Seasons of Change


This time of the year in Ohio is one of the most beautiful. Trees are beginning to change the colors of their leaves, the air gets crisper and cooler at night, the breezes bring a welcome relief from the summer’s oppressive heat and people begin to look forward to winter. I love this time of year. This time of year, does not love me. Why?

When the air gets that lovely crispness in it, my asthma acts up. My allergies are in full swing as well. The cooler air and air pressure changes cause my joints to ache and swell up, and can make me feel out of control of my own body. I am a human barometer.

I used to make fun of my grandfather because he always knew when the cold fronts were coming through. He felt it in his bones, he said. More likely he felt it in his joints like I do. As a matter of fact, my fingers are aching as I type this. Yup, it is confirmed, I have become like my grandfather in this respect.

Science has conflicting ideas about the body being able to tell when a front is coming through. There have been multiple studies done, some proving it true, while others proving it false. In the lupus population, I daresay, we could make the scientists believers.

Personally, I know I feel it. I do not watch the news much (too depressing for a depressed person like me) so I do not know the weather forecast unless someone tells me or I happen to catch it in passing. My joints tell me when rain is coming, a cold front is coming, even snow I can feel in my bones. My feet are turning colors (purple) as well. I feel sure that there are many others out there who are experiencing the same thing. I feel that it is because we lupies are more in tune with the pain centers in our bodies and can feel the slightest changes more readily than a healthy individual would. We have learned to “listen” to our bodies.

So, while this time of year is delightful with its crystal clear blue autumnal skies and brilliant display of colorful leaves and cool crisp air, it is also a double edged sword to those of us who deal with these disease of the joints. Our mission then, is to try to find a balance between the pain and the beauty.  So here’s to all of us lupies out there, walking with the leaves crunching under our feet, and here’s hoping that you will get out there and enjoy the fall weather and try to not let it rule you with pain. Find pleasure in the simple things all around you and it will indeed help keep your pain in its place. Mind over matter, so to speak.  While you are enjoying the fall and all its wonder, please remember to not focus on the negatives, but ont he positives all around us. In this way, the big bad wolf cannot win!