Saturday, January 18, 2003
I return to tell you more of my grand and thrilling adventures, more of my deep and heartwarming emotions, more of my wise and timely thoughts.
Actually, my life is mundane, my emotions cynical, and my thoughts disorganized to a disturbing degree, but I sometimes like to delude myself.
It was cold out today. Right now it is, according to The Weather Underground, a balmy 7º farenheit. If I had my way, temperatures of this sort would be outlawed. They should also outlaw all temperatures above 80º.
In any event, I was outside doing some filming, and I was not wearing any gloves, since I can't push the buttons on the camera really well when I have gloves on. Also, I had some things to tape up, and scotch tape does not mix well with gloves. So I was outside for... well, call it about 15 minutes. It was a short shot, maybe one and a half minutes. The rest of the time was spent setting the shot up, practice filming with the camera, and taking the shot apart. Taking it apart was hard because my hands were, at this point, bright red, and they weren't moving as dexterously as they generally do. I thought that they hurt a bit, but it was a distant sort of hurt that I was able to more or less ignore.
My work done, I went inside. Suddenly, viciously, the pain in my hands increased 20-fold. This was not a distant sort of pain. This was a pain that was waving its arms and screaming frantically directly in front of my bewildered face. It hurt so badly that I wasn't sure for a few moments whether I, myself, was actually screaming, or if it was just the nerves in my hands. It turns out it was just my hands, although I was making a distressed sort of whimpering noise.
I shook off my coat, because now I could not use my hands at all. I bundled pathetically up the stairs to coddle my poor hands in the view of my mother. Call it regression, if you will. Obviously there wasn't much of anything she could do to ease my agony, but I suppose I may have maintained some faint hope that she had some medicinal morphine lying around somewhere that I could perhaps make use of, in the face of this torturous crisis.
She did not have any such substance, but she told me go downstairs and soak my hands in warm water. I stumbled, still moaning piteously, back downstairs to the bathroom. I clumsily operated the sink until I got a warmish sort of bath. I put my hands in. The agony was unrelieved. I ended up having to start out in a cool sinkful of water for about 3 excruciating minutes, then warm for about 3, then hot for maybe 5 entire minutes, then back to warm for maybe 10, before I was able to flex my fingers in the water without pain.
Now, I have had my hands really cold before. I have often had them cold to the point where I can't really move them, and they feel really numb, so that the fingers hardly work. But I always felt before that my hands were cold. I have never, ever, ever felt that they were in actual pain before. This was pain. It felt like the blood in my hands had frozen solid. It felt like the skin was searing off. It felt like there was a piercingly hot coal in every joint. Not cold. Actual agony.
I think (and don't laugh, this is entirely possible, given the temperatures, and taking into account the less-than-hardy nature of my hands) that I was feeling the beginnings of frostbite. I am never leaving the house without gloves again. Never. Not even in the summer.
Utility safety.com defines first degree frostbite as:
1st degree: Only upper surface layers of the skin cells are involved, similar to mild sunburn. Primary symptoms are redness and pain in the affected area. Full recovery without scarring is possible.
Sounds eerily familiar.
They also have a lovely little picture of someone with 2nd degree frostbite on their hands. This is decidedly not a picture for the faint of heart, or stomach. Makes me rather glad I wasn't outside any longer.
In other news...
I was reading a nice little site today by the name of 0(zero) format. The current piece is 100 little blog entries. The author had decided to make 100 posts in one day. The result is quite entertaining. There are some funny bits involving his work and his home life, but by far the best bits all have to do with whippets.
As we were driving home from dinner tonight, I said something about the house being rather cold. My mother told me to put on warmer clothes. "Yeah," my dad said, "put on a cormorant." This led to some confusion, as I am not entirely sure that a cormorant would be very warm, even assuming you could get one to sit still long enough so that you could drape it over yourself.
This is a cormorant. Just in case you are unacquainted with them.
The moon is unaccountably bright tonight. I think that it just may be full, or close to full.
That is all.