When I was sixteen, I lived in Cambridge and cycled 10 miles to college every single day. Being a teenage raver, I didn’t wear very many clothes, and favoured Stargazer UV fluorescent nail polish. I couldn’t afford the bus, as I spent all my pocket money on hustling my way into night clubs, so I cycled instead. But killer thighs look good in sequin hotpants, so every cloud has a sparkly lining.
But there were some darker aspects of those halcyon hotpant wearing days. I vividly recall standing in the bike sheds after my long cycle ride every morning, pummelling my lifeless fingers back to life. My digits would go exceptionally white and my hands felt so cold I thought they were going to fall off. I recall spending ages desperately to get some blood back into them before my first lesson, while simultaneously marvelling at the beauty of fluorescent UV nail varnish set against bone white flesh. The subtle balance of white bloodless fingers and UV disco nail polish was beautiful. It never occurred to me to wear gloves, or visit a doctor. I was too busy being sixteen and dying my hair pink and making complex fluffy bikini outfits that I can’t believe my mother let me wear out at night.
Not much has changed in the 18 years since then. I may live in a country cottage in the Scottish Borders now, but in my head I’m still a 16-year-old raver and my circulation is still as shit as a rotting zombie corpse. I have since discovered I have something called Raynaud’s Syndrome. This is nothing to do with raving, or not wearing enough clothes in the nineties. A raving syndrome would have been significantly cooler. Raynaud’s Syndrome is basically a condition which affects the blood supply to fingers and toes, because blood vessels go into a temporary spasm which blocks the flow of blood. This causes my fingers to go white, then blue and then red as the blood flow returns.
I would take a picture but when I get it my fingers are too cold to hold a camera, so here’s one I nicked off the Internet.
Even when my fingers are not going weird and white, they’re still freezing and people often remark on my bone cold hands. Whenever I go for a run or a bike ride or scoot into town, I have to wear two pairs of gloves and stop off for a finger pummel if it gets too painful to work the breaks. It really bloody hurts, confuses other motorists and makes me look like a deranged penguin.
Cold hands may not sound like a big deal, but it can be a real bitch on race day and more importantly, it’s bad news in the bedroom. My hands get so cold, that my boyfriend won’t let me cuddle him at night. I often have to lie for ten minutes with my fingers in my armpits trying to warm them up first. This is not a good precursor to sexy time. My feet go bloodless and ghost white too, but they don’t bother me so much. 20 years of clubbing in high heels cut the blood circulation off from my ankle downwards long ago.
So after years and years of frozen finger syndrome, I have decided to get to the bottom of my rebellious finger issue and research the best way to solve it.
You can get drugs from the doctor for sorting out your blood, but one of their side affects is that you grow vestigial penises from your face, plus I’m a hippy, so I’m not wild about trying them. The penis face bit is a lie, by the way.
You’d think this would work right? Wrong! Even fancy expensive snowy mountain running gloves make piss all difference to my maverick hands.
After thorough research I can confirm that hand warmers are shit. They make your palms really hot but leave your fingers to die of cold and they’re uncomfortable and a pain in the ass to heat up.
Moving to a hotter country
While this option certainly worked, I’m a ginger so I found it too hot plus I couldn’t persuade anyone to move with me so I got lonely and had to come home.
A friend of a friend recently suggested I try thin white cotton gloves inside my normal gloves. I thought they were weird. But I gave it a try anyway. I look like a Michael Jackson impersonator and it’s a bitch to get them on in the morning, but mysteriously THE WHITE GLOVE TRICK WORKS (sequins optional). I have no idea how or why. Just trust me. Raynaud’s sufferers, embrace your inner 80s disco and invest in some sexy white gloves.