Frostbite Sucks (share your stories of cold weather here!)

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   Don't know if y'all have ever had frostbite, but it sucks.

For those of you who don't know there are three stages of frostbite:

Red: no permanent damage, feels cold, stiff.  Not really any danger.

White/blue: Feels warm, long-lasting damage, very painful to warm up.

Black: Permanent damage, no feeling, possible required amputation.

  I have always liked the cold, and last winter, on the coldest day that year, I went outside to see what it feels like.  If you include wind chill it was at least -20 F (sorry, live in U.S. and still measure everything unintelligently)

I wore three layers of pants, three on my feet, two or three on my head and face, an undefinable amount on my torso and three on my hands.  I felt like a giant marshmallow.  I get outside, greeted by a gust of wind, and start wondering around in knee deep drifts of snow.

About five, maybe ten minutes later, I took off my outer layers of gloves for a minute to pee (I really had to, okay?) and when I put my outer two layers of hand protection on they were frozen already.  Stupidly, I had put them on, thinking my hands would warm them up.  Nope, the opposite happened (duh) and they stayed frozen, freezing my fingers.  (looking back I realize I should've just warmed them inside my coat)

  At that point I turned around, my fingers really hurting from freezing.  My vision started to blur from wind or frost or early snow blindness and I felt apathic.  I finally saw the house, but that last minute was hard.  I was so tired.  trudging through the snow and I stopped feeling almost anything on my legs, hands, feet, face...

  Once I got inside I had type one frostbite on pretty much everything, and probably had early hypothermia, but all of my fingers had some of type two on it.  I immedietly ran them under a hot faucet and my eyes watered from the pain.  (it's debated weather you should thaw frostbite as fast as possible or slowly).  For about a week afterward playing guitar was an excercise of ignoring my blistered finger tips.  It took two for them to stop tingling every time I touched anything.  Thankfully I don't have permanent nerve damage and I didn't succumb to apathy out there.  I understand what they mean when they say dying of cold is pleasant.

The night before that a neighbour and friend walked into our house at a late hour, having walked nearly a mile in the dark.  His truck had gotten stuck in a drift and he barely made it in time to save his toes.  Still can't feel one of them.

  -20 or-whatever-it-was is really cold, you guys.  Just... don't do stupid y'all.  (but if you do, be sure to share your entertaining stories!) 😁

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Last winter I flew a drone outside, wasn't too cold, maybe -10C. I had these mittens that do not have fingertips so I could operate the RC and also touchscreen. (I know there are special gloves for that, but yes) There was some windchill too, but nothing too bad. So I did ca 20min flying session. Since I was so focused on flying and keeping my drone safe and what shots to do, mentally I didn't have the the capacity to think about cold fingers. When I ended the flight, then I realized that my fingers (and hands in general) were very red and sluggish from the cold. Also it hurt later quite a bit, but as I entered the warm car, everything warmed up, after 30min or so. But it still hurt. I just held the hands near my warm body and rubbed them together to get the (warm) blood flowing again.

If it had happened to access near a house, I'd put the hands in "cold" tap water and gradually warmed it up by adding warmer water over time. Just the make the temperature difference smaller. Hot tap water on frozen fingers is not good idea, could mess the skin up even more. (F.e you wouldn't pour boiling water in a frozen glass, as it will shatter due to sudden thermal expansion)

Also once I had a chance to feel ca -28C, no wind luckily, but as long as I didnt stand still, it was fine (clearing snow, etc). But after 30min or so, my nose felt very cold and had to return inside. Like the insides of the nose started to dry up in the cold or something.

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Never had frostbite before, the closest I have ever come was going out in 19ºF temperatures with a thin Underarmour long sleeve shirt and a regular cotton shirt and pants. The sun still hadn't risen and when I tried to take a sip from my Camelbak, the water had frozen in the line. I heard it crunch when I tried to see what was going on with it.

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  Thanks for the comments y'all!  Using cold water first makes sense (I've even heard of people rubbing it with snow before they heat up).  Definetely don't use hotter water than is normally comfortable though (our water heater is set to low, so it was fine -- no burns).

  I came back to write an update on a new friend.  My sisters co-workers husband, who I am now friends with.  He worked (and still does) outdoors construction-type stuff and one winter day it was actually -40 out (doesn't matter if it's celsius or fahrenhiet).  One of the coldest days that has happened in a long time.  His gloves had holes in them and after his shift he had found that his entire hands were black from frostbite.  He hadn't noticed because at that point the skin feels warm, so he thought it was fine.

  He was lucky to not get his fingers or entire hands amputated, but he has permanent nerve damage.  This has happened twice now and so he can't feel anything on his hands.  It took years before he could tell if he was touching something or not, but he still can't feel pain.  He used to work in firefighting and was one of the crews best because he could get second and third degree burns and not even notice until he actually looked at them.  I had watched him stick his hands in a fire, burn them and then continue to carry a heavy load back inside.

  He's gotten third stage frostbite twice and once you get frostbitten once you get it easier the next time, so it only has to be too cold to go out without a sweater and he'll get frostbite on his hands.


  It was way before my time, but my great grandfather had nearly lost his feet in a war.  There was a blizzard and he had no boots for one reason or another and they planned on amputating his feet once the morning came, but the whole night a nurse had massaged his feet and when the surgeon came in he found that his feet were fine.  #FootMassageSavesLives (lol)


P.S: I suggested this game to him, and he said he's already played it but didn't care for it (Gasp!).  Refering to @conanjaguar's post 'How TLD Are Ya' I met an actual heritic.  Burn him at the stake!  😁

Edited by Third Try
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