Thursday, April 13, 2017

Winters Are Really Hard For Me


I have waffled back and forth on whether or not I'd write this post, but I figured maybe, just maybe, I might be able to touch someone else.  Assure them that they are not alone in their personal struggles.  So here goes, I'm going to share with all of you one of my personal struggles.

Cold winters are really hard for me and this past winter has been no exception.  I get cold easily anyway and once I'm cold I really struggle to get warm again and to stay warm.  I wear sweaters year around.  It seems that once the weather warms up and I start to get comfortable then the A/C gets turned on.  My favorite thing to do is crawl into my hot car at the end of a work day and soak up that eat.  I seldom turn the A/C on in the car when I head for home in the summer.  I love the heat.


When I'm cold I ache terribly.  Arthritis flares up more when I'm cold and really plagues me throughout the winter.  I also have trouble keeping my hands and feet warm enough to keep Chilblains at bay.  Once that starts it usually sticks with me until late spring.  If you don't know what Chilblains is click here for an explanation.

While my overactive immune system is great for keeping me from catching colds and the flu very often, it also wears me out to the point that I almost feel like I have the flu anyway.  It's kind of crazy.  This year there was so much crud going around at work my immune system was in hyperdrive for a long time.


After hurting my back this winter (shoveling all of that snow we got )I have to admit, I got really scared.  I've never hurt myself that badly before and it really knocked the wind out of my sails.  I realized I can't ever let that happen again.  I've had to come to terms with the fact that I'm not superwoman.  I really can't do it all.  And that realization didn't set too well with me.

I'm very fortunate in the fact that I had a lot of friends who offered to help me out when I was laid up.  But, I'm extremely independent and the fact that I needed to ask for help nearly did me in.  Prideful?  Just a touch, but a lot of who I am is the fact that I take care of myself and my family.  I take care of it all.  However, occasionally we all find ourselves needing a helping hand from time to time.  It's a fact of life.  So I set my pride aside and accepted the help I needed.


My co-worker helped me by clearing the snow off of my car each evening so I could just get in and head for home.  My friends offered to come over and shovel snow, but the girls managed it just fine.  Another friend came over and put the mailbox back up when someone ran into it and knocked it over.  My girls picked up the slack with the cooking and cleaning (those snow days came in pretty handy).  My daughter's friend's parents helped with picking up and dropping my kids off at various school functions.  I recuperated and eventually was able to get back to taking care of things.

Four years ago I tried to move to a warmer area, but despite all of my best intentions a series of strange things happened.  After awhile I had to sit back and take a serious look at what I was doing and wonder if there was a reason I shouldn't be moving.  It was really weird.  Once I decided to stay in Boise everything fell into place, for the most part.  It wasn't until we moved back into our house, however, that things really seemed to turn around.

Leonard and I both hurt ourselves this winter so we recuperated together

I love my home.  I appreciate all that I have and I am truly grateful for all of the many blessings I've received.  But I know that I can't continue to handle these winters like I have been.  It is hard on my body and as a result it becomes hard on my spirit.  I don't really want to have another winter like the one we just had.

Now I just have to figure out what the right thing to do will be.  That is the hardest part, I think.  I thought I had it figured out four years ago and to try and make that move again kind of scares me.  Maybe I need to do something different altogether.  Completely different.

I'm sure I'll figure it out.


27 comments:

  1. My brother has a problem with cold feet and he buys those little hand warmers and puts in his shoes. I think they may even have some for toes but I'm not sure. They might be something to try if you haven't already. He gets them in the sporting goods area at Walmart. Paula in Kansas

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  2. Thank you for sharing this post. I can relate so well to a lot of what you said, that I feel like I could have written it myself. Winters are not easy for a lot of people. I do not have a thyroid (due to past cancer) and I am always cold too and also wear sweaters year round (even to bed at night.) I have found that it takes a toll on my body physically as well as mentally and emotionally to have health struggles in the winter time especially.
    I am so happy that you have such wonderful friends and your beautiful girls to give you a hand when you need it. I am also a person who never asks for help of any kind to the point that I have caused myself hurt and strain in the past. It's the pride thing, ya know. :(
    Please know that you and your precious girls are always in my thoughts and I will pray that you feel led one way or the other in your time of contemplation and in any decisions you may make.
    ((Hugs)) XOXO

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    1. Thank you so much Dawn. That pride thing sure can get the better of us. I do know that in spite of everything I am truly blessed. I also know there are people with far greater struggles than I have so I try to keep that in perspective. Take care of yourself too my friend and God Bless. :)

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  3. I'm sorry you've been going through challenging times, and I'm glad you shared it with us. Thank you.

    It made me think, if you are struggling with the cold now, it will be even more difficult as you get older. A warmer environment (maybe a warmer micro-climate in Idaho if there is one, or another state) could solve that, but I know the thought of moving again is daunting.

    When we bought our house I had a list of criteria to ensure we would be able to live the rest of our lives there in comfort. One of those things was that I did not want a two-story home. I know so many people who at mid-life bought new homes with two-stories, only to realize later that they wouldn't (or couldn't) want to climb those stairs as they got older.

    Moving may be the last thing you want to do, but since nothing works to warm you up when you get cold and it is hard on your spirit, it may be your only option. Cold weather and arthritis is miserable. You are still young, right now would be the best age to do this if you are thinking about it.

    After reading your blog for a long time now, I know you will be just fine not matter what decision you come to. You are strong and an excellent mom, I really admire you. I would love to know what you plan to do. I hope you keep us posted. Take care :)

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    1. It has been heavy on my mind lately and yes two story homes are not on my list - ha, ha. I did think about that. We have been discussing all kinds of possibilities. Moving is definitely an eventuality and moving south makes the most sense so we shall see what happens. I will definitely be keeping you posted.

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  4. I totally relate but my problem is heat and boy does it get hot AND humid in North Carolina. I would so love to move to a cooler climate, at least for the spring and summer months. Its very hard for me to cool off and it totally messes up my asthma. I don't think moving is our future. But I did just want you to know that you are certainly not alone.

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    1. I can imagine your struggle with that. I have asthma too so I need to take that into consideration too. I had no idea the humidity could affect that. Thanks for sharing this with me.

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  5. Funny -- my problem is heat, as well. I grew up in Michigan, which was so humid damp towels would literally mold, hung up. Here in Colorado, it's just the opposite. You can tell a longtime Coloradoan by their skin -- tan and tons of wrinkles. It's so dry here.
    I was going to suggest fingerless gloves as you work on the computer. Also, those blanket 'envelopes' -- they look like an adult version of a baby's sleeper. Armholes and a neck hole -- the rest is a big sewn-up rectangle.
    Maybe your retirement home should be a trailer, instead, so you can take it south for much of the year. The problem will be your girlies -- odds are good, I'm guessing, that they'll want to stay in Boise. And that means you'll want to be close to them.

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    1. My problem is Husband -- the Brick grew up in North Carolina, and likes it hot. He also frostbit his toes one year, and has had trouble keeping them warm ever since. We are in the process of selling our house and moving into a 30-ft trailer. He wants to spend far more time down south, where it's warm, than I do. I would rather stay up north for cooler temps, and living near our girlies, who are both in the Denver area. No doubt I will cave -- but it's still a dilemma.

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    2. So many things to consider isn't there? Almost makes ones head spin. Hope you are able to meet somewhere in the middle. I loved our RV so I'd be quite content to live in another one. In fact it is one of the possibilities up for discussion. I love Idaho so it would be hard to leave permanently. Becoming a snowbird may be my best option. :)

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  6. SO sorry you had such a cold/hard winter.. Will be praying for you , as you make the decisions of what is best for you and family.. Happy you had friends/family to come in and help when you hurt yourself.
    Hugs.

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    1. Thanks Judy. I've heard it was a rough one for a lot of people around here. I know I'm not alone and I won't complain. I just have to rethink some things I suppose.

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  7. It is so nice to have a support system even if it does sting your pride a bit.
    If cold bothers you, head south. We have been over warm and toasty all winter and there is plenty of room for more folks here (except maybe Atlanta )

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    1. Yes, I am a lucky girl. There are so many nice places in the USA to live. I'm sure I'll figure something out.

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  8. I am always cold too, it sucks. I keep my house warmer than most and people sometimes complain but it feels just right to me. I hardly ever use the AC in my truck either... even when it's over 100 outside, I still don't, I like to just drive with the windows down! My feet and hands are always cold too but not to the extreme that you described.

    Good luck with your decision making, I hope you get some clarity soon as to what you need to do :o)

    Tania

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    1. Thank you Tania. I'm sure it will work itself out. :)

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  9. We don't tend to get much snow, or extremely low temperatures here in England. What we do get, though, is months upon months of unrelieved greyness and damp, and that just about kills my fibromyalgia. I love living here, and if it wasn't for the weather, would never move, but I am aware that if I lived here as I get older, my quality of life would suffer considerably. So it's off to sunnier climes at some point in the future... And with it the inefficency, perpetually depressed economy, and convoluted bureaucracy of Southern Europe that made me move away in the first place. Still, I figure God must want me to return to the sun, else He'd not gift me with fibro! :-)

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    1. Now that's one way to look at it. I figure I'm destined for something spectacular in my future as well. ;)

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  10. I'm the same way, the cold does me in. This year was especially horrid as I slipped on ice and broke my nose, severely sprained my wrist, and bashed up my knee & hip. My body aches in the cold, I wear 3 shirts through the fall/winter, 2 prs of socks, etc... our winters are long and cold. We have 2 extremes here, bitter cold winters and hot and humid summers. Can't seem to win... all this to say, I understand!

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    1. It has been a rough winter for a lot of us. Some more than others and I think you surpassed me on the injuries by a long shot, I'm sorry to say. Bless your heart! Hope you have mended well.

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  11. Thank you for sharing. It is hard to bare your soul to the world. I have been wondering how you were doing this winter since you shared once before about how the cold weather hurts. My heart feels for you and I am saddened by your struggles. I, too, struggle with illnesses and some days just getting out of bed is an accomplishment. Your positive attitude and strength is amazing. You will do what is right. My prayers are with you.
    Jeannie
    GetMeToTheCountry.blogspot.com.

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    1. Thank you Jeannie. You are too kind and I really appreciate it.

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  12. You are very brave to put your thoughts in writing and be so open. I feel like we could switch places as I have multiple sclerosis and am most troubled by heat which is a problem since I live in Southern California. But what is the hardest for me is losing independence (I am now using a walker at 43-ugh) and my sense of value as a contributing member of my family. I hate feeling like I'm not doing enough for my family and it is SO HARD to ask others for help. I know others want to help me but I just don't want to be perceived as a "taker" or someone who is just using others. My heart aches for you and I also admire you very much. Stay strong!

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    1. Thank you so much and thank you for sharing with me as well. I can completely empathize with you as losing my independence is something I am fearful about. We are not alone and sometimes we just need to accept that help. As I've been told multiple times, people offer to help because they want to and it gives them purpose. Take care and stay strong as well!

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  13. You have a auto immune disorder. I too suffer from cold and once cold I get the riggers which are soooo painful. I soak up heat and do not use air conditioning. So what is it? Lupus? RA? It is something. I too hate asking for help.

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    1. My issue is Lupus and arthritis. I try to do all the right things, but it still kicks my butt every once in a while.

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