The Impact Weather Has On Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms
Growing up we all had that one relative who complained about their bones on cold or stormy days, right? Oh, my arthritis!
Well, here I am nowhere near their age at that time with the same issues. I also completely realize that there are a lot of folks younger than me that feel the same way. When it's freezing cold outside - my knees hurt. I pick something up - my fingers hurt. Ever hit yourself with a hammer? That kind of pain.
Excrutiating knee pain
In the middle of winter, there will be mornings where I wake up and it feels like there is an ice-pick in my knee. The pain is unbearable. At first, it lasts only a few minutes but soon it goes on to feel like hours. I find myself literally grabbing and pull my pajama pant to move my leg. It feels like it weighs 1,000 pounds.
When the pain got worse (to the 20-30 minute mark), I decided to consult my rheumatologist. I was quickly approved for injections. Did you know that that you can only get 10 shots of cortisone in your knee in your lifetime? It damages the knee so badly that after 10 shots, you are probably looking for a knee replacement. My rheumatologist backs this up.
Putting a finger on it
My fingers also act up in the winter. A pain-relieving gel only helped a little. One day I was at the office, my right hand hurt so bad it was hard to type. I couldn’t pick anything up. I’m a PC Tech and I can’t do my job. What now?
I used the gel. An hour later I applied it again. I took some pain medicine. I put on my trusty arthritis gloves. They worked in the past, but not today. It felt like I was standing there with vice-grips on my knuckles. I was forced to use my left hand the rest of the day.
When I saw my rheumatologist again, I inquired and was sent to a hand surgeon. I asked about ring-splints. I slept with ring splints on every night and even had them on my fingers at the office if they hurt. It hasn’t been as bad since but I know that pain will return someday. Or was it just a freak thing? Who knows?
Seasons of more pain
Joint pains and fatigue can certainly play their part on icy cold days, but what about the warmer months? I don’t experience as much joint pain in the summer, but fatigue can certainly take control. I also have Reynaud's syndrome. I am careful to keep my fingers and toes warm. I always try to keep my house at comfy temperature - between 65-72 degrees.
With the weather changing and the house warming up, I’m sitting here working on my PC, I am feeling drained. No energy. I have to lie down. I wake up and an hour later and I am getting a headache.
Suddenly it hits me. What’s the temperature? 80?! I open the windows. I open the door. I go outside until I begin to feel better. This has happened often. I think I need a thermometer with an alarm.
How do you find a balance?
Today it is May and it is 70 degrees outside. My windows are wide open the fan is blowing. Life is good.
How does weather impact your PsA symptoms?
Do you have any of these issues? If you have ideas or suggestions I’m all open. Please comment below.
Were you ever misdiagnosed before being diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis (PsA)?