Pain-free tip: Move to a warm climate...?

I can sympathize with this mammut. Living with RA + having about half a pound of steel in my spine makes winter a challenging time to say the least. I'm visiting my native Norway this week and there are still several feet of snow here, while in Gothenburg 3 hours south all the snow and ice melted several weeks ago - but it's still cold as #&%. Sometimes I wish I could live in a warm climate, without having to leave my home, family and friends.

Maybe I'm a bit slow, but it actually took me several years living with RA before I realized that generally, every year, winter was tough with a lot of pain and stiffness and summer was better.  Now I've been even slower in realizing that maybe, perhaps, I should take this into account when making plans! It's not particularly smart to plan intense periods of activity (like launching a book and moving house) during the part of year when I have more pain. Basically it's a great way of wasting spoons.

Ok, so theoretically, living further south would be good for my pain, but I don't want to be a "climate refugee". But this year I can plan smarter, by doing fun and active stuff during summer to build my strength, and planning for a calmer less active winter season with at least 2 weeks holiday in a warm climate somewhere in the darkest months.

Doesn't actually sound so difficult, so maybe I won't have to end up like poor Uncle Hector and get caught in the ice.

Either way, I find the pain isn't half as frustrating when I understand why it's there. Then it's easier to accept the ups and downs and choose a strategy.


  1. I never knew how much a warm climate could reduce pain until this winter when I visited Egypt. Obviesly, I've heard about the releaving effect, but for me the difference was nothing but miraculus! It really got me thinking... 1. Moving to a warm climate where my pain levels are close to zero, where I'm able to work and function without fysical limitations? But, as you pointed out, without close friends and family. 2. living in cold Norway close to my dearest and nearest, but unable to work most of the year?
    My conclution was quite similar to yours. I will try to be the best I can be with the obsticals these winter's give me. A nice, warm holiday each year will help me endure it until I have found a way to overcome this pain, cause that's my plan ;-)

  2. I agree about climate impacting our pain level to deserve serious consideration. I have had spinal reconstruction surgery and have Addison's disease --- with other major surgeries and since I live in Texas, I am most often not burdened by the cold. But, when we do have cold days, I feel as if my movable parts are rusty, making it very difficult to move. Those days, I am very slow and it hurts badly to walk across the room. I bundle up and try to insulate my body. I don't know how you can deal with the cold! I feel for you!

    Lana C.

  3. Each spring, I just wonder how I will survive the next winter in this bitter northern climate, the friends/family vs climate conflict is real, for the moment trying to spend some of the worst months in some better places......

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