Sheep Fear Me

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!


  1. Ettina said,

    22 December 2008 at 16:11

    Sheep don’t mind being sheared. Actually, they like it, because if they’re all wooly in the summertime they get pretty hot. So they’d have nothing to fear from you.

  2. ange said,

    21 December 2008 at 2:32

    I lotion up without drying off and cover myself in soft fleece to help my skin (I have psoriosis etc.) and have been trying to tak cooler showers so that the shock doesn’t hit me when I get out (and to avoid rosecea flareups). I seem to be having a harder time staying warm, always feeling the bone-chilling coldness even when my skin is warm. It’s not fun, since I hate clothing (restrictive). Wool is too much for me, so I Iayer fleece and scarves even in the house. Of course if Hubby turns the heat up, I am unbearably hot even if I am in a tank top and shorts. Apparently, there is no right temperature to keep me comfortable but there is a right way for me to feel warm!

  3. Greg said,

    20 December 2008 at 23:27

    I love rice packs!

  4. 20 December 2008 at 13:57

    The skin on my hands tends to become a little drier in winter, and I find it helps to try applying lotion regularly … though ideally before it gets too bad. And of course wearing gloves (or maybe mittens would be better for you, at least outside?) especially when outside in the cold air can help prevent problems.

    I’m not quite as sensitive to the cold as you are but still dislike it — so I often wear long john underwear in the winter as one additional layer, and maybe also a t-shirt under whatever other layers I have. Then for extra-cold days, I also have a few non-turtle-necked, long sleeve shirts and some extra pants that I put on over the long johns but under all the other layers. For casual wear, I often wear a turtleneck shirt with a sweater; for business wear, a blouse with a business jacket. All this in addition to my winter coat with a scarf and hood. (Instead of simply around my neck, I use a wide scarf that I wrap around my head in a way that it does also cover my neck and a little bit of my face, then the hood goes over that. So even my head gets two layers.)

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