so I may be adding Methotrexate to my list of medications, hopefully it will help! 

2015 has presented me with an abundance of memories and experiences that I am truly grateful for as it has taught me a lot. Blogging is becoming a peaceful way for me to sit down, relax and let myself out, I enjoy writing and I hope you enjoy reading. My ideas for 2016 are ambitious and I have exciting plans which I hope to carry through, I will try to post more frequently but I hope you understand – final year is not easy haha! I wish you all well and have an awesome new year, spread the positivity, love and festivities, put that phone down and cherish these moments with your loved ones,  I know I will be.

Much love xX

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