Raindrops falling

What I Have Learned from a Wet Winter

In my article, The Impact the Climate Has on My Life with Psoriatic Arthritis, where I live makes a difference in how severely and often I flare. Well, since writing that piece, southern California has been experiencing a lot of rain. In fact, I will be surprised if it doesn’t end up being the wettest winter since I moved here in 2010.

I don’t like that I have had to spend more time indoors this winter. I’m also not a fan of driving in the rain. However, that is not what I have learned throughout this wet season. What I learned is that I could survive living somewhere like Seattle if I had to, as long as I did a few things.

Move it

When it is cold and wet, my first instinct is to stay in my pajamas and to spend the day in bed or on the couch watching television. Unfortunately, this is not a healthy instinct. Believe it or not, my pain level is 75% worse when I don’t move. When the weather is damp and frigid, I must move my body. If I don’t, my hips lock up, pain in my spine increases, and my muscles harden. I have discovered that walking in my house or doing yoga first thing in the morning is my best form of pain prevention. On the days that I wait, my hips lock up, my spine feels like a rusty rod, and my muscles become rock hard making it even harder to stretch or walk it out.

Warm up

To survive a cold wet climate, I need ways to warm up beyond turning up the heat. Electric blankets, heat wraps, and sun lamps would be a must. My closet would need to be filled with fleece-lined leggings and pants. And even though I wouldn’t have to deal with snow, I would require an ankle length, puffy, water resistant, coat.

Accessorize

If I lived where it rained often, I would equip all of my mobility aids with an attachment to hold an umbrella. Holding an umbrella while pushing a rollator isn’t easy and when you consider the fact that a rollator is designed to be used with two hands, having an umbrella in one of those hands increases my risk of falling.

Make adjustments

The most important thing I would have to do to survive would be to make adjustments to my pain management plan. When dealing with increased inflammation, I need more of what I typically use to keep it under control. Another thing is that I would have to adjust my attitude towards the hours that my body wants to function at. An extended period of rain often causes my internal clock to get all mixed up. I am way more productive when I follow my body’s lead instead of fighting to keep a schedule that I want to keep. This also means that I could not expect to work outside my home or keep a fixed schedule.

Do you live where it is often wet and cold? If so, what tips do you have to add?

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.

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