It’s time to get up and get dressed for work. I know it is. But I don’t want to get out of bed. Not that I’m particularly warm under the covers (my daughter did warn me this was the coldest room in the house, despite central heating). But even wearing thermal-knit pyjamas and lamb’s wool slippers and huddling under two quilts and a heavy wool blanket, I’m still cold. Finally I drag myself out of bed, promising a good thaw in a hot bath.
I swear my very presence in the tub drops the water temperature; it’s all too quickly tepid and I must dry off and dress:
- Wool socks
- Wool skirt when not wearing slacks
- Wool sweater (jumper) or vest (waistcoat) over a shirt or turtleneck
- Wool blazer over the wool sweater
- Wool greatcoat and scarf and Thinsulate-lined suede gloves
Duly bundled in all those layers I lurch out to the garage into my car, where I turn on the heated seat. I don’t know which Volkswagon engineer came up with the idea of building a heating pad into car seat upholstery, but it’s brill.
At work I remove the long coat and scarf, and (until it’s time to start doing documentation) swap my outdoors gloves for a pair of mechanic’s gloves. Although they help keep my hands warm, I really need to order some arthritis gloves without the fingertips so I can handle papers.
This week it’s been exceptionally cold, and the men at school were wearing warmer long-sleeve shirts. But I’ve been piling on multiple layers for months. There’s so much wool in my wardrobe you’d think I was a wolf trying to infiltrate a herd of sheep. (We would eat lamb too, were it not priced as dear as sirloin.)
Despite all this, my nails turn a dull purple, and sometimes the rest of my digits don’t have much color at all. My pinkies go numb, and I despair of getting some skin cracks to heal. Even during warm weather, just a few minutes of using the electric string-trimmer to clip the edges of the lawn makes my hands numb.
I’m not anemic. Rather, my rheumatologist says it’s Raynaud’s. Swell. I’m doing all the right things for helping maintain my core temperature, and she’s given me some medication to try (because you know, I don’t have enough pills to swallow).
Well, it’s time to zap my rice-sock in the microwave to warm me up enough to get to sleep. And I know that if it gets really cold tonight, one of the cats will crawl under the blankets with me.
But any sheep nearby had best beware: my daughter is learning how to knit!