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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Saturday, October 13, 2007


(Yes, that is the name of a song)

Dan and I are very fortunate to be reasonably healthy people. Oh, sure we have our aches and pains; it goes with the territory of “getting older”, right? We watch what we eat. I am very good at that; I watch every forkful. (I watch my weight too. I keep it right where I can see it) And I always ask Dan, “How come every time you bend your elbow, your mouth opens?” So we do watch what we eat…cholesterol you know comes in all shapes and sizes, just like the commercial says.

We are fortunate because (KNOCK WOOD) we don’t have a lot of pills to take. I have a cholesterol pill I take once a day, I take Calcium with Vitamin D and because of my low white blood count I try to remember to take a Vitamin C every day. Dan has a few pills too, but nothing major.

His last trip to the VA hospital in Iron Mountain, the Dr strongly suggested Dan start taking fish oil capsules and one baby aspirin per day. These are both designed to help with keeping the heart healthy and will “compliment” the cholesterol medicine he takes. Before I went out and purchased fish oil capsules I did some research. I had no idea there was so much to know about fish oil! There are many varieties of fish oil and some are better than others and others are harmful due to mercury content! So if your Dr ever suggests fish oil…do your home work. In my research I have found two brands that are rated as OK. One is the Spring Valley brand (I think Wal-Mart carries that) and the other is Nature Made. There are other OK brands too, but those are readily available to us in our area.

So for us to continue on our healthy streak we will both be taking fish oil (also, a side benefit of that is supposed to help with dry skin!) and baby aspirin. NOW IF SOMEONE COULD JUST COME WITH A CURE FOR WHAT REALLY BOTHERS ME THIS TIME OF YEAR! HIVES!

I am basically allergic to the cold and damp. This didn’t start until about 3 or 4 years ago and each year it is a little bit worse. The first time I noticed it, I thought I was getting mosquito bites through my jeans and long underwear on my behind. By the time I got in the house, I had welts the size of Rhode Island on by rear…and they continued on down my leg. It affects the bottoms of my feet, the palms of my hands, and between my fingers. I wear what I refer to as my cold fingered gloves. They are actually meant for people with arthritis, but I use them for two reasons; they help with the hives (keep my hands warm most of the time) and I can type in them (the fingers of the gloves only go up to just below the finger nail bed line).

This year, I have started getting hives on my ears, around my lips (noticed that while eating some FAT FREE ice cream this summer) and a bit around my eyes. My Dad had hives almost all of his life. His eventually got so bad that he would get them in his mouth and throat…which IS a life threatening situation. He was put on a medicine called Periactin, which I hope I don’t have to go on because of the side effects.

These hives can “attack” me even in warm weather, so it isn’t just fall/winter/spring. And they are getting more troublesome and making my life more miserable and complicated at times. Even things that you take for granted, like peeling potatoes??? I have to have Dan peel the potatoes this time of year. Ya know how good it feels at the end of the day to get your shoes off? Maybe put your slippers on? I can’t do that, even with my heavy socks and slippers.

I have ALWAYS had cold hands and feet, especially my toes. I did frost bite my toes several years ago ice fishing but managed to save them. They would actually turn purple. For a while I was on a BP medicine that was supposed to help open the capillaries in the feet so the blood would “run” to the toes. It helped to some degree.

With my “cold finger gloves” on, my hands stay warm, but my finger tips are ice cold….so much so that if I stuck my finger tip into something boiling hot, I don’t know that I would notice the heat until the skin had peeled off my finger.

I have researched this till I am blue in the face (and fingers). I have had tests for the cold digit problem (at one point, the Drs figured I had Reynauds Syndrome but apparently don’t). As far as the hives, the Drs just say that I am allergic to the cold…not much can be done except to avoid the cold. But it happens even when it is NOT cold. It happens in the house.

So if ANY OF YOU experience hives to this degree, and have found something that works for you, would you please share it with me? As I am sitting here typing this, my ears and eyebrows are itching, but my hands and fingers are fine…there is neither rhyme nor reason for how or when it will affect me. Any thoughts???? cclementz@lighthouse.net That is my email address


  1. Hi, Cathy,
    I will ask my Dr friend (Debbie Allspector) about this. I have known two people with a syndrome where the symptoms are similar to yours (especially regarding the cold). It'll be a few days before I talk to her again (Mon or Tuesday).

  2. Thanks! I appreciate it and if you'd like to email me, please feel free. cclementz@lighthouse.net


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