Woman sitting on an oversized thermometer

Winter Is Coming

I am a big Game of Thrones fan. So big in fact that I have either bought the series or asked for them as gifts. If you watched any part of it, the characters feared the season of winter. Their favorite saying "Winter is coming."

On a more personal note, I used to love winter. Living in Louisiana the summers are brutal, we usually see temperatures close to 100 with heat indexes well over that. Staying cool during any hot summer was always a must for me. I loved winter for the simple fact that it is cooler. Another thing I loved about winter is that my husband and I loved sitting around a roaring fire outside.

If you have noticed I've been using past tense talking about my fondness of winter. The reason for that is my fondness changed after my diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis.

Fearing winter with psoriatic arthritis

After six years of living with psoriatic arthritis, I now find myself fearing winter. As I said I used to love the cooler temperatures, but now those colder temps cut right to the bones. Even a heavy coat and covering my hands with gloves, the cold still finds a way in.

When that cold air hits those arthritic bones and joints, the pain becomes a severe crutch in enjoying winter. It usually doesn't take but a few minutes out in the cold for my body to react. Stiff joints with razor-sharp pain become my realization.

Loving that fire

My husband and I are outdoor people. While winter means hunting time for some people, for us, it means bonfires. My husband is really good at splitting wood to keep the fire burning. This year we had friends that cut down their trees and my husband helped clean them up. In return, we were able to take several truckloads of logs home, just for our fires. I was excited but at the same time filled with dread. Is there anyone out there that can relate to this dread of the upcoming winter?

Dreading winter

We can all agree that fires are warm. But, fires for me are also very calming. We can sit by the fire with none of the hassles of the day stripping away at our nerves. It's our time as a couple to have that one on one time. Herein lies the problem. With cold air pressing to get into my core, it makes every joint hurt. This ruins our special time.

Fire is warm but it can only warm one side of you. I feel like a rotisserie chicken spinning around and around on a spindle trying to keep all sides warm. Depending on how cold it is staying warm outside is almost impossible. I stand it as long as I can but the cold always cuts our nights by the fire short.

Is there a positive to winter?

The one plus to the cold is the enjoyment of being able to climb into a warm bed that is heated by my electric blanket. A lot of people use heating pads or other devices on their joints when they are tense or sore. I have found that an electric blanket works wonders for me. No matter which way I turn I have warmth against my body. If it was left up to me the electric blanket would stay on my bed all year-round.

What are your tips for surviving winter

So now it's your turn. Are you like me and dread winter? Have you found any tricks that work for you? Do you find that the cold air doesn't affect you? I will admit if that is you, I will be envious but also thankful that you are not affected. I wish I could be that lucky. It used to not affect me. I can say with certainty those days are in the past.

Psoriatic arthritis is not my friend and I'm guessing is no friend of yours either. Remember winter is coming. Please share those tips so we can find comfort during those long cold days and nights.

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