Okay I admit it. I’m a wimp. I’m probably many other things too but right now I’m very afraid and struggling to take that ‘one day at a time’ approach. In New Zealand we’re on a steady decline into winter. There’s only one month to go but already it feels like that air is coming straight off Antarctica. It is, based on where we are in the world, but I don’t want to know about it. I’m suffering already and am completely scared of what winter is going to be like for me.
Firstly some facts:
- It doesn’t get that cold here in NZ. This week the daytime temperature has dropped to around 13 celsius (55F), maybe down to four celsius (39F) overnight. In Christchurch last year our coldest day time temperature was one celsius (33F), although night-time was rather a bit colder. It’s not the night temperatures that worry me so much.
- I live in what I euphemistically describe as an ‘air-conditioned’ house. Not usually, but thanks to 2010/11 earthquakes there are quite a few gaps where the wind blows straight through. And while I am on the very long waiting list, it will be a while (like years!) before my gaps are repaired.
- Regular readers will know that I recently was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia (fibro or FM).
- Heat seems the only way so far, that actually helps ease those symptoms.
- Pre-fibro, I struggled with cold. Actually I prefer cooler temperatures to hot but if I get too cold, I just can’t get myself warm again and that doesn’t do anything for my mental health. I easily get depressed.
I haven’t done a fibro winter before so any advice is greatly received. But I know only too well that the temperature drop this week has not been that big, except I have been freezing. The heating is turned up higher, I’ve had extra layers of clothes on, sitting at my computer with a big, thick dressing gown on top of those clothes, oh and don’t forget the hot water bottle. What is wrong with me? And how on earth will I survive winter?
To add to that the pain this week has been worse, but I’m not experienced enough to know whether that can be put down to the cold or a bit of extra stress this week. Whatever it is, I’m not having much fun.
Because of the damage to our homes and the infrastructure (BTW this pic is taken just around the corner from my home) of Christchurch, NZ Red Cross has grants available to assist with winter heating for ‘disadvantaged residences who have badly damaged homes’. I fit into this, and thought an extra $100 per month over winter would very much help in my battle to fight the cold and the pain. Unfortunately those with medical conditions have to have a pre-existing condition at the date of the earthquakes. Never mind that my doctor and rheumatologist are fairly sure that the extreme stress and trauma caused to me by the earthquakes caused my fibro. It doesn’t count. There are other grants available to those injured in the earthquakes but again, I don’t qualify. Don’t get me wrong, I think Red Cross has been wonderful, and of course all the donations from around the world have been a great help, but why do I always seem to be one that slips through the cracks?
So yes, I’m scared. I’m cold, I’m in pain and I fear the approach of winter. PurpleLawLady from Fibromodem gave me some good advice (thank you) regarding heat pads recently and I am checking these out. But I have visions of needing about 10 and having to be wrapped in pads with 10 different electrical wires coming out of me. Perhaps I could become ‘Heat Pad Woman’. If I was any sort of artist I’d give you an idea of what I see. As it is, I won’t scare you with my art, or my imaginings.
And the power bills? Last year my power bills were about 50 percent higher than the year before and I have to put that down to the ‘air-conditioned’ earthquake damage letting all that heat seep out. Enough to make me cry! So I fear what I am going to face this year when I seem to be feeling the cold more and trying to ease the pain.
Any thoughts and ideas would be extremely welcome. And tell me, is this just what winter is like now? Break it to me gently, but I can take it. Whether I can by tomorrow, when I wake up to see how much pain I have, will be another thing, but do I need to know what I’m up for.
PS. May 12th is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, so wear purple in support of those who suffer. And if you want to learn more check out this excellent video (by PurpleLawLady again), and was part of the Fibromyalgia Awareness Video Competition. Congratulations to the winning entry by Jennifer Geyer-Forbes.
- Pain… 24/7 (infinitesadnessorhope.wordpress.com)
- The Fibro Fighter (and another Award) (infinitesadnessorhope.wordpress.com)
- Fibromyalgia Awareness Day 2012 (facebook.com)
Fibromyalgia Awareness Day Video Competition
- Too much physical pain to deal with mental and emotional pain…. (victimnomore.wordpress.com)
- Fibromyalgia – When do we get better? (fibromale.wordpress.com)
- Fibromyalgia: What I Have Learned and How I’ve Coped (myexperiencewithfibro.wordpress.com)
- Managing Fibromyalgia in the Heat and Humidity (everydayhealth.com)
- 10 Reasons To Increase Fibromyalgia Awareness (fibromodem.wordpress.com)
- How Exercise Fits In to Fibromyalgia Treatment (everydayhealth.com)
- Fibromyalgia Support (everydayhealth.com)
- Fibromyalgia- “we never will get use to it” (fibromale.wordpress.com)
- Fibromyalgia: Why it Really Hurts (risablairlovitz.com)
- Learning Fibro As I Go (findfocus.wordpress.com)
- Fab fibro poem… (game411.wordpress.com)
- Fibromyalgia and the Fear of Chronic Pain (everydayhealth.com)