Friday, February 29, 2008

Raynaud's Syndrome

NOTE: Update at the bottom.
About three weeks ago I picked Stefan up at school. He'd waited outside for about 20 minutes, and as usual, he hadn't bothered with a coat. It was a chilly and very windy day. He got in the car and I was very shocked to see his purple hands and forearms--MUCH worse than the photo above. He actually had dark splotches that were almost black, much like a corpse with lividity. I was planning on driving straight to the ER but by the time we were driving out of the lot his hands were pinking up.

Raynaud's is apparently what happens when the body overreacts to cold and shuts off circulation to your hands or feet. The purple color comes from lack of oxygen. It's rare to have serious complications, but it can lead to gangrene and amputation if the blood flow is not restored. It can also damage your circulatory system in severe cases.

Primary Raynaud's is just Raynaud's by itself, without a underlying disease. The best site we found online was at Mayo. Secondary Raynaud's is secondary to arthritis or Sjogrens or something else. Stefan's been to the doctor to rule out secondary Raynaud's.

Now Stefan has some gloves, another hat, and new thermal shirts to wear skateboarding. We had to get lined pants for gym as well. He alarmed the nurse so much when he got cold in P.E. and his hands turned blue that she called me in the middle of class. I went to the school on my lunch break and took him a hoodie to wear in gym. Usually hoodies aren't allowed, but they made a temporary exception.

Oddly enough, the nurse told me she had recently researched Raynaud's because three other students and a teacher had come in with the same thing. She went on to add that Stefan's case was by far the worst.

Update 02/09/2011:  My son was taking a medication during the time he had trouble with Raynaud's. While my son was on the medication it became known that it could cause problems with cold temperature.  His doctor took him off it and no more Raynaud's, at least not a dangerous level.  His hands get cool but he doesn't turn colors since quiting the medication.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

First Flowers

I was expecting the Crocus but not these flowers. It seems like I usually see them in March. The flower above and the jonquils adorn the back of our property where our pets have been buried.

I have some of the jonquils planted in the front, but they aren't blooming yet.
These are always a pleasant surprise, even though I'm expecting them. I planted these randomly around a section of the front yard many years ago.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

More Shopping for supplies

Today I stopped by Bally Beads in Rockwall. I couldn't resist these lampworked glass beads. They aren't the usual thing I get, but I loved the colors and the shapes. The rectangular beads on the far left and the lentil beads in the center remind me of Monet. I also love the little frogs clinging to the three stands on the right and the lizard beads in the center.

Here is a selection of gemstone, bone, and wooden beads that I got, as well as a lampworked bead that missed the last shot.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Shopping for hammers

I sent off another application last week and received an acceptance from one show I applied for, Azalea Trails in Tyler, TX. Now if I can get into some of the others I'm applying for I'll be happy.

Over the weekend I took a friend to Canton. If you've never heard of Canton, its a small town that turns into one huge antique/flea market on First Monday weekends. While we were there I shopped for hammers with the intention of texturing some old hammers to use for texturing metal. I bought one antique hammer that is said to be a watch maker's hammer. I like the way the twisted metal handle fits in my hand. I will polish the head, but won't texture it since it looks kind of unusual, and may be an antique. The second hammer is a more common style and probably not that old so I'll try and texture it.

I also found a cool rock I had never seen. It's a natural fiber optic stone. Notice how the writing appears to be on the surface of the stone. It's known as TV rock or ulexite.
I found some Czech glass beads, mostly rondels, that will look good mixed with gemstones.

Sunday I managed to string some pearls with silver and/or crystal. I still have to put the clasps on.

Thursday I started a "long-term" sub job in 8th grade language arts. My degree is in English, so this is right up my alley. I'm not sure how long I'll be doing it, but it could be 6 weeks or more. I just spent the better part of three hours grading papers. I'm going to have to work really hard to get jewelry done during this period.