One of the biggest joys of living in Southern California is obviously the weather…and Disneyland. We don’t really have specific seasons. It’s pretty much 75°F all year round. And because we are still in a severe drought, it’s very dry. The summers can get pretty hot, but I’ll take it for a winter in shorts and a T-shirt. Ideal weather for someone suffering from chronic pain? For the most part, yes.
I was born and raised in the sunshine so when I went away to college, I was really itching for a change. I ended up at the University of Oregon in Eugene, a medium-sized college town about two hours south of Portland. The Pacific Northwest is known for its rain and overall dreariness but it never got too cold. And when the sun did come out, everyone took full advantage by sunbathing on the grass or having class outside. Everyone from home told me that I would be depressed with the lack of sun. I absolutely loved it. I liked the rain and had no problem adapting to the lack of sun—it didn’t hurt that I wasn’t a big outdoor girl. It would get down to the low 30’s sometimes in the winter but I was never very cold. I loved the coziness about the weather, especially being surrounded by so much greenery.
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia during my junior year of college. My mother who also lived with the same disorder warned me that the weather might start messing with my joints and add to my pain. I was happy to say that I never experienced weather induced pain, except for a little in my wrist due to a break when I was 8. Fast forward seven years and things are much different. Now, even with living back in Southern California, I can totally feel my body change with the weather.
It’s almost like the Mean Girls bit when Karen can “predict” when it’s raining by feeling her boobs. If I’m having a really hard time with my chronic pain, I can expect rain in the coming days. It’s just amazing to me that just in the short period of a few years, my body can affect me in such a drastic way. I always said that I wanted to move back to Oregon one day, but I need to be realistic. I might be stuck with heat and sunshine for the rest of my life. I don’t think my body could handle the wet cold that inhabits the beautiful state and it breaks my heart. But its not going to stop me from visiting. I could handle a few days of elevated pain in return for this: