I am so cold. Colder than cold. I hate to leave the house in the winter. The cold makes my muscles cramp as I shiver. The cramping and tightening translate into pain. I run the car heat on full blast and put the seat heater on high. This relieves some of the pain, however, those of us with fibromyalgia know that once the pain sets in there will be a long haul to relief.
I was not always this way. As a child my mother could not get me in the house in the winter. I played with my brothers, built snow forts and followed animal tracks in the snow. I watched the squirrels and birds feed from the food and seeds we left for them. Watching the snow fall around me, I would stick out my tongue and try to catch a snowflake. We made snow ice cream. When time came to finally satisfy my mother and come into the house, she often had home-made hot chocolate. Yum! I can't remember my fingers turning blue . . . . .
As I grew older I would often ride my horse out into the snowy fields of our 80 acre farm. Stormy loved the snow and we would be out for hours trudging in the brush, crossing icy streams and trotting down the dirt road by the farm I did not have fancy fleece, just my denims, a sweatshirt with another jacket and plain old work gloves. Yet I was not cold . . . . .
Fast forward to adulthood. I am now a mom of multiple children. I always took them outside to build snowmen, forts and a few lobs of snowball that always drew giggles. My dog Buster, while not the smartest animal alive, loved the snow and ran around playfully anytime the children or I were outside. I don't remember shivering so hard. . . .
Move along to age 40. Coming down the stairs. Slipping and falling. Pain for days despite pain pills, rest and heat. Days and months go by with new symptoms, more pain and the addition of daily fatigue. Forward to the present day. Now I find I am cold. I dress in layers with fleece, scarves, hats, heavy socks and thick mittens. I can't stand outside or I shiver to the point of pain. Pain that racks my body. My finger and toenails turn blue. They burn with a pain that feels like fire. I do not go outside unless I have to. I am afraid of the pain. . . .
Today I am watching the snow. I am so tired that I had to cancel my physical therapy appointment. I can not get warm. I feel like I am trapped inside the house, held prisoner by the cold and frigid weather. I am watching the snow. It drifts down slowly to the ground. So beautiful yet so painful. I dream about the days when I was outside laughing and playing in the snow and thumbed my nose at old man winter. I smile as I think about it all but now it is only a distant memory. No more snowballs, snowmen or icicles on my nose. I just watch from the other side of the glass with a hot chocolate cupped in my cold fingers. I sip slowly from the steamy concoction and try to stay warm. That is what I will do until old man winter leaves and the green of spring allows me outside again.