Health Column: Raising awareness of Raynauld's
My son, William, has Raynaud's in his my hands and feet.
He tells me ‘it makes my hands feel funny a lot of the time and it hurts when they get warm again’.
At the start of 2014, William helped me one morning to scrape the ice from the car and on the way to school, he was six-years-old at the time.
His hands started to go red and swell up. I always take photos of things like this just in case we ever need to show a doctor.
He warmed them up in class and he was fine. This happened a few times in the mornings and I took him to the doctors who referred us to Sheffield children’s hospital.
William was given a thorough check-up by the consultant and bloods were taken - much to Williams dismay. He was diagnosed with Raynaud’s and we have been under their care since.
We have seen the Raynaud’s charity SRUK, at the hospital twice now and they have been amazing.
They gave William some wrist warmers which William loved wearing until he lost one at school one day.
We sent the last one to William’s great grandma, who is 94-years-old, and asked her if she could make another one and a few weeks later we had three new sets.
SRUK, the Raynaud’s charity have given us a lot of information about Williams condition which has really helped us to understand and try and help William with his day-to -day keeping warm.
The hospital have given us information sheets for Williams teachers so that they are aware of his condition and what they need to do for him.
We don’t want him to appear different to the other children but equally William’s health is our priority.
Williams hands have never been as bad as they were back in 2014 but still get very cold at random times, for example, on a day in July his hands were freezing and he says that they “feel funny”.
William doesn’t always notice when his hands are freezing so it’s always a good excuse to get to hold his hands whilst we are out and about.
We have a re-chargable handwarmer that normally stay in the car just in-case we need to warm him up.
At school William knows what he has to do if his hands start to ‘feel funny’.
He normally puts them on the radiator because he says he can’t put them under the hot water as it makes them tingle.
Teachers are aware of William’s condition and how to help him. The onus is on William to let them know if he has a problem, although he constantly gets reminded at playtime about keeping warm by one of the teaching assistants when playing outside.
William is a very active nine-year-old who loves being outside. He does athletics, swimming, plays football, plays golf but his main sport at the moment is cricket. He is currently training with South Yorkshire schools.
We are determined as a family that Raynaud’s won’t stop William doing what he loves and we just need to find ways to manage and prevent issues before they become a problem.