Health · Insight · lifestyle · Uncategorised

What really goes on in them boots?

… why is she always in those Uggs?

I’ll tell you why … ….

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As a family, we love being outside. We’re just outdoorsy kind of people. A nice long stroll at the weekend, camping in the summer, forest walks, puddle jumping, beach days, playing in the snow, splashing in the rain. We couldn’t be happier!

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Then everything changed … a couple of years ago, I was diagnosed with Raynauds Phenomenom, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Occipital Neuralgia. What a mare, I literally pop that many pills on a daily basis just to function properly, I think I’m starting to rattle!

I understand that there are a lot worse problems to have and these might seem quite minor to some people, but for those who don’t know anything about these conditions, let me explain…

Raynauds Phenomenom – is a condition that affects the blood supply to certain parts of the body, especially the fingers and toes. It’s triggered by cold temperatures, anxiety or stress. The condition occurs because the blood vessels go into a temporary spasm which blocks the blood flow. This causes the affected area, say fingers or toes, to change colour to white, then blue, whilst the blood flow is restricted and then red when the blood flow returns – this causes numbness and lots of pain … just imagine you have elastic bands wrapped so so tightly around the base of every finger and toe for several hours.

Rheumatoid Arthritis – is a long term condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints, the symptoms usually affect the hands, feet, wrists, knees and elbows. As it is an autoimmune condition this means that the immune system, which is the body’s natural self-defence system, gets confused and starts to attack your body’s healthy tissue, with Rheumatoid Arthritis, the main way it does this is with inflammation of the joints.

Occiputal Neuralgia – is a condition in which the nerves that run from the top of your spinal cord up through the scalp (called the occipital nerves) have to much pressure on them, they’re inflamed or injured. This causes intense pain in the back of the head and the base of the skull. Symptoms can be similar to those of a severe migraine – although the pain of an occipital neuralgia attack feels like a sharp electrical shock inside your brain which leaves an aching, burning, throbbing pain from the base of the neck to the top of the scalp — I mean, it’s so so painful I can’t put it into any other words than it actually freakin’ kills!

So thats me! Sound fun doesn’t it!

Oh yeah, so what’s this got to do with the boots I hear you say…. let me show you what actually goes on inside these over-worn, battered boots of mine.

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To help keep away any Raynaud or Arthritic attacks I need to take care of my skin and keep warm and toasty throughout the day. There’s lots of ways that I do this … everyday …

  • Thermal layers under all my clothing
  • Moisturising regularly throughout the day
  • Heat holding socks
  • Lots of layers : leggings & jeans, thinner jumpers under bigger jumpers
  • Chilblain bandages & plasters
  • Electrical devices – shoe insoles, hot rocks, portable pouches.
  • Thermal heat holding hat, scarves and gloves.

and yup, I’m now the size of the abominable snowman — but toasty warm!

Winterware
Daily must haves!

I’m sure you’ve gathered by now that I need to stay nice and warm … and what are the best boots for the job? Uggs! They’re  warm, they’re dry, theyre fur lined, they’re super comfy and they fit all my electrical devices inside of them, they’re just wonderful! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always where the Ugg boots, I literally only wear these for the school run and work (I work all day standing on my feet on a cold tiled floor, it’s freeeeeezing!). So yeah, to most people it looks like I live in these freakin’ boots, but I don’t! Inside these boots are thick thermal socks and recharageable ‘warmawear’ shoe insoles. These heat up to a lovely temperature ensuring my feet stay nice and comfortable warm, reducing the risk of an attack. They’re difficult to fit in any other of my boots such as ankle boots or knee high boots as they have a power pack attached to them. Uggs to the rescue!

Warmawear shoe insoles
Literally the best invention ever!

I do have small feet warmers I can place into any of my other shoes,  but these just don’t cut the mustard for an all day at work or walking the kids to school. It literally only takes one minute or two for my fingers and toes to turn completely blue. The pictures below are what one of my very mild attacks look like. This was a short ten minute walk outside with ordinary boots on – I’m sure you can imagine what a  cold winters day would look like. It’s horrendous and so so much pain. I think, unless you suffer from any of these conditions yourself it’s hard to understand the pain you feel during a flare-up.

 


I love seeing all the other women walking around looking lovely and fashionable and super trendy … and then there’s me looking like a hermit wearing the same big fat coat, scarf, woolly hat, boots, thermal layers under all my clothing, gloves and as many heating devices as I can carry – but at the end of the day – when you’ve gone through a 30°C summer with chilblains all over your fingers and toes, unable to wear flip flops and look / feel pretty because that gentle summer breeze is just too much for your skin to handle, I think it’s safe to say my health comes first. Wrap up warm! And if that means living in my big coat and Ugg boots. Then so be it!

Happy adventures

nay nay x

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