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New, and a question

Hi friends,

I was diagnosed in July 2017 and have had ongoing symptoms since. I live in MN, and am being treated at the Mayo Clinic, which has been awesome, because the previous Rheumy I went to diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia instead of RA. For the record, I am 48 years old and male.

I know there are a lot of opinions about where one lives and how that can impact quality of life. And I know you can't give medical advise over the Internet, so I'm really not asking for that. Since last Saturday, I've been in Colorado visiting my parents for Christmas. My first day was a little rough, but that could be expected after hauling luggage around an airport. But Yesterday and today, I have sprung out of bed as if I have no RD.

Have others moved to CO and seen a difference in their symptoms? Right now, I know I have RA because I still have some joint pain, but I can jump out of bed instead of having to slowly push myself up off the night stand to get out of bed.

So many variables...just wondering if anyone experienced something similar, and if the effect was long lasting.

  1. I have heard of this happening. It has something to do with altitude and pressure. Did you go from lower land/higher pressure to higher altitude/lower pressure?

    I have also heard that if you have lung involvement, it makes things worse to go to higher altitude because of less oxygen.

    I don't know if this is what is happening to you, but it is my best guess.

    Enjoy the reprieve.


    1. Yes, I went from much lower altitude to much higher altitude - somewhere around 750 feet above sea level to 5000 feet above sea level. Interestingly, the barometric pressure is not much changes from spot to spot: 30.58" at home, 30.25" in CO. I have no lung involvement (yet? I hope not - we've done no tests for that but I'm not sure what I would expect as symptoms if I did) and so breathing has not been an issue.

      There are so many variables in play here:

      1. I'm on vacation, so no work or other stress.
      2. Different location.
      3. Maybe my meds are finally starting to work? I'll find out (perhaps) in a few days when I head back home.
      4. I want Colorado to work because I am close to family then, and maybe my brain is playing tricks on me.
      5. Again, no stress - no "having" to get up in the morning and when I do I don't have anything I "have" to do.

      Thanks for the reply, kt...very informative. CO is not a bad place to live if one can find a job...

      1. So I went to do Yoga with my 81-year old mother yesterday, and woke up again feeling refreshed. A little more sore in my arms and back and such, but I would have expected that. Do the entire hour-long routine and only had to stop once - when they did downward dog because the pressure on my wrists was too intense. It is very gentle yoga, but I like it nonetheless and who could complain about doing a class with octogenarians?

        Hoping for a hike on Friday when it will be 50 out. That's a far cry from what it will be like when I get home to the Twin Cities, where it will be -5 when we land at best. I have had lots of flares when there have been significant drops in temperatures like that...we'll see.

        So far...I am looking at jobs and housing out here.

        1. I’m glad you are feeling good on vacation. That is always a plus when dealing with RA. I always tend to feel worse when I travel. I can say though from my personal experience (I am 49 had RA since I was 17) that there is not a Cut and dry way to look at RA. If you try to find contributing factors you will start to see so many contradicting variables. I would tend to think that it is quite possible you are just coincidentally having a streak of good RA days and that if you stayed there long enough, you would most likely experience a flare. I know that sounds kinda pessimistic but I am gauging my opinion from my own experience. Just when I think I have found the right diet, climate or medication, I eventually experience a flare. However if Colorado is a climate conducive to good RA days then I may consider moving. Like my doctor reminded me at my last flare, there is no cure for RA, only ways to help prevent as many flares.

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