I am going to be very British and talk about the weather or more particularly the changeable weather. Be it global warming or natural shifts in the temperature (I am not qualified as a climate scientist and have no credentials to express my opinion) there has been some noticeably changeable weather recently. I have previously focussed on the weather for instance when I discussed Surviving a Heatwave. It was summer, and we were expecting the weather to be heating up. Gradual seasonal changes are not a massive problem for spoonies, in the scheme of things. But what about when things become more dramatic?
Sudden Changes to the weather
Let me give you an example. Last week we had days when the temperature reached 28 degrees celsius. It was hot, I will talk about how the temperature affects my Fibromyalgia soon. Here is a snapshot of the forecast provided for out location for the coming week.
I need to point about that in the last couple of days the temperature has been even lower. In other words, less than half what it was last week. To understand the implications of this I think it will help to explain how different weather types affect me, and many other members of the spoonie community.
How Weather affects Fibromyalgia
The image above is a feast for the eyes and I appreciate snow from an aesthetic point of view. In fact I still can’t help but wish for snow every Christmas. However, when I get cold my pain levels escalate. I am not talking about when your hands get chilly and you need to wrap up for a few minutes to start to feel better ( how I remember those days). Since living with Fibro the cold weather causes pain deep in my bones. If I get cold it can take an awfully long time to warm up again.
As well as the pain aspect, cold weather also causes IBS complications. I have had a few experiences of taking a gentle stroll around the neighbourhood, without realising it my stomach has felt the cold which has caused me to go running (well a semi-speedy waddle, running is beyond my abilities these days). To read more about the experience of Fibro alongside IBS check out this post.
Wet weather causes its own set of problems, it doesn’t matter what the temperature is, hot or cold the results are the same. When it rains it causes joint pain. I know people with arthritis have the same experience. The joint pain is (typical of Fibromyalgia) wide spread and can affect any or all of the joints. Fortunately I tend to experience it worse in a specific joint, often a knee. My sympathies are with fellow spoonies who have high levels of pain in all their joints at once on each occasion.
Long before my joints are affected by rain. My head feels the impact of heavy-grey storm clouds. This can range from a headache that can be brought under control by a combination of prescription co-codamol tablets, Ibuprofen, a Kool ‘n Soothe Strip* (affiliate link) and diffusing essential oils (my headache blend is a combination of Peppermint, Eucalyptus and Lavender). All the way through to a headache so severe that none of these will help it and all I can do is hope to fall into the oblivion of sleep. Unfortunately there is no rationality to the level of clouds/air pressure and the severity of the headache. As with many Fibro symptoms these are extremely unpredictable.
Hot weather is in many ways the preference but unfortunately it still has its drawbacks. Like many people with Fibromyalgia I suffer from Hyperhidrosis. As you can imagine if I find myself dripping with sweat for no apparent reason when I am sitting down and not exerting myself, on a mild day. Imagine the difference when you add hot weather to the mix. When the temperature reaches about 25 degrees celsius I rely on a sweatband just to function at my desk. You can read more about Hyperhidrosis here.
Alongside the problems of hyperhidrosis in the heat, I also have problems when the humidity level rises. At the time of writing this the humidity is in the eighties. So even though the temperature is a comfortable eighteen degrees at this moment, it is sticky and causing my energy levels to plummet. Of course, my energy levels, unfortunately, are never what I would wish them to be but this is just another problem of living with Fibro.
Rapid changes in the weather
As I am sure you can appreciate. When you have a week, like this one, that you seem to go through all of the seasons in one week. It is difficult for the body to adjust to what mother nature is throwing at it. If you are a fellow spoonie I am sure much of this will be very familiar. If you are not, but more a curious reader. Next time you find yourself doing that very British thing of discussing the weather spare a thought for the poor spoonie community who are living with the implications of the changes.