Cold, Dead Fingers

As I type this, I have just realized that the tingling I’ve had in my fingers since this morning, when I ventured out into a blizzard to get weekend snacks — don’t ask, it wasn’t my idea — is, in fact, more than likely frostbite.

It’s an odd realization, not least of all because there’s a significant portion of my brain that’s arguing against the idea for all manner of reasons: I wasn’t outside for that long and It wasn’t really that cold, surely and As soon as I got home, even though I’d lost the feeling in my fingers, I ran them under hot water, so why shouldn’t they be okay, or even But my right hand is fine, why is my left hand still feeling a little numb and tingly, that’s ridiculous that it’s only one hand?

The real reason I think part of my brain refuses to accept it is far less logical than even those (admittedly, very illogical) thoughts: simply, part of my brain refuses to believe that frostbite is real, in some very basic way. It’s like scurvy, something else that I know objectively is real, but somehow still feel as if it’s an entirely fictional thing, made up by people who wanted to make both history and pirates seem more interesting by implication.

As a result, me having frostbite just feels… almost impossible? Or, at least, severely unlikely; it’s as if I’d have caught the Black Plague or some science-fiction ailment that the real world has yet to encounter. Never mind the tingling in the fingers, or the idea that I should probably put my hand in warm water for 15 minutes every now and then to try and raise the temperature periodically for the next day or so. Simply the very idea that I could have frostbite at all feels so ridiculous as to be unworthy of further consideration.

If and when I lose my fingers to this, I’ll keep you posted on how extensive my disbelief continues to be.

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