Cold Weather

Photo of pink orchids against a black background, with the caption: "thanks to lupus, in hot weather I'm exhausted, and in cold weather I'm in pain."

Cold Weather

blog post by Iris Carden

This year, winter hit south east Queensland the way a road train hits a kangaroo.

The weather has gone insane this year. We’ve had constant rain, and floods twice. My house is fairly well placed for the wet. I’m high enough to not get flooded, and while two nearby bridges go under water, there’s always another way out.

On the other hand, the constant rain long past the usual wet season has left the ground sodden, mould growing faster than I can clean it up all over the house, and everything feeling damp. I even had a massive tree simply fall over because the ground was so wet.

Add to that this week, we’ve had severe wind warnings, and air flows coming up from Antartica. It’s a long way from Antartica to here, but the air has managed to stay much colder on its way than I’d like.

For me, and for many other people like me who have arthritic conditions, cold weather is horrible. All my joints are hurting. As I type this, all of the little joints of my hands are absolutely killing me.

I’m not saying I’d prefer summer heat. Heat saps my energy and leaves me fatigued. (For the benefit of healthy people: imagine you’ve just worked 24 hours straight with no breaks: that’s kind of what lupies are talking about when we say we’re fatigued.)

I just wish winter had come on a bit more slowly, given me some warning. I went to bed on a fairly cool autumn evening and woke up on a painfully cold winter morning.

That really shouldn’t happen here in the subtropics. Winter’s supposed to be more subtle here. Some years it’s not even noticeable. But this winter’s making up for those years.

Lupus and winter just don’t mix. But then lupus and summer don’t mix either. Maybe the problem’s not really winter. Maybe the problem’s just lupus.

By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.

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