The Impact the Climate Has on My Life with Psoriatic Arthritis
Do where we reside have an impact on our life with psoriatic arthritis? If you asked my body, it would have to say absolutely yes!
Before becoming chronically ill, my main concerns when choosing a new home was affordability, functionality, and my husband’s work commute. I never considered that where we lived could have either a positive or negative effect on my health.
Living with psoriatic arthritis in different climates
I have lived in four states: Ohio, Arizona, Colorado, and California. Although I wasn’t diagnosed as a child living in Ohio, I have visited since and have a good idea of how that state would treat my body.
My body would experience what I call pain paralysis (inability to move due to intense pain throughout joints, bones, and muscles) prior to storms in all but one of the states mentioned.
During that time, I am unable to move without feeling like my bones are crumbling, skin and muscles are ripping, and joints are being pried apart. This paralysis could last anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days. It depended on how fast or slow moving the storm was. Which state doesn’t have that effect on my body? California.
Ohio is for lovers
I visited Ohio a few years after my diagnosis and whoa Nelly, was I ever glad to have only been there for a few days.
It was spring and with the exception of the rainstorm that occurred when we landed, the weather was actually really nice. But the humidity that the storm created increased the swelling in my joints tenfold.
There’s a saying in Colorado that says if you don’t like the weather wait a few minutes. And it is right! The weather often changes more in one week than a baby needs their diaper changed in one day!
While the idea of constantly changing weather may sound appealing to some, it is a nightmare for those of us whose body reacts to barometric pressure changes. Since moving from there, I have learned to pad my return visits with lots of time to rest and to commit to as little as possible.
The Grand Canyon state
Arizona was great during the spring and fall. That is when we would actually experience those seasons. It is not uncommon for the weather to go straight from winter to summer and back again without a transition period.
The extreme summer heat and increased humidity from the powerful and destructive monsoon storms did me in. The last summer I lived there was one of the worst for my body and why my family and friends who do reside there know never to expect me to visit between April and October.
Where my joints now call home
California truly has been the best for me. I have heard that one of the best places to live if you experience pain from barometric pressure is San Diego, because it experiences the least amount of change. This might explain why I feel like superwoman when I hang out there.
However, I find that I feel that way all along the coast. No matter what my pain level is, it is always lower when I am at a beach on the Pacific Coast.
A psoriatic state of mind
Knowing now how climate impacts my pain level, I am not as willing to move as I used to be.
I used to be open to living just about anywhere, just because I like exploring new places, but no more. I can explore, but only on vacation. When it comes to my daily life, I want to be where I feel best and that is California.
Does the weather where you live impact your pain level? Would you ever consider leaving it? Why or why not?
Do you have a sleep disorder (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your PsA?