Symptoms & Reactions

Welcome to Lupus in Winter

Welcome to Lupus in Winter

Winter has never been one of my favorite seasons, even prior to my Lupus diagnosis. Yes, there’s definitely beauty in the season, especially with our breath-taking views of the snow-capped Sierra mountains. But all the cold and darkness make them hard to enjoy. And, now that I’m living with Lupus, the painful physical and emotional effects of winter take a toll on me like never before. It simply makes me want to burrow in a nice warm place for a long winter’s nap. Welcome to Lupus in winter. Wake me up when it’s all over…. **



One word to describe my Lupus body today:  Cold

Which habits and rituals did I practice to soothe my Lupus body?

  • Slept well
  • Ate a clean diet
  • Moved and stretched
  • Protected delicate skin

More details about my physical symptoms:
It’s cold outside. Cold, like 20 degrees during the day and single digits at night here in Reno. Brrr! My muscles and bones don’t do well in this weather, but my lungs are especially affected. Breathing in cold outside air is painful and restricted, and the effects of it linger even after I’ve returned to warmer indoor air. Between this awful pleuritic chest pain and asthma-like reaction to the cold, the up and down joint and muscle pain, and the lingering palpitations from my previous attack of a-fib, I’m basically down for the count. Because of this, since Christmas, I’ve canceled my regularly scheduled doctor appointments in favor of hibernating, so to speak. Although it’s only just begun, Lupus in winter has me longing for Spring….



One word to describe my Lupus mind today: Fighting

Which habits and rituals did I practice to strengthen my Lupus mind?

  • Managed expectations
  • Managed stress response

More details and thoughts about how I’m feeling emotionally today:
It’s SO very hard fight depression when your body fails you so often. Top that reality with the darkness and cold of this time of year, and you have a guaranteed formula for deep sadness. I’m fighting it with all my might right now. One of the appointments I canceled this week because of the cold was with my psychotherapist. I now wish I had mustered the energy and found a way to deal with the pain long enough to make it in to see her. I’m not sure I can wax philosophical today. I’m just swinging my mental fists to knock out depression—or at least knock it down so that I can make it through today …and tomorrow. The phrase, “one day at a time” has never been more true for me.



One word to describe my spirit today: Resilient

Which habits and rituals did I practice to nurture my Lupus spirit?

  • Meditated, prayed, visualized

Thoughts about my spiritual connection and spiritual lessons learned today:
Sometimes, I wonder where I get the strength to keep fighting to LIVE with this awful disease. Days like today make my existence sometimes just too much to bear, but for some reason, deep down inside of me, there’s a resilience that doesn’t go away. It’s hard to put my finger on it, but I think it comes from a spiritual place. You know, the idea of never giving up no matter what. That still small voice in me simply whispers, “Get up.” The roots of my spiritual connection keep me determined not to lose, not to be the victim of anyone or anything—even Lupus. Especially Lupus. My spiritual resilience helps me when nothing else will. I’m tapping into it today and praying that it never goes away….



Today my meals were:

  • Breakfast: Gluten-free oatmeal with chopped apple and raisins (so good!)
  • Lunch: Homemade tuna salad sandwich on gluten-free bread
  • Dinner: Homemade Italian chicken thighs, rice, spinach
  • Snacks: Cashews
  • Water: 48 ounces



At least one thing that I’m grateful for today:

  • My spiritual resilience
  • A warm, lovely home


**(This post is based on the format of the Lupus Diary that I developed for keeping track of how Lupus affects my body, mind, and spirit, I check-in here once a week to let you know about the more interesting days of my Lupus journey. To learn more about the Lupus Diary, how I developed it, and why I use it, click here.)


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