Sunday, August 15, 2010

3057 Cold analysis

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects
such as wickerwork picnic baskets.
Imagination without skill gives us modern art."
-- Tom Stoppard --


Z. has suggested that it might be low iron levels causing my feeling cold.

I don't think so. I get a blood panel about once a year (last year it was four in a row, at 1-2 month intervals) and hemoglobin is always very good.

I've been sensitive to cold for at least the past 40 years. When Ex#2 and I went to his parents' NJ farmhouse in the winter, in the 1970s, everyone else was comfortable with the drafts blowing off the windows, but Daughter and I would get chilblains (or or frostbite, or something) on our cheeks and shins. They'd get red and itchy, and then the skin would turn whitish, dry out, crack, and bleed, I suppose because the blood would divert from those areas.

That was one area Jay and I had problems. He liked it cooler, I liked it warmer. To make it worse, the poor guy was 18" taller than I, and since heat rises, it was actually even warmer up there where his head was. We used fans aimed high to keep the air rolling, so some of the heat would get down to me, and some of the cool could get up to him.

It's strange that I seem to have developed an intolerance to cold, because when I lived on the mountain, in high school, winter temperatures were almost constantly in the negative numbers, as low as -30. They would close the school when it got below -25 because they couldn't heat it (on ordinary days we wore coats to class), and my senior year we had ten days off for temperature. You'd hear what sounded like gunshots all around, the sound of trees freezing and exploding. They really do. And yet, I spent all of every weekend outside. I'd go to the woods to avoid my father and siblings and stay out all day, well into the evening. I was ok with the cold then - I guess because I kept moving, and the alternative was not acceptable.

When one passes menopause, the skin gets thinner. I can clearly see the veins in the back of my hands. When I feel cold, my hands get "younger". The veins are not as prominent. This indicates to me that it's not a problem with circulation per se. It's more like my body defensively shuts down blood to the hands and feet (and probably my cheeks and nose) when the cold alarms go off.

That's perfectly normal. What's not normal is that the cold alarms go off at 73 degrees in the summer. Perhaps I acclimate too well.

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