Managing Change


Changing residences twice a year is not only stressful, but has quite an impact on my health issues. Issues I am coming to terms with and hopefully will be able to control better when it has to be done again in about 5 months. And in future will happen about another 6 months again.

Getting ready to make the move takes a lot of concentration, patience, and time-management. Having to focus on what needs to stay where you are currently, and what has to go with you. Are you travelling by car, bus, train, or air? We currently travel by car, so have some room to take things back and forth as needed, but not too much so as to leave space to see out the back window of the car! Knowing that in the future we will be travelling by air is going to need a lot of figuring out what can come with us and what has to stay. Obviously not what we are travelling with now, so paring down is going to be interesting.

But, it’s not just about what we travel with, it’s about what kind of climate we are going to be facing when we get to our destinations. With Rheumatoid Arthritis, cold is something I don’t do well with. Fortunately, when I’m in the south, it’s not as much of an issue as it is when I’m in the north. When we arrive in the south, it’s usually quite warm and my body loves the heat (not the humidity so much though). When we arrive in the north, the weather is usually quite cold still, so that really plays on my RA in all my joints.

While still in the south, during the winter months, fortunately the weather is quite temperate, so generally January and most of February can be quite cool (not cold generally). We do have heat, so it doesn’t play too much with my RA, but can have an effect especially if I go out somewhere. Clothing is important there.

Weather isn’t the only thing to take into consideration though. Water! Because we change twice a year, my body needs to make an adjustment twice a year because the water is different in both places. Saying that, this year when we moved back up north, we bought a Zero Water Filter. What a great thing that was. It really helped me keep a lot of my flares under control. Even though most people don’t think this might be an issue, when you have a compromised immune system, it is a huge issue. The Zero water filter has helped to remove just about all the Total Dissolved Solids that I think has been contributing somewhat to my flares. This filter will actually remove lead in the water as well as other heavy metals. It has a 5 stage filter and removes 50% more dissolved solids than the Brita filter does. The Zero water also removes Inorganics, Metals, Pesticides, and various other Chemicals that are all harmful to the body. I’m not advertising here, but know that I feel so much better after starting to drink the water from our Zero water filter system than I did before. I know I can definitely tell when the filter is not doing its job as the water takes on a very funny taste. So when we returned south, we bought a Zero Water Filter there as well.

Sunshine is another plus. Everyone needs sunshine to keep themselves healthy in the form of vitamin D. The south provides lots of vitamin D, as does our area of the north (which is the furthest south location in Canada), but the south provides this all year round in very warm temperatures, which helps a lot! Along with the sun comes exercise, which is not one of my favorite things, but when in the south, I find myself enjoying the pool so much that I try to get there as often as I can. Unfortunately, when a flare hits, it’s almost impossible to get my suit on so on those days, I have little choice but to take it a bit easy, as the flares affect just about all parts of my body – hands, wrists, shoulders, knees, ankles, and feet!

Eating is something we all have to do, but when I eat, I have to prepare everything from scratch. Consequently, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen making meals. I know I really should “batch cook” a lot of my meals, but that requires space to store the prepped meals, which I don’t have a lot of here in the south, but do have up north! So preparing meals about every other day while in the south¬†is a better alternative. That way I can make enough for two days without “stuffing” a lot of things in the fridge!

Buying food is much easier in the south than in the north, as food prices are close, but a bit less expensive than up north.

I guess if I were to chose a place to live year round, it would be the south, where I could get my body to settle in one place for everything and not have to juggle with health issues each time we move.