Which might or might not be a hormone issue. 

Many years ago I saw an endocrinologist, who went through a tedious questionnaire with me that lasted at least an hour.  One of the questions was “Do you get colder or hotter than other people?”  I said, “I don’t know.  How cold or hot do other people get?”  He gave me this scathing look which basically meant, “Don’t be a smartass”.  I said “Seriously.  I don’t know how to answer that question.”  So he said, “If you’re in a room with other people and they’re comfortable, do you want to open a window?  Or if the window is open, do you want to close it?”  Ah.  That made more sense.  The answer was “no”. 

Too bad he isn’t around to ask me that question today. 

Over Christmas, I shared a suite on the beach with my friend Brenda, and at the last minute I remembered why this wasn’t going to be easy.  She’s always too hot, and I’m always too cold.  But we did what friends do.  We compromised.  During the day, she put up with me being warm.  At night I let it be as cold as she wanted.  But at some point, she said to me, “It seems to me that you are very sensitive to temperature.”  Hmmm. 

These days, there is no question about it.  I get colder than other people. 

The reason I was seeing an endocrinologist (Warning!  Anatomical references coming up!) was to try to figure out why I didn’t have periods very often.  Sometimes I would have one three months apart, and sometimes I wouldn’t have one for three years.  So at the conclusion of the tedious questionnaire, he said, well I can’t see what it could be, but there is one possibility…however, this is such a rare condition I doubt seriously that that could be it.  But we can do this blood test, which costs $80, and we have to send it off (to Johns Hopkins or somewhere like that) and we won’t know the results for a while.  The test was relatively new, and the doctors who developed it won the Nobel Prize for medicine just the year before.  What the hell, I said. 

Imagine his surprise–and mine–when it turned out I was one of those rare cases.  I had a deficiency of something called luteinizing hormone. This little hormone, which is produced by the pituitary gland has only one function.  When the time is right, it causes the egg to be released from the ovary.  That’s it.  And if the egg isn’t released, no period ensues. 

Suddenly, he was very interested in me.  I spent five days (!) in the hospital undergoing various tests for every other hormone known to science, and nothing else turned up.  They were of course particularly concerned about whether or not my pituitary gland was functioning properly, or whether or not I had a pituitary tumor.  The end result was, no one knows.  Sometimes my pituitary gland produced enough luteinizing hormone.  Sometimes it didn’t. 

At that time, I went into a serious I Hate Doctors mode.  Because for 12 years, they had been “treating” me when they didn’t know what the hell they were doing.  As time passed, I backed off that.  They were doing what they thought was right.  Their knowledge was limited, but that isn’t really their fault.  You can’t know what you have no way of knowing.  But at this time, I think knowledge about hormones is still in a pitiful state.  It’s like the last frontier.

So I thought of all this last night as I was trying to go to sleep and my feet were like frozen blocks of ice.  Eventually they got warm, and therefore, so did the rest of me.  I don’t know if that’s a perception issue, or if it’s really true that when your feet are cold, so is the rest of your body.  But I was like, where is the endocrinologist when you need him?


11 responses to “I Am FREEZING!

  1. On rare occasions I get the freezing feet thing too. Generally I put on socks, go back to bed, and then wake up roasting because my feet are too hot 🙂

    Mama kept her apartment swelteringly hot so maybe it’s genetic!

  2. Susie usually always has cold feet and hands, so I wonder if she has the same problem. Is there a medication for it?

  3. I recommend an electric blanket.. and as an old guy, it works fine as arthritis therapy…

  4. sc…there could be some cause like poor circulation or a thyroid deficiency and there are medications for those, but I suspect some of us are just…like that.
    Fakename smiles and waves at her friend tcarter who has just started his own blog…check it out. tc, it’s the part about having to get OUT of bed that is the problem 🙂 Fakesister does have boot warmers (or is it sock warmers?) for horseback-riding in winter. That’s what I need for everyday life.

  5. Teeny electric bootwarmers that use AA batteries. The SO put longer cables on them so I could attach the battery packs at the top of those long boots snooty horseback riders wear. The bootwarmers were originally designed for hunting and skiing.

    I was recently given a sample of chemical toe warmers that do, indeed, stick to your socks. They also work just fine but they are too thick for my feet, socks, and boots to co-exist.

    Neither of these options are good for all day, every day sort of use. It’s a lot of batteries or a lot of chemical packs. But for a couple of hours here, a couple of hours there, either one works just fine. Or invest in rechargeable AAs.

  6. When everyone else is comfortable, I am hot. When I am comfortable, everyone else is cold. I’ve always been that way. People have been asking me my whole life why I’m not wearing a coat. My mother still is still doing it, although I have explained it to her thousands of times.

    I believe that it’s true what they say about feet. When my feet are cold, the rest of me is cold too. In the summer I wear as little on my feet as possible (around the house, anyway), which keeps the rest of me feeling much cooler.

    FN – how is it to be a medical marvel?

  7. Lol GC…I understand completely. You almost can’t make it too hot for me. I like nothing better than summer, when I can wear a T-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops and be…unencumbered. But you make my point for me…some of us are just…like we are.
    As for being a medical marvel, even at the time I suspected I was in the hospital for all those tests so the endocrinologist could write a paper about it. Somewhere, I am Patient X 🙂

  8. Then I hope you were Patient X at someone else’s expense.

    I hate the summers in Oklahoma, and I REALLY hate summer in Florida. My wife is from Jacksonville, her sister lives there, her high school reunions are there, and I wind up in Jacksonville in August way more often than I would like.

    I have helped move family belongings to and from Tampa, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, and the Miami area, almost always in the summertime. The horror….

    The horror….

  9. Did I mention it can’t get too hot for me?:) During the two years I lived in Iowa, August was the hottest month and the natives were dying. I was like…this is the life!

  10. I know the frustrations of having cold feet. I used to get so cold when I went into restaurants. Most keep their thermostats hovering around 60 degrees. The employees love it, because they are so busy sweating waiting on customers that they fell to notice that some customers are wrapped up like Eskimos. I was one of those. It took having my thyroid tested several times over a period of ten years to get a positive test, revealing that I needed to take a thyroid supplement. The doctor explained, “the test is often wrong”, so you have to keep checking for the condition. Funny, I still get cold feet but at least I can take off my coat in a restaurant.

  11. “Fluffy” it is so cool to see you here! Thanks for coming! And I have the same exact problem in restaurants, as well as grocery stores. I always keep a sweater or jacket in my car, even in the hottest days of summer, because I know when I go into either of those places I’ll be freezing. In fact, it will be even worse because of the contrast. Based on what you said, I should probably have my thyroid retested…ten years, huh?

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