Holy Polar Vortex Batman: RA And The Weather
If you were lucky enough not to get swallowed up by the polar vortex, consider yourself very, very lucky.
While New York was a balmy 50, I was on vacation, visiting my family in Michigan and it was horrible.
We got nearly a foot of snow and the temperature with wind chill was between -15 and -30.
There was a three day period where we didn’t leave the house. Schools were closed for days and days. I can’t remember weather like that for almost as long as I’ve been alive.
It’s interesting, because this was a time where the weather impacted everyone. With so much snow and such cold temperatures, it just didn’t make sense, and often bordered on unsafe, to go out.
But if you have RA, the weather can be an issue on a daily basis; come rain, come slow, come sleet, come hail, etc.
For me, the winter is hard. The cold causes pain and stiffness. I’m not even talking extreme cold, like that brought on by the polar vortex. But even thirty and forty degree weather can be hard on the joints.
The rain is also a pain. Whenever there are low lying clouds, I just don’t feel good. If it’s not enough trying to balance an umbrella in RA hands, RA days are just crummy. It’s hard to explain, but the change is barometric pressure is surely to blame.
And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.
But it is sort of hard to comprehend and understand that the weather can have such an impact – even if we are taking our meds – and we have absolutely no control over it.
There’s a lot we don’t have control over when it comes to our illnesses, I know, but the weather is just another factor that can throw a kink in your day or even your week.
One good thing about the polar vortex was the required rest and relaxation that I was forced to take, which meant that my joints didn’t have to withstand the frigid temperatures.
It doesn’t help that New York has been in the high 40s and low 50s since I came back. I’m not complaining because I prefer warmer weather to colder weather, but that change can be hard on the body with RA.
To my mind, the erratic weather that we have seen as a result of global warming, has a negative impact on our lives in that so many autoimmune illnesses seem to be impacted by the weather.
When the weather is twenty degrees one day and fifty the next, it confuses our bodies. And a confused, over-taxed RA body is never a good thing.
Hopefully we won’t be getting caught in another polar vortex any time soon. But if we do, weather-imposed lounge days might just be the best way to deal with it.
On a scale of 1(low) to 5(high), how difficult is it for you to talk about having RA?