Friday, October 07, 2011

Winter preparation 2012

Winters are different if you have rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.

There are a list of things to do:

Apart from the cold and bad weather which can make morning stiffness more uncomfortable, I also try to prevent the winter infections such as cold and flu. For some people ( including me), a bad infection where your immune system works like crazy could trigger a flare. This is my checklist for health:
  1. Flu jabs - This needs to be taken every year, and ideally as soon as it is available in September/October. It takes a few weeks before the jab fully work. I usually take mine in pharmacies. 
  2. Get ready antiseptic alcohol hand gel - very important to prevent catching cold/flu when going out and taking public transport
  3. Disinfectant sprays for the home/office - My favourite is  "Neutraair" from Dettol for home. It is a "2 in 1 "-  eliminating odours and also killing bacteria at the same time
  4. Omega 3 supplements and multivitamins
  5. Medicine cupboard - antiviral for flu, cough and cold medicines, enough supplies of pain killers and medicines for RA/fibromyalgia. 
  6. Stock up on heat plasters/muscle rubs which feels warm instead of cool

  1. Central heating - turn on the heating while it is still warm for a couple of hours to ensure everything is ok.
  2. Double check your utility tariffs - you don't want to be caught with surprise increases
  3. Additional quick heating available for mornings that are exceptionally cold (My heater fan bought in 2009 - it is one of the best investments I have ever made!)
  4. Supply of stockings, thermals, gloves!
  5. Supply of small towels and a working microwave for my hot towel compress ( sooth stiff joints)

This is for "hunkering" down - days when you are unwell and don't want to get out, or the when the weather is really bad and you don't want to slip and fall. 
  1. Stock up food  for bad weather days. I have a list of food that I always have in my fridge and cupboards in case I get a flare, and also have my list of "flare food". I make sure these are enough!
  2. Working from home arrangements in place
  3. Check other "supplies" e.g. detergents etc
  4. If you have a car, it is also time to make sure that it is in good order and have your deicer etc ready

These are the additional steps I take to make the winter a cozy one.
  1. Coat/winter wear in good condition - check buttons, zips etc are in good condition.  I don't want to mend clothes in a dark winter night, especially if I have a flare
  2. Shoes/Boots have good grips/soles in good conditions
  3. Candles and lavender essential oils to make the home a cozy one
  4. BISCUITS , instant hot chocolate   :)
  5. Get ready some books and other "indoor projects". 
Does anyone out there have other tips?

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