Thanks to my numerous alternative and natural treatments, I’ve been able to decrease and eliminate many flare-ups and daily symptoms that I have experienced from fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis. This year I can add less downtime due to excessive heat and heatwaves to that list!! In fact despite a triple digit heatwave heading towards southern California, I was still able to go to Disneyland to celebrate Independence Day with my family.
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Until last year summer, excessive heat and heatwaves were responsible for triggering fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis flares that left me in bed for most of the summer instead of going to the beach or Disneyland. Most days were spent lying in my bed or recliner praying for the pain to end. Living in Arizona was the worst, because there wasn’t just an occasional heatwave, the entire summer was considered extreme heat. I rarely left the house during the summer and when I did, I was miserable. Living in California is so much better. In fact, I experienced the difference long before I made changes to how I treated my chronic illnesses. Triple digits are not common here and my body and I fell in love with the summer weather. Although I was still getting knocked down from heatwaves, my body wasn’t being punished by the weather on a daily basis.
How excessive heat affected me
Excessive heat and heatwaves would completely knock me down. I would experience extreme muscle and mental fatigue, joint/bone pain, muscle/joint inflammation, increased nerve pain, swelling around my spine which would then shoot nerve pain not only down my legs but up through my neck and skull too. I would also experience inflammation around my skull. I would struggle to open my eyes and speak coherently. Forget sitting up, my entire world would spin out of control each time I tried.
These symptoms would often start as early as 3 days prior to the heatwave hitting or anywhere from 2 to 24 hours before. These flares would last until the pressure pushing in the heat began to decline. Depending on how long it took for the pressure to decrease, I would be knocked down for 2 to 5 days. There were times when I would be lucky to have one or two good days a month during the summer season. When living where my summer temperatures were considered extreme heat for over 3 months I was basically down that entire time. I felt like my skin was on fire and as though it and my muscles were being pulled from my bones. Imagine how it would feel to have someone take a screwdriver and attempt to pry them open, that is the pain that I was told I would never be able to escape.
How changing my treatment plan brought back my love of summer
In the past 6 years, since I began treating my conditions naturally, and alternatively, the amount of time I spend in bed continues to decrease. In fact, in the past year, the amount of time I have lost to a heatwave can be accounted for on one hand. Instead of losing a complete day though, I only lose portions.
I experience the symptoms in smaller degrees. For example, the fatigue that used to plague me 24/7 throughout a heatwave, now only requires that I take a nap or two and/or that maybe I sleep in an hour or two later than normal and or go to bed an hour or two more than I prefer. I am no longer tortured by uncontrollable nerve pain. My muscle/joint pain is minimal compared to what I used to deal with as I can still function for a good portion of the day without dealing with pain that used to bring tears to my eyes.
Another perk is that I don’t have to medicate myself into a mental stupor to get that pain level down.
How I’m winning the battle
To begin winning I had to take ownership of my healthcare and accept that I, not my doctor is responsible for my health. He/she can suggest and prescribe things, but I have the final say over what goes in and on my body. Since what I had done for twelve years failed to help me it was time to make some changes.
Click here to find out what changes I made and click here to discover which symptoms I addressed first. This is why I have been able to decrease the severity of my flares and symptoms in all realms, not just with heatwaves. Now when I feel a heatwave, yes I feel them, and often way before the weatherman predicts them, I address my symptoms immediately. The moment I feel swelling in my hips and sacrum, I alternate icing the areas, running pemf treatments, and applying a topical CBD oil. The same goes for when I feel any pressure or inflammation around my spine and neck.
By keeping those areas happy and keeping the pressure, swelling, and pain from getting out of control is what has been helping me. I also try to see my chiropractor, because an adjustment also helps relieve some of the pressure around my spine that I’m unable to relieve myself. Throughout the day I need nothing besides ice my Oska Pulse and a topical CBD oil to get through the day. I will smoke or vape medical marijuana before bed or a little earlier depending on how drastically I was able to decrease the swelling and keep it under control. But this is nothing new as I have a little medical marijuana before bed every night to help with insomnia.
The gift that keeps on giving
My pain management plan is the gift that keeps on giving. With each passing year and new addition or tweak to my plan, my pain and severity of my chronic illnesses decreases and my life improves. Because of my winning combination I was able to go out yesterday, even though we are expecting triple digits tomorrow! It is why I am able to work today instead of spending my entire day in bed.
I began feeling the symptoms from this impending heatwave on Sunday. That is also when I began addressing the symptoms. I didn’t wait and allow them to get out of control, I addressed them immediately. Because the methods I use are effective for my body, I was able to celebrate the 4th of July with family at Disneyland. It was the best Independence Day that I have had since being diagnosed with fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis in 2003.
What about you?
Did you get to celebrate the 4th with family or friends or were you home alone in bed praying for the pain to end? Look back at your past year. How many social engagements did you have to cancel? How many holidays did you have to stay at home while your family went out? Does chronic pain ruin plans and/or holidays for your spouse and children? Have you made changes to how you treat your chronic pain and the symptoms from your chronic illnesses that limit how much you are physically able to do? If not, why not?
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all pain management plan for any chronic illness including fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis. I am not saying that my plan is the best or even that it is the plan for you, I do however invite you to look at it to see if there isn’t something in my plan that could help you. I know you don’t enjoy having to cancel plans or spend the holidays in bed. I know that because that was once me and I hated it.
If you are winning the Battle of excessive heat and your chronic illnesses I’d love to hear how you’re doing it. Be sure to share in the comments what you use, what you do, and how you are reclaiming your life. And as always if you have any questions about how I manage my chronic illnesses and my chronic pain and how I am winning my battle with them please ask.