Lovely

So, it was cold here yesterday. The stupid transit strike is still going on so there were no buses. I've been getting a drive to work with Lee in the mornings (and walking home) but he had an appointment yesterday morning. If I had gotten a drive with him I would have been at work at 7:30am. That is really early...even for me. So I said I'd walk to work, even though the windchill was minus -34C. It didn't look too windy so I thought it would be fine. I had layers. I'd be ok. After all people were walking further and longer than I had to walk the other week when we had that brutally cold snap. And since he's be picking me up at lunch it was a normal walk day, just a cold one.

Yeah. Bad decision on my part.

I walked to work. It was cold. My right ear in particular seemed to be pretty cold. It took me about 25 minutes to walk to work.

My ear hurt but to be honest I didn't think too much of it. You see, cold generally equals pain for me. The only reason my toes weren't in pain was because I had slapped some toe warmers on them. Heat Factory toe warmers have been saving my toes this winter and I thank the doctor that recommended them. This is the same doctor who believes I may have something akin to Raynaud's phenomenon, which would help explain while my hands and feet are chronically cold and why whenever I go out in the cold I'm in pain.

In all honesty I thought that being in pain in the cold was normal. I thought that other people just handled it better than I did. Apparently most people don't lose complete feeling in their toes when walking through the grocery store parking lot. Apparently for most people their toes don't go from fine to pain in less than two minutes in the cold.

I'm just special I guess. Basically what the doctor thinks happens is that when my toes (and fingers) encounter cold my circulatory system freaks and restricts blood flow to my extremeties, which helps explain both the icecube nature of my toes and the pain. Now I don't have anything like the dramatic pictures in that Wikipedia article. And there's no true test for this condition, although there are some things they can test for that point to an increased likelihood for it. And I fully plan on getting those tests done when the stupid bus strike is over and I can actually get to and from the lab.

This is all to say that I've been pretty darned careful this year about staying warm. I've also been feeling much better about the outdoors this winter now that I know I can do things to retain feeling in my feet.

So I was pretty surprised yesterday afternoon, long after I had been out to in the cold to realize that my ear was still hurting. I was even more suprised an hour or two after that to go into the bathroom, pull back my hair and realize that my ear was blood red.

Frostbite.

I have never had frostbite in my life before but well, either it was frostbite or something else was seriously wrong with my ear. So off the hospital we went where we waited for four hours for the doctor to say, "Yep. That's frostbite alright." I was sent home with instructions to keep my ear out of the cold, take advil and buy a new hat. Lovely.

So I'm sitting at home today, taking advil, researching warm hats (and trying to figure out how the hell I'm going to wear one because my ear - it hurts like hell when something touches it), and trying to figure out how the heck I'm going to get home from work for the rest of the week if I can't walk.

I'm having one of those weeks where I understand why Canadians go south to Florida or Arizona for the winter.