This summer in Montréal has been particularly hot & humid, with less rain than usual. It seemed as though Environment Canada – our national weather service – was issuing extreme heat warnings every day.
In the past, like many other folks here, I’d have been complaining that it was just too hot. But not for the last 2.5 years. That’s how long I’ve had CRPS*, a rare disease that causes horrific nerve pain & a host of other symptoms.
One of the things that makes the symptoms of this disease worse, for me & every other patient I’ve connected with, is the cold. The neuropathic pain gets worse, the joint & skin problems get worse; all of the many symptoms seem to ratchet up a few notches when my right hand & arm get cold.
Cool weather in the spring or fall, below-freezing temperatures in winter, being caught in cool rain in the summertime, even air conditioning. If the affected part of the body gets cold, the disease will react & its symptoms will be much worse. CRPS usually affects the limbs & extremities; legs & feet, arms & hands.
So today’s weather came as a bit of a nasty surprise to my affected hand & arm. Even though I have CRPS, I still try to ride my bike as often as I can; with one hand, and wearing a huge Arctic mitten – even in very hot weather!
During our non-snow months, I try to go cycling daily – if it’s not raining. Last week the Humidex or RealFeel temperature here was above 30°C (or 86 F). But this morning, when I went out for my bike ride, it was only 7°C (or 44 F)!!!
I had to wrap my affected hand & wrist in a piece of super-soft synthetic fleece, under my giant mitten. But I still managed a 50 km (32 mile) Sunday ride, and I’m really happy with that.
I’m (still!) learning to appreciate what I can do, instead of focusing on the things I can’t do anymore. And next week the weather’s supposed to be warmer – Yay!
* CRPS = Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
For information about CRPS, read: CRPS Awareness. As always, thanks for reading ,-)