If you’ve ever spent a lot of time outside in the snow, you probably know how it feels to have your fingers or toes go numb from the cold. You might have even joked about having frostbite, but do you actually know what frostbite feels like?
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Frostbite is an injury caused by freezing of the skin and underlying tissues.”
The first stage of frostbite is called frostnip, which occurs when your skin gets pale or red and feels very cold. This is also when you might start feeling numbness or tingling in the affected areas.
As the cold progresses, it may become superficial or severe frostbite. Superficial frostbite affects the skin, but severe frostbite can hurt the tissues beneath the skin.
When Reddit user Forlurn decided to sleep in his car one night, the prospect of severe frostbite never even entered his mind. The next morning, though, his feet were completely frozen.
Photos: Imgur; Reddit / Forlurn
CORRECTION: February 21, 2018
An earlier version of this story said Forlurn slept in his car December 28-29, 2018. It was 2017.
Forlurn shared the above picture on Reddit, where it got a lot of attention.
It has now been up-voted over 89,000 times.
This is the first full body picture I’ve taken showing my stumps.
I find it pretty surreal to know that it’s me. I wanted to share.
During the night of December 28-29, 2017, Forlurn decided to sleep in his car. In January, he turned to Reddit to explain exactly what transpired:
This happened because I thought it would be smart to sleep in my car and save money by not getting a motel.
My boss was coming back from being out of town the next day, at which point we were going to go to Wisconsin and work there for a few weeks where we had lodging set up.
My shoes were wet from walking around in the fresh snow a bit, so I took them off. I had the heat on and figured my socks would dry out pretty quickly.
Some time while I was asleep I ran out of gas. I figured I could just tough it out and figure something out in the morning.
My feet hurt really bad for a while. Then they just stopped hurting, altogether. I went back to sleep.
A few hours later, I tried to put my shoes back on, and found that my feet were frozen solid. My hands were very painful now, and were beginning to lose most of their mobility and sensation to touch.
I contacted an ambulance and went to the hospital.
Once the feet began to thaw, all of the pain came back. It has been the most painful thing I have ever experienced.
Doctors had hoped some of the flesh in my feet would receive adequate circulation and some of the foot could be saved. This has not been the case, and both will be removed mid-shin on the morning of Friday. January 26th.
I’m looking forward to cutting these damn things off, as massive nerve damage is a shitty thing to be stuck with. I am also excited to start working with prosthetics.
Once I get comfortable with prosthetics there will be very little I won’t be able to do that I could have done with real legs.
I was a pretty lazy, unhappy and unmotivated person before all of this happened. I am looking at this as a second chance. Every day I will appreciate that with a bit of work, I can go out and be active and do things that make me happy.
So, please do not feel sorry for me. Soon I will be running and jumping and possibly skipping again. Unless skipping requires a specialized type of prosthetic. I ain’t payin’ for some fancy prosthetic just to go skip around.
On February 20, 2018, after recovering his amputations, Forlurn finally felt confident enough to share a picture of his entire body.
Although there’s no question that what happened to Forlurn is tragic, it’s raised awareness about the effects of severe frostbite.
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