Unfortunately, every winter I have to go through a new “acceptance” process. Learning to live with Kennedy’s Disease is also about learning to live through the winter with this condition. Yes, I know that “this too will pass.” In approximately four months I will be relishing the warmer temperatures and my newfound strength. Until then, I will be doing a lot of mumbling and grumbling.
Temperatures are dropping and my strength is declining with it. I know, it happens every winter, but it is still somewhat unexpected. Perhaps I am just hoping that one winter I will not have to experience this phenomenon again.
My left thumb and index finger are in worse shape this year and it isn’t even winter yet. My overall strength has also declined over the last month. How do I know the decline in strength is related to colder temperatures? Good question. When the temperatures warmed up a week or so ago to the mid 70s with nights in the 50s, my aches disappeared and my strength was back. I was completing all of my exercise routines and reps without a problem. I did not feel chilled once. It was wonderful.
This week has been cold, windy and wet. I just can’t seem to get warm, my muscles are aching, and my exercise routine is labored. I am back to wearing gloves, both inside and out of the house. I wear socks to bed at night because my feet will not warm up. My electric blanket runs seven hours straight and it is the only relief from the cold that I can control.
There is something to be said about the benefits of snow. When I lived in Minnesota, Washington and Pennsylvania and there was snow on the ground, I did not feel as cold as I do today. I believe the snow captures the moisture in the air and makes for a more comfortable environment. The cold, damp weather of northern Georgia seems to impact my muscles more. Perhaps this is just part of the progression of the disease coupled with my age. Whatever is the cause, I do not like it.
I have discussed this issue with my neurologist and still do not feel comfortable with the answers I am getting. It just seems strange to me that temperatures in the low-to-mid 30s would have such an impact on my strength and pain. Yes, I do spend two hours or more outside each day … walking the dog. The golf cart has a winter cover that partially protection, but I am still sitting for thirty-plus minutes at a time … sometimes in high winds and rain.
This is just another reason I know that I have not fully accepted this disease. How about you? Does the cold bother you more these days? Do you feel weaker during the winter? Have you ever received an explanation as to why this happens? I look forward to hearing from you. “Misery loves company.”