Friday, February 04, 2005

Frostbitten, Twice Shy, Babe

I like exaggeration when recounting an experience but I feel that this picture best represents the truth when I tell you that our trip to the Austrian Alps was cold. So that when I tell you, "It was so cold, my hair froze," you can see exactly what I mean on what otherwise started off as a good hair day. Or when I say, "It was so cold, my eyelashes kept freezing together," you can look at the picture and say, "Yes, yes indeed. There's a bit of frost on your eyelashes as well as a smidge on your eyebrow," and I'll reply, "I KNOW! It was cold!" Not to mention the frost collecting on my head and the coating on my zipper and surrounding flaps. Oh yes, my friends. I believe I truly walked through the valley of the shadow of death...and it's in Lech, Austria. Actually I snowshoed through the valley of the shadow of death. And I took a look at my life...and realized there's nothing left. Because I've been laughing and blasting so hard, that, even my mama thinks that my mind is gone. But the good news is that I got out...just when I started to feel faint, a vision of Coolio (how appropriate in more ways than one) appeared and pointed me home. Granted I didn't make it out without first degree frostbite of the right foot and some major blisters from ill-fitting shoes, but I'm here to tell about it. And frostbite, even in the first degree (no toes falling off or bloody blisters) sucks. Otherwise the previous day of skiing and overall scenery was top-notch. You can see some of the mountains in the reflection of my sunglasses. It was -20 C in the sun (-4 F). Who knows how cold in the shade and with the wind chill skiing down a massive mountain. My cheeks give you an idea in this picture:


  1. Anonymous8:09 AM

    What do they do to treat first degree frostbite? Warm water? Whiskey?

  2. Anonymous8:44 AM

    Unintentionally, I forewent the doctor. It was a matter of stepping in the shower, excited and glad to warm up my body and numb toes. Only after about thirty seconds the most unbearable stinging started in my toes. I called Ryan in because the pain was literally too shocking and intense for me to play around with the water temperature and we watched the last three toes and part of my foot surrounding them turn from a very pale yellowish grey, to a deep purple, and then suddenly swell (also painful) and turn pale again. The swelling and numbness stayed around for a couple of days. We skipped the next day of activities--good thing, I read that it's much worse to thaw the body part and expose it again since. Everything I've read said that an assessment of the tissue damage can't be made until a couple of days after which has made me still consider going to a doctor, but it has felt fine the past two days (only took four days for me to feel fine). But I guess had I known just how numb my foot was I should have gone to the doctor. From what I understand the treatment isn't much different (for little first degree frostbite anyway) except that they have all powerful drugs and they know what NOT to do (like massaging the area).