Last week we had our first blizzard of the 19/20 winter season. Winds gusting at 65mph and temps in the single digits (fahrenheit) can make for some real challenges for spoonies. Many folks with autoimmune and/or chronic illness (myself included) are profoundly sensitive to cold weather. (OK, I’m actually profoundly sensitive to all weather, cold, hot, changing, you name it, but I digress.) Today I’m going to share a few things we do around the house to keep ourselves warm.
digital pic from Pinterest by tailpic.com — every night of my life 🙂
There’s an interesting article I found on MS Trust about the causes of temperature sensitivity in MS patients that I found helpful and Julie at Counting My Spoons has some good suggestions for keeping warm when you must be outside. Here’s a few of the things I do when the weather turns frightful. These are things that I do so please, use your own best judgement and when in doubt, contact your medical provider.
Movement – Common sense might seem to say “stay inside” when the temperatures drop but actually if it’s above freezing and sunny, you’ll find me outside taking a short walk. Sunshine is terribly important to me, if the temps are too low, or there are significant “wind chills” I have been known to sit in the car with the sun coming in through the windows. If it’s too icky to be outside, we have a treadmill and several indoor walking programs at our disposal. Moving around helps me keep warm and blood circulating and, frankly, improve my mood. There are days, however, when even that is beyond my available spoons. On those days, I get up from my computer (or reading chair) every 30 minutes and walk 20 times around my RV. It’s not as much walking as it sounds like as my trailer is only about 30 feet long. 😉 You are the only person qualified to say what your energy levels will allow on any given day, so don’t fall into the rut of feeling worse because you don’t feel like doing anything, it happens to all of us. Do the best you can and maybe tomorrow will be better.
Space Heaters – We have a small electric “fireplace” in our RV. Yeah, I know it’s really just a space heater with a pretty picture over it but I do love to curl up in a blanket and watch the flames. Which brings me to my next tip, space heaters. When I was still working, I kept a small space heater under my desk, now we keep a couple of small ones in the RV for supplemental room heating.
Covers – It goes without saying that we keep an extra supply of blankets and throws. In Winter, we hang small throws over both recliners to curl up with. We also use flannel sheets on the bed and have extra blankets available. I know a lot of Spoonies who swear by electric blankets but we don’t go that route. Too much EMF exposure for my taste and frankly, I also have to be very cautious about getting too warm. So it’s plain blankets, sometimes lots of them, that I can throw off as I get warmer and warmer. I keep a shawl draped over my desk chair so I can throw it on if I get cold while working at the computer station, and a pair of fingerless gloves as well.
Insulation – We also use foam insulation in various thin spots around the house. RV’s are not known for their insulation, we pack a bit of foam around the slides and keep the exterior skirted which helps keep the cold out from underneath the trailer. In our former home we used plastic shrink wrap window insulation, and heavy drapes every winter.
That’s about it for around the house. Next week I’ll share a little about “personal” warmth conservation. Clothing, food and beverages, etc. etc.
Let it Snow – Dean Martin
Til next time ~Keep Warm and Count your Spoons ~JPP