My Life as a Winter Wimp

I’m not like other people. I lack the basic mammalian ability to regulate body temperature. The technical term for this is Raynaud’s Phenomenon, but in essence it means my body is trying to conserve heat by not letting my extremities have any. My hands, feet, ears, and nose have to beg for blood flow. I’m freakishly cold pretty well all the time.

This came to light when I was in high school. I’d always been mocked for my inability to tolerate cold weather (which, since I grew up in Saskatoon, comprised a significant chunk of the year) but when I had to start wearing mini gloves in class just to be able to hold a pen, my mother realized this was something beyond wussiness. I went for some tests and confirmed that yes, my body hates me. I was instructed to avoid caffeine, nicotine and stress…and try to stay warm. (In Saskatoon. Right.)

So I was ecstatic when, years later after I finished university, I landed a job in the Okanagan. I was hired in January, which was the perfect time to get out of Saskatchewan. My parents drove me out, and I remember watching the temperature indicator in the van go from -28 at the start of the trip to +7 when we pulled into Kelowna. The Promised Land!

But despite the mild BC winters, my circulation and my winter wimpiness have both gotten much worse as I’ve aged (I’m turning 40 next month — ack!) These days I have to wear sweatpants, two shirts and a couple pairs of socks, and that’s just when I go to bed. I have to layer up even more if I actually want to venture outside.

Getting older sucks.