I go to the cheese stall, my favourite! Real Lancashire creamy cheese, I buy 1lb. The lady say's "Â£3.62." I have a Â£20.00 note. "Oooh have you nothing less?" My pocket is bulging with copper and silver but my hands are numb. I smile and delve into my pocket, a wilderness of hard objects, must be coins or keys. I grab a handful and with it comes paper, a button and small change. I can't pick it up, my hand frozen like a statue.
"Can you take the money from me?" I ask rather pathetically!
"Oh look at your fingers," said the lady -- "Are they painful? I don't want to touch you!" She gently picked the coins out of the rubbish I had in my hand, counted it and then handed me my cheese. I felt so helpless.
"Shall I put it in a bag for you love? Here, let me help you!" I felt so guilty, here was I "Miss Independent" allowing someone to help me. I thanked her with a smile and then scurried off into the crowd.
The next challenge was to be opening my car door. I knew I had my keys somewhere in my pocket but which one? I rummaged, fumbled, delved, dropping my bags in the process -- there goes my onions! one rolled under the next car and the rest, well just rolled! My ham shank was wrapped but on the floor, so too was my bread and cheese. "Urgggh." The frustration. "Where are those rotten keys?" My finger scraped a sharp object. "Ah ah, my keys!"
My frozen fingers clenched the fob and then they fiddled with the key. Into the lock it went. I turned my whole body with the key like I was unscrewing the tightest jar. I picked my onions up, except the one under the next car, and placed my bags on the rear seat. The boot would have been a challenge too far.
On my way home the fuel light flashed and the needle pointed to almost empty -- could I make it home or should I make a trip to the station? The petrol station drew closer and my dilemma was turn in or go home, I turned in!
My heater had been on full since leaving the market. My fingers were still frozen and throbbing really bad by now. I really didn't want to put fuel in my car but what else could I do. To run out on the way home would have been worse. I switched my engine off, removed the key and got out of the car next to the pump. The wind cut like a knife, my hair blew into my eyes. The pump handle felt like ice and my petrol cap was almost welded on. I struggled. Tears ran down my cheeks with cold and pain, until finally the cap came off and I managed to fill the tank.
At last, on my way. The heater was warm and both vents were turned to blow on my hands. My feet felt numb too but since all they had to do was press the foot pedals I wasn't too concerned. My home looked so inviting until I looked at all the shopping on the back seat of my car. I decided to just go inside, leave the bags and get warmed up before struggling again.
Typical day in the life of a Raynaud's sufferer.