Surviving the Four Seasons with Sarcoidosis
Here in the northeastern part of the United States, we enjoy four distinct seasons. Before my sarcoidosis diagnosis, I appreciated each season for different reasons. However, since sarcoidosis, things have changed.
Summer was my favorite season when I was younger. Like many kids, I spent days in the sun, often on a beach or in a pool. The hot temperatures had no apparent adverse effects on me.
However, since my diagnosis, summer is no longer my friend. Once temperatures reach 80 degrees and the humidity increases, I am mostly confined to my air-conditioned house.
Many people are vacationing and enjoying the great outdoors during the warmer months. When outside, I struggle with poor air quality, breathing difficulties, and increased fatigue. I find that my small fiber neuropathy is more active in the heat of summer, too. I miss those days of sunbathing now that sun exposure is discouraged due to sarcoidosis.
Any temperature extremes are challenging for me. Winter is a struggle — the cold, wind, and precipitation make it challenging for those of us with respiratory conditions, even when we’re bundled up in suitable attire. I find that the dampness irritates my joints and adds to an overall feeling of unease.
Spring and fall are our transition seasons, preparing us for summer and winter. In this neck of the woods, spring is frequently rainy and damp, which exacerbates my joint pain. Seasonal allergies are prevalent, aggravating sarcoidosis if they are not adequately managed. While spring pulls us out of the winter months and gives us hope that the longer days will soon arrive, it brings with it a whole host of potential aggravators.
Fortunately, fall can be a pleasant time of year for me. The season typically brings drier air, less rain, and more tolerable temperatures. The lower dew points and humidity allow me to breathe easier and benefit from being outdoors. Autumn is my favorite time of year, especially since sarcoidosis.
I haven’t yet figured out how to deal with how the seasonal changes affect my sarcoidosis. I am fortunate to have creative work to help me through the extreme temperatures. I do my best to manage my symptoms, one season at a time.
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