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How 'Frozen' Helped Me With Raynaud's

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Since it was released, I’ve been a fan of “Frozen.” I’ve always been a fan of each and every single Disney movie, more if it includes a princess – and even more if she’s a badass warrior.

I have had arthritis since last December, and it has been a constant discovery of newly acquired symptoms that I never expected. With chronic conditions it happens that everything can be either part of the disease, or side effects of the medications. No matter the explanation, you are a check list of rarely seen before symptoms, all together on a beautiful envelope of a 23-year-old lady.

After the start of new medications and a horrible flare-up, my hands and feet started getting cold. Very cold. Ice freezing cold. And white, white with purple, to match my new lip shade. But the rest of my body was hot, or normal temperature. On sunny days I saw myself cleaning my sweaty forehead with icy hands.

That being said, it isn’t weird to say my next move was to buy and wear gloves. In a tropical city, in an equatorial country, were I live. And to spice things up, they told me stress made it worse. Stress literally made my hands colder, or so could arthritis, or the new medication. Fascinating right? It’s called Raynaud’s syndrome. And as most of the things in the life of someone with chronic conditions, it doesn’t have a cause, neither a cure.

It was funny and lovely to stand in front of a mirror, with short sleeves and my gloves, trying to calm myself to see if the calmer I was, the warmer my hands. I remember the beautiful and wise words princess Elsa of Arendelle learned from her father “Conceal. Don’t feel. Don’t let them know,” and, “Conceal. Don’t feel. Don’t let them show.” I felt comforted and understood. It’s harder than I thought to find support, as most people won’t get the condition for how “weird” and made up it sounds.

So, I might not have the hair. I might not have her voice or her amazing dress. And I might not be able to build a snowman. But…the cold never bother me anyway.

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Image proved by Frozen’s Facebook page

Originally published: December 27, 2017
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