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Cold weather response?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Robin, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. Robin

    Robin Guest

    I take my dog out every morning to throw his frisbee, something I do every day. Even though my health is pretty bad right now it's something I can do daily with no PEM. It's just a few steps out the door and a few throws (my dog is really old so he doesn't need a ton of exercise.)

    Since it's been cold this daily ritual is exhausting me. It was 18 degrees F this morning; I wear a down coat, boots, mittens, etc. and a heated scarf to cover my mouth because the cold air triggers asthma. I noticed my heart starts pounding, and it first I thought it was the asthma but the warm scarf keeps the cold air out of my lungs, and I don't wheeze, have chest pain or tightness or any of the other symptoms. After two or three throws my muscles start to weaken and I want to lie down.

    This morning I took my resting heart rate (76bpm), and then again when I was outside in the cold throwing the frisbee (124bpm.) My blood pressure was taken right after I came in the house panting (which is purportedly supposed to rise on exertion in normal people) was 96/62. WTF.

    The only thing I can think is that it's from the temperature change. Has anyone else experienced something like this?
  2. annunziata

    annunziata Senior Member

    Hudson Valley
    Hi Robin,

    I noticed back in the 80s, during my first winter with ME/CFS, that cold was a big stressor. In addition, I nearly always have to do (or try to do) some things that are hard, like clearing at least some snow from my front steps and bringing in wood. Unless I have a major exacerbation of some kind (cause unknown, infection, too much activity), the summers are much, much easier for me. I've heard many other patients say they find the winters hard and that they feel worse. Your respective heart rate and BP results are really interesting -- what a good idea to try to quantify this.
  3. talkingfox

    talkingfox Senior Member

    Olympia, wa
    I get the same stuff, Robin, EXCEPT it's in response to heat, not cold. Anything over about 72 degrees and I'm dying.
  4. Robin

    Robin Guest

    Glad to know I'm not alone!

    annunziata, that's interesting that you feel the effects of the cold on exertion like getting the wood; I seem to be OK until I do any minor physical activity. It's like the cold magnifies it!

    @ talkingfox, that's interesting too! Do you have problems with taking showers?
  5. talkingfox

    talkingfox Senior Member

    Olympia, wa
    Yuppers. Makes my pulse go through the roof, exacerbates any neuro stuff I may have going on and makes my skin feel all 'needle prickly' To date I just suck it up and when I start feeling 'altered' I get out. I've learned to wash my hair quick. :Retro wink:
  6. spit

    spit Senior Member

    I've found that I'm a lot more sensitive to both extremes. Cold used to be my favorite -- I spent tons of time running around in the snow, and as a kid I loved swimming in the ocean -- which in northern CA, isn't something most people do for very long, if at all. When I lived back east for a bit, I could totally walk out to get something in bare feet in january, no problem. Now, it hits like 40 and I'm absolutely freezing, feel stupider by the minute, and at some point can hardly move, like all of the life is just draining out of my muscles. Heat is bad, too -- showers don't seem to get me, but I live in the CA central valley without air conditioning, and in the summer it can hit like 110 outside. Used to be annoying but bearable, but now I get the prickles, too, and I can become a twitchy mess, barely able to talk or move because my muscles are basically either individually convulsing or limp. The heart rate goes nuts, I feel faint, etc.

    I've never tried measuring it, I'll have to do that. My blood pressure is actually kind of high now that I'm on stimulants, though, and my resting heart rate can spike randomly with them, so I'm not sure I could get a clean reading while I'm on them. I'll have to go off them for another sleep study at some point, so maybe I'll combine that with some measurement.
  7. flybro

    flybro Senior Member

    I used to love the heat and have alays hated the cold.

    I used to say that living in Malta in my formative years, ruined my ability to take the British damp and cold.

    The cold has always seemed painful to me. I remebr my brother making snowballs with bare hands, the cold hurt my hands far too much when I tried.

    The cold aggravates my fibro, and some old injuries.

    I was always a sun worshipper. I could lay in the sun, and I also worked outside when the weather was good.

    I dont spend much time outside at all now, even in good weather.

    MCS, breathing and skin problems are all far worse in the summer. Last year I had sinus problems through-out the summer, which seems to make me intolerant of bright light.

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