Climate change and weather changes are hard for people with chronic illnesses. Any slight or extreme changes in the temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure can trigger a flare/episode. So instead of writing one long piece about how this affects me and maybe other people with HypoPP, it seemed better to split it up into smaller sections. For this one, obviously, I’ll tell you a little about the effects of precipitation (rain, sleet, snow, hail) because it is really annoying and super frustrating at times.
Sometimes I wake up, and instantly, I have a feeling that’s raining. Not just because of intuition, but because of the way my body feels: my legs ache, my head feels foggy, my limbs feel as if they weigh a thousand pounds. So I just stay there for a while, in bed, until the weakness wears off and my head clears a little bit. Sometimes I continue to improve, and sometimes I don’t and spend a cozy day in at home.
In other instances, episodes are triggered randomly when I’m out and about. It happened as I was getting out of a class this past Fall semester. My “spidey sense” started going off just as I stepped onto campus. I felt my leg(s) start to lock up. By the time class ended, I had to baby step my way to my car (which wasn’t far thankfully). I sat there for a while to see of the attack would subside but it didn’t so I drove over to the library (dangerous). As I put my car in park, it starts pouring down raining. The brainfog lifted and the aches dulled, so I baby stepped my way up to the library. By the time I left the library everything was fine. Looking back at this I definitely should not have been driving, even though I was able to. It wasn’t far, maybe 4ish blocks away, but looking back at this it is pretty obvious that I needed a break and should not have continued pushing myself to study.
This tends to happen more often in the fall than the Spring and Summer combined. This is because there are many more changes in the barometric pressure in the fall than any other time of the year. The spring is also very variable but much more tolerable as it tends to stabilize and weather conditions tend to continue to improve over time. Whereas the in the fall, the weather continues to get more and more variable and then boom. It’s winter time. Going back to barometric pressure, it is simply a measure of the air pressure. And when there are swift changes in air pressure as a result of two differing pressure systems meeting, it tends to precipitate (i.e. rain, snow, sleet, hail, ect.) As storms approach us, the barometric pressure falls and we get rain and/or thunderstorms. Higher barometric pressure is associated with clear skies and clear weather (go science!). Yup, that’s what the weatherman is talking about on the news when they talk about “clear skies” and “low pressure systems” and such. Sometimes it still doesn’t make sense to me but it is helpful to know a little something.
So, when the weather is variable the air pressure is variable and that makes it a heck of a lot harder for those of us who are greatly affected by it. It can be really hard to deal with but you get used to it I guess. Hope this helps to give some insight into what it’s like with HypoPP or maybe just gave you something to relate to. What do you all like to do when you’re off on rainy days? I like to play video games, write, read, or binge watch t.v. shows with some good snacks. Lemme know 🙂