Steph, 40, is a supermarket delivery driver and has been living with Raynaud’s since she was a teenager. Despite living with symptoms for decades, she had never visited her GP, believing it to be ‘one of those things’. Steph was diagnosed in December 2019 after a Raynaud’s attack saw her taken to A&E. The condition affects her hands, feet, ears and nose.
Steph has been living with Raynaud’s since she was a teenager but had never been to see a doctor as she thought it was ‘just one of those things.’ In 2019, after a severe attack, she ended up in A&E. This is her story:
“I have always suffered with cold feet, hands and other extremities like my ears and nose, and it actually hurts when they get cold, but because my sister had the same sort of symptoms, I thought it was just who we were.
I went through life just wearing lots of layers on my hands and feet and sitting at home under blankets. To a degree, it never bothered me because I didn’t know any different. Then, in December 2019, it was a really cold day and my hands started turning blue. I spent hours trying to get them warm, but nothing was working, so my husband insisted on taking me to hospital."
Steph spent a number of hours undergoing a series of tests and scans. Once home, she remained under the care of the hospital as an outpatient for six weeks while doctors investigated. It was then that she was officially diagnosed with Raynaud’s.
Steph is under the care of a rheumatologist and takes nifedipine, a blood pressure drug that reduces symptoms.
“The nifedipine helps, I just have to monitor my blood pressure to make sure it doesn’t fall too low. I also wear thermal socks with my work boots and have got copper insulated gloves and earmuffs. People look at me like, ‘it’s not that cold’ and I’m like, ‘yes, it is!’ Preventing Raynaud’s is much easier than treating it after an attack.”