Exposure January 13, 2020

Well this week is going to prove to be an interesting one.

Here is the picture I finally took of Dec. 31 to Jan. 7, 2020 blocks. I’m loving this!

Tomorrow we are slated to be the coldest place on Earth. I’m serious. It’s a bit comical with my Exposure “issue”.

So first quilt catch up and then I will add a bit more about my circumstances.

Here are the temperature charts I made:

– this weekend I added Kona Black in as we heard about this lovely Polar Vortex.

I choose my colours to reflect how I envision the temperatures. I’m pleased to see they put this Vortex as purple too!

Zero is Kona Breeze as I can deal with it – bundled up. It is actually more comfortable for me than higher temps where I need to be bundled still but they are too warm to actually be bundled up so much and I then I have a hard time regulating my temperature. Layers are constantly being put on and off and I am walking in a perpetual state of “burning”. Zero is good. Below zero to -4/-5C this year I have been able to go out bundled up as well so they are light blues. As it gets darker those are where we are getting to the deep freeze zone. When I was younger we would head up to the ski hill and if temps dropped lower than -20C as we were driving we would say, ok no skiing today – that was my limit. So -18/-20 starts the purples!

Kona black is -33 and lower – as really who lives in that?!??

You will see the greens getting warmer as the numbers climb. Parrot is the first real warm green as it is the lowest temp I have been able to be outside in without coverage 13-14C, for any period of time. I am hoping that will be different this year, we will see in Austin at Quiltcon.

Here is a picture of the tools I am using:

I also did a happy dance finding this wine holder that my husband received as a Christmas gift:

I currently store my “upstairs” fabric in wooden wine crates that I’ve repurposed so this fits nicely on top. The two sides are the perfect size for my 2.5″ strips and I put zero and below on one side and above zero on the other.

This past week we have not had any Chinooks, life is busy with school starting today from holidays, and with this huge drop in temperature my body is really reactive right now – for me that means I am constantly “on fire”.

I relate it to when you touch something hot. it’s a burning prickly sensation. The house is different temperatures throughout due to the extreme cold and fluctuations in temperature are a big issue for me. This weekend I could not sew as my one side would start burning too much as it is by the window. Anywhere in the kitchen besides cooking at the stove I was burning. I am “puffier” than usual due to it and I react to any pressure on my body. Sitting in a chair will feel like I have a seat heater going, it will get painful so I have to move, same with laying down in bed. Sleep is an issue.

So back to when this happened.

Day 2 of Exposure:

The next day I woke up and my iPhone Face ID wouldn’t work – I thought something was wrong with my phone and then I looked in the mirror.

The swelling had continued over night. Edema is always worse when you first wake up – but it wasn’t pretty. I went to work on trying to find myself someone to see. As a medical doctor I don’t (did not) have my own doctor. Not a good idea, but a common issue for doctors. I knew the specialist I wanted to see as he and I had been study partners in med school and I thought okay I CAN TRUST HIM.

Issue number 1, he was out of town. (But yeah for email!)

Issue 2, he wanted me to see an allergist as well.

Issue 3, the Allergist wanted a GP referral.

He kindly had his nurse send in a Rx for me for some meds he thought I should start right away in order not to continue getting worse. If I got worse he said go to ER – however, I wasn’t really convinced they would have any idea what to do with me beyond what we were doing…

There was also a huge list of labs to get, as number one when weirdness appears.

– rule out cancer. I knew this; but, I kept this to myself at the time.

Many people who get cancer or another serious systemic illness can have reactions to changes in temperatures.

My nurse, who has worked with me since I was in medical school, was able to help coordinate one of my previous colleagues stepping in as my GP to help facilitate the referrals and labwork.

Okay I thought, all good. Specialist squeezing me in Monday (it was now Friday) I was going to pick up the meds to start as well as an Epi Pen. Labs I would get at my office Monday. Perfect. Except now I needed to leave the house to get to the pharmacy. We are in a condo so I am parked in a parkade but to then park and go outside…..I wasn’t sure what would happen.

My husband and I decided I would try and meet him through this inner maze we have downtown called the Plus 15. He talked me through where I would enter – about a 2 minute walk from where we are located to get inside. I dug this mask out of my ski gear, not appreciating at the time how much this was to become a constant in my life. I put my google maps on and set out to get to the Plus 15 as quickly as possible. As I was walking/run-walking there I wasn’t feeling any weird sensations in my face or body. Success! I made it through the doors and quickly took my mask off before people saw it. Found my way through the maze to meet DH with a friend of his for lunch who I’ve known forever so I really wasn’t worried about him seeing my face.

DH walked me inside to the pharmacy. I grabbed everything, and then he pointed out the way back, as now it would be different as it wasn’t directly back. I never use the Plus 15 as I don’t work DT and I do prefer being outside. DH works DT so he uses it all the time. Everyone does. I was cursing myself for not having gotten to know these routes before. As I got closer to where I thought I should exit my GPS wouldn’t work as it has poor reception with the tall buildings. So I guessed and exited outside.

OMG. It was block before I should have exited but I thought it wouldn’t be an issue.

Just a small block.


Literally, as I was about a block form the condo, my whole body started burning (not just my face) and I felt my legs swelling – my jeans were getting really restrictive. I got inside and up to the condo. Took everything off to see my legs – my body – bright red and swollen. Like one giant hive I guess. So it didn’t matter that things were “covered”.

I texted DH a photo and he started home. I took the meds. For those who are curious I was started on a combination of Blexten and Rupall (both at 4x their regular dosing) as well as Ranitidine twice a day and Prednisone 50 mg — I already had Reactine 8X regular dosing on board, and Benadryl, as that had been what I was using to try and mitigate this. It was like I had taken nothing.

This was Day 2 of Exposure. I was petrified inside. Calm, cool on the outside.

I’m a doctor, a mom and a wife. I take care of people. I’m healthy. WTF.

I will attempt to post on Wednesday Day 3, 4 and 5, so the weekend and then the Monday I see the first doctor. It gets better, as in more interesting. And I will post my blocks I finished up to today 🙂

Until then,





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