Thursday, August 04, 2011

Cold and Hot... Pain Relief?

Summer is finally here!!  I've been awaiting the warmer weather, aching (literally) with anticipation for what seems like forever!  We have had a particularly cold Spring and start of Summer... it's so nice to have sunshine and warmth!  Or so I thought...
Yesterday my body was not happy, angry in fact.  It seems the excess heat triggers swelling of joints and causes incredible fatigue.  Who would've guessed that huh?  Today, much of the same, a bit worse.  The pain grew and sharpened over the course of the day and I'm considering calling the doc, but would prefer to wait things out a bit longer.
Pain is not usually my worst enemy.  Because of this I don't have a regular "pain management routine".  I still have some prednisone and consider taking one but haven't yet.  Ice packs are helping to ease the swelling and pain in my hands but I can't keep ice on them forever.  Usually heat therapy is my best bet for easing the ache, but I guess not when the pain is caused by Summer heat.
Currently I am only taking Plaquenil and diclofenac for treatment.  I use heat to loosen up the joints and ease the ache.  I guess now I'm also using cold therapy when the pain is triggered by warmer temps.  I don't want to take pain medication if I don't have to because I know I'll have trouble rationing myself once I have access to it.  I don't want to "cave" before I "have" to, if you know what I mean.  My rheumy will prescribe something for the pain if (or when) it gets bad enough.  I sort of dread that day.  I hope to God it never comes, or at least not anytime soon.
For now I'll continue my fight.  I'll fight the cold with hot, heat with ice... maybe someday it will all balance out.


  1. Pain is hard to deal with, it really is. Especially when you have it for long periods of time and it just doesn't go away.

    I use hot and cold to help. Some days I just know that I need to use a cold pack on my elbow or wrist, or that heat will help my shoulders. Other days it's kind of a guessing game as to what will make me feel better.

  2. Cassandra, thanks for your post. I thought I was crazy the first time I had swelled up in the summer heat. I live in Arizona so it gets pretty hot here. At times it has been a balancing act to get just the right climate control when living with RA.
    I am so glad I found your blog. I love your faith based approach. Yes, it helps to remember that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. How great it is that we have a God with no limitations at all. God bless you.

  3. I hear you! Last summer, I was really struggling. And then, fall hit! I was so relieved. I hear that some people fair better in the heat than the cold. Not me. I live in Buffalo and am grateful for the cooler weather and shorter "hot" season. I have always loved this area for it's four seasons, especially fall. Even more so now. This has been one hot summer!

    Hoping you find a form of relief that you are comfortable with. I struggles with taking something to and then realized, I needed to. Good luck!


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