Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer
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.

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

Comments

  • GoBucks
    1 month ago

    Hope this will be my last winter in the NE, as it’s no longer a healthy environment. Naples FL here I come!!

  • gindi
    2 months ago

    I thought it was just me. I hadn’t had a flare-up since I started Otezla a year ago. And a few days ago after just an hour walk in the cold, it started really bad. Hands, ankles, hips and one spot in my back. I actually sleep on a soft cover book when back pain gets bad.

  • Vickie Wilkerson author
    2 months ago

    @gindi You mention a soft cover book. How does that help your back? I am curious to know.

  • gindi
    2 months ago

    I have one of those adjustable tempurpedic matresses. It is great to control hip pain, elevate my legs but less so for my back when I have the occasional spine flare. So I need something more rigid under my spine. Best thing I found was to use a thin soft (is it the right word? I am French speaking…) cover book. Rigid enough to keep the spine well aligned but thin and flexible enough that I don’t feel it.

  • PKnickmeyer
    2 months ago

    You mentioned that you like using an electric blanket in winter. I’m with you on that. I don’t use an electric blanket, but a heated mattress pad which has dual controls. It is on the bed year round so I can use it if needed.

    It sounds like you enjoy the same things as I like. I feel cheated that I am always the first one to go inside whenever we are outside with a fire. Enjoy as much as you can…

  • Vickie Wilkerson author
    2 months ago

    @pknickmeyer you mentioned a heated mattress pad. I did not know there was such a thing as that.

  • Trudy22
    2 months ago

    It helps me in winter if I put warmers I’m my boots to keep my feet warm. The little packet ones you shake and the put in your gloves or boots

  • Shannon1093
    2 months ago

    I live in Oklahoma and like you, the winter is brutal with freezing winds, snow and sleet. However a trip to Colorado that I was totally dreading ended up being wonderful. I hurt less while there in 15” of snow. I came home to temps in the teens as it was there but in horrific pain. I have found keeping a dual heated mattress cover and blanket on the bed are my friends year round. I can have warmth at all times. Just before I got really bad, my husband got me a tub with jets that you sit in ( I call it my old lady tub) it has been a blessing. I got the American Standard with a shower head. I keep a walker and cane handy, will rent a wheelchair if needed. The summers here I get so hot I can hardly cope, so we have a pool. I love being in it. I keep a robe and blanket right beside the pool. I was just diagnosed a few months ago, so I have a very long road of trying meds unless I get lucky. At least I know now why I’ve hurt so bad so many years. Not sure there are any good trick but I do know it has worn me out trying to smile and push through. I keep the hope of a Med that works or even better a cure. I have fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis among a few. But we have no choice but to push onward.

  • Sherry Fields
    2 months ago

    I live in KY, and winters are terrible on my PsA! Ours began last week with temps dropping to the teens. I’ve not been able to move very well since! My hot tub is my winter haven when I’m in a flare!

  • Leanne Donaldson
    2 months ago

    Sending a big, gentle hug from one Bluegrass state gal to another! These temps are crazy! If you read below, you know I’m on a mission to get a hot tub this winter or I know that I won’t survive it! 🙂 -Leanne, Psoriatic-Arthritis.com Team Member

  • Vickie Wilkerson author
    2 months ago

    @sherryfields I have a hard time moving too when its cold. All it takes is just a cold wind and my body freezes.

  • Leanne Donaldson
    2 months ago

    Oh yes Vicki-for sure winter is the worst! I DESPISE it! And yes, I do keep my heated mattress pad on my bed year round. For a few years now, I’ve been angling for a hot tub since hot baths are my absolute saving grace in the winter. While I know I’m blessed to be able to experience all 4 seasons where I live, winter can for sure be especially brutal. My whole body tenses (causing pain) then the constant tensing causes even more pain. It’s a lose-lose situation! -Leanne, Psoriatic-Arthritis.com Team Member

  • Poll