For the past week or so, the weather here has been mainly wet, windy and much colder; around this time I noticed that my joints were more painful and increasingly stiff. I know I was already flaring but there is a longstanding belief that climate has an effect on arthritis; that cool, damp weather leads to painful joints and I’ve always wondered if there was any truth to it.
It can’t be coincidence then, that for me, the worst of my flares have always seemed to occur in the Autumn months. I used to dread September and October coming round – the start of new terms at college, university and then work were always a struggle – and now it looks like it’s happening again. Nothing has changed in my treatment schedule, yet joints are tighter and I start every morning feeling like the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz.
I have my fifth Orencia infusion on Thursday and should be seeing my Rheumy for a short-term boost that will (hopefully) help improve things enough that I can enjoy our trip to New York without having to think too much about the Still’s. When I saw him three weeks ago, we discussed having the elbow and shoulder injected, but now I’m thinking I might need the right knee injecting. It’s not mega painful but it is puffy and tight, which restricts the movement and bendability of the joint, meaning steps are awkward (I hope the Empire State Building has a lift, because climbing those stairs one step at a time could take a while!).
However, the weather in New York should also still be quite warm at this time of year, somewhere in the 20s at least. So maybe that will help a little bit too? Keep your fingers crossed that the storms stay away and the sun comes out for us!