Friday, January 28, 2011

I may have frostbite

I didn't actually get frostbite, but the next best thing; chilblains.  I haven't actually been diagnosed by a doctor, however.  This is the short and long of it.

I have been teaching in a classroom, that has recently been converted from storage facility to classroom.  The insulation is SEVERELY lacking.  Basically, I don't take off my coat, hat, gloves for the three hours of teaching time in the morning because the heater doesn't have enough power to keep the room warm when the walls can't do the job of keeping the heat from escaping.  Plain and simple, my classroom is freezing.  It takes me back to our time in Chile and zero heating.  Not pleasant memories.  After a few days of teaching in these conditions, one evening my my right foot began to swell.  Not the entire foot, just two toes.  The foot became fire engine red to the point that all people in the room were concerned that it might burst into flames at any moment.  I removed my toe ring as it was quite uncomfortable on my incredibly sensitive and swelling toe.  It was sensitive to the touch, like it had been bruised, but I had done nothing to cause it to be bruised.  The next day, I showed it to one of my new British coworkers who diagnosed it as chilblains.  "They're basically the first step in frostbite.  Not frostbite exactly but if you don't take care of it, that's where it's headed.  I've had them in the past, and thats basically what they looked like.  Keep them warm!"
First thing I did when I got home was look it up. On wikipedia the picture of the foot, was exactly what my foot looked like (except my feet are never white).  I treated them or tortured them depending on who if you asked, my feet or me, with hot water baths.  It sounds rather like a lovely idea, but even luke warm water felt like boiling water on my stubborn non-circulating feet. They've healed at this point, so I'm not going to waste my time going to the doctor, but at least I feel a little more justified in my constant whining when it comes to cold.  If I get nothing else from this experience, at least I wont be considered such an obnoxious baby now :) (or maybe I will)


Peter and Leslie said...

I definitely will not consider you a baby (not for this anyways). ;o)

Daisy said...

Oh no!!! Take care of yourself!! I'm sorry to hear it's so cold there. ): Makes me feel guilty for constantly complaining about the cold in Utah. We definitely don't get as cold here as there - and at least we have constant indoor heating.


Karen said...

Vanessa, your feet already always look like they're on the verge of frostbite! I hope you're doing better!