My brother just sent me the coolest pair of black gloves from the folks at Agloves. Great improvement to my quality of life. Thanks, bro.
The gloves were created so that folks can use their touchscreens (like iPhones, iPads) in cold weather. Slightly different application for me: I like wearing gloves now since my hands are always freezing from the nasty chemo-related neuropathy. I can now type away and make calls with less pain since my fingers are protected from directly touching the cool screen.
How do these crazy gloves work?
The gloves’ secret is that they are woven with silver-coated nylon fibers, which maintains the electrical conductivity needed to use the touchscreen. Touchscreens on the iPad and iPhone do not work because of finger pressure or heat. Instead, the screen reacts to the tiny electrical conductivity that naturally occurs in your skin from the moisture, salts, and oils on your fingertips. So if someone tries to type wearing ordinary gloves, it’s a no-go: the conductivity is lost. For folks like me who need to type but find it painful, the Agloves are perfect: my hands stay warm, stay off the cool screen and I can keep up my Angry Birds score. Now you know that Silver (Ag) is the most electrically conductive element. Copper and Gold are next.
Really messed-up nerves (RMUN).
My six months of chemo earlier this year left me with tingling, pain, numbness and cold sensitivity in my fingers and feet. Yes, you can have all of these sensations simultaneously. It kind of feels like that cold, burning sensation you get if you hold a snowball for too long. The technical name is “Chemo-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy” (CIPN). I call it “Really Messed-Up Nerves” (RMUN, my new acronym). The platinum-based drug, oxaliplatin, in one of my chemo cocktails, FOLFOX, really did a number on the myelin sheathing (fatty covering) of the peripheral sensory nerves in my hands and feet. When this sheathing is damaged, it causes the nerves to sort of “short-circuit.” The scrambled signals from the nerves are interpreted as numbness, cold-sensitivity, tingling, pain and other weird feelings in my hands and feet.
I often wear gloves at home to lessen the painful sensations caused by touching anything cool. And my hiking socks insulate and cushion my feet from the cool hardwood floor and help avoid things brushing against my feet.
The good news: my RMUNs should repair themselves to some degree. Hopefully, they will be back to normal in six months to a year.