You may have noticed that I have taken a couple of months off from writing this blog. My apologies to anyone who has been following me, I hope to get back on track in the next little while. It may surprise you to know that the main reason I took a break was to do with the weather. The last couple of months have been superb weather-wise and it has had a noticeably positive impact on me. There is no doubt that hot, dry weather significantly reduces my symptoms, and this is echoed in other autoimmune conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis where sufferers report a reduction in the severity of their symptoms when the weather or climate is better.
So why did the good weather and me feeling better stop me from writing? Well, the truth is it didn’t. But I took the opportunity to do some other activities, ones that I know I will not be able to do when the weather returns to normal for the north east of Scotland!
The thing about ME/CFS is that you are constantly faced with difficult choices. A sacrifice of some kind is always required, whether is giving something up for something else or enduring pain, nausea and exhaustion to complete an activity. In my case, if the sun is shining, humidity is low and air pressure high, then I don’t feel as sore or as tired as I do at other times. However, my energy levels are not what they used to be and I have to choose what to expend my energy on. Do I go outside and enjoy a short walk and then rest for the remainder of the day or do I stay inside and pace myself slowly through the day? The answer recently has been the former – the opportunity to be warm outside in the sun was too good to miss. This has meant I have had to forego other things, this blog being one of them. But I don’t feel bad, I love to be outside, and having that taken from me has been very difficult for me so to have a prolonged sunny spell has been just great.
It has made me think more about our climate though and if there is anything I can do to mitigate the effect a cold, wet, temperate climate has on me and how I feel. I am nervous about the autumn and winter but at least I know what I am dealing with now and I can be prepared. I pushed through last winter, mainly because I was undiagnosed, and I crashed badly. This year I will do things differently. I am going to investigate if there are ways to reducing the impact of our climate on ME/CFS sufferer. Perhaps use of a SAD light, or going to an infrared sauna will help. We live in an old house which can get quite cold so potentially more insulation will help too. I would love to hear from anyone who has some good tips for making ourselves more comfortable in the colder months.
I have heard of a few people with ME/CFS emigrating to warmer countries to alleviate their suffering. This is not an option for me nor many like me in this situation, for innumerable reasons – family, work, infirmity and money.
And yet there is comfort in knowing that when the weather is nice, or if we get the chance to go on holiday then I will have respite and relief. I guess I have another reason to enjoy the nice weather, it makes me feel like my old self again.