Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer
Swamp Monster

Swamp Monster

I live in the same place I grew up. I guess I love it, maybe? The biggest reason I love my city is the four distinct seasons. The Fall brings a beautiful breeze and a long transition of colors. The winter is rather moderate with lots of snow (until recent years) and the Spring, well, the Spring brings flowers (and pollen, ick) and the beginning of a hot, humid summer. Okay, so, three out of four isn’t bad. The end of Spring and Summer are my least favorite times of years, always. Let me tell you why.

Sinus infections due to humidity

Storytime: Around my sophomore year of high school I experienced debilitating sinus infections. They were extraordinary. I even missed multiple consecutive days of school. They were brought on mostly during the spring and summer when humidity was at its highest. I cursed the weather but I knew it wasn’t going to change. Why? I live in a swamp. Not actually in a bayou or anything just an extremely swampy area. I eventually got sinus correction surgery and my problems all disappeared for a while. By “a while”, I mean, two years until I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. After a lot of trial and error we settled on a biologic that controlled my symptoms by 80% (sometimes even 90%). Unfortunately, according to my doctor, this biologic also suppressed the part of my immune system that fights sinus infections. The freaking things came back and not in a subtle way either.

I had to decide: give up the one medication that took me from unable to work to living a somewhat normal life or get rid of the sinus infections. I’ll be honest, even now (four years after first starting this biologic) I still want to get off it. My doctor wants to as well but not until a new TNF inhibitor comes out.

But, this is only part of a very old story. So, why am I telling you now?

Humidity strikes again

I am currently sitting through a two-week rainstorm. Apparently, we are not meant to see the sun again for another seven? Eight days? Not that anyone can really predict the forecast nowadays. I recently wrote an article about how I loved the winter but the cold exacerbated my RA symptoms. It now seems the humidity affects me just as much. But, instead of pain and swelling, I feel ill. I have a low-grade fever, muscle aches, and an overall rundown feeling. My joints aren’t ballooning but they certainly feel swollen!

It’s a little ironic that I live in a swamp because I often describe RA as though my body is moving through mud puddle. Every action takes extra force and strength to push against the weight on me.

So, how do I deal with it? I take antibiotics for my infections. I stick my head inside a humidifier and hope my sinuses clear properly. As for the flare feeling, I use a heating pad and drink a lot of water. I’m not sure what my logic is behind those but they help. And, of course, my handy flare manager tasks because at the end of it all it’s still a flare or, elevation of symptoms.

Does weather affect your RA? Is it the temperature? Season? Humidity?

I know I should move and eliminate one of my symptom triggers. I curse the mobile ground I live on (my city continuously sinks) but those dang cherry blossoms keep reeling me back in!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The RheumatoidArthritis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Mary Sophia Hawks moderator
    10 months ago

    Thanks. The humidity is not the main factor for me, it’s the grey and rain. I have SADD and grey days multiply the fatigue and pain. I do best with sunny days, warm or hot, humid or not.
    MS

  • Monica Y. Sengupta moderator author
    10 months ago

    Thanks for sharing, MS! I am sorry the rainy days affect you so poorly but I am glad that humidity is not a big trigger.

    ~Monica

  • rockcandi
    11 months ago

    Weather extremes definitely make me feel worse and flare up. The heat, sun, and humidity drain me, make me feel exhausted, like I’m walking through deep sand, and make me light headed, nauseous and dizzy. The cold and wind that cuts through me like a knife make me hurt so badly. I feel stiff, swollen, unable to move and all around pain. Both extremes make my muscles ache. I live in an area of four definite seasons also but the winters can be brutally cold (down in the negatives) and the summers can be stifling hot and humid. Would love to move somewhere like Arizona so I could eliminate one of the extremes and since I hate winter due to my RA and just bc I hate winter lol, then hot and dry would be the best choice for me. I’m not sure it’ll ever happen bc I will always “follow” my husband and this home is where his heart is.

  • Monica Y. Sengupta moderator author
    11 months ago

    Thanks for commenting, rockcandi!! I totally hear you…I wish I could just stay in Colorado but their winters are even more brutal than what I’m used to.

    The sun always put me to sleep but my lethargy seems more pronounced nowadays…I’m glad I’m not the only one! Is it very humid where you are right now?

    ~Monica

  • rockcandi
    11 months ago

    Yes, extremely! I grew up in Texas with a short stint in Florida and a few years here (Ohio) after I was born and then again for a couple years in middle and high schools (which is when my husband and I got together- 9th grade). So I thought I knew what heat and humidity was all about! I don’t remember it being this hot and humid when we loved here when I was younger and spent a lot of summers here too. I really think there is something to global warming bc our summers now are almost as hot and definitely as humid as Texas summers. I have a friend who lives in Arizona and she says the summers are great there bc even though it’s hot it’s a dry heat.

  • Danielle
    11 months ago

    Humidity and Thunderstorms are my Achilles heel. The cold bothers me (especially the snow) but I’d take a cold day over humidity any day.

  • Monica Y. Sengupta moderator author
    11 months ago

    Yes!! I wonder if the quick change in barometric pressure affects us because thunderstorms are the worst for me — especially the sudden ones!

    The cold doesn’t seem to seep into my body as much as humidity does so I definitely 100% agree with you. Thank you for sharing on my article, Danielle!! ~Monica

  • lanikai13
    11 months ago

    I live in Jersey, we’ve had rain and a peak or 2 of sun for several months. Yesterday was ine of “those” days for me. It was like walking through soup out there and I was miserable. Felt swollen and sick all day long… #likeaslug

    I am praying for less humidity. Be well!

  • Monica Y. Sengupta moderator author
    11 months ago

    Oh yes!! Like a slug…That is a great way of describing how we feel in this humidity!

    Are you feeling better?

  • Lawrence 'rick' Phillips
    11 months ago

    Yes it does and no it does not. I cannot really answer the question about weather and RA.the reason is that it is not predictable. If every time it rained I slowed down to a craw, I would say OK, that is weather and RA. But it does no. The one thing that always gets me is cold. Oh I hate cold.

  • Poll