Patient Perspective – Getting ready for winter

As the nights creep in, and with them the cold, our patient blogger Vickie is sharing her tips on keeping warm, and looking at why it’s important blood cancer patients take precautions for the cold weather.

Winter is on its way, which means bitterly cold weather, which in turn means we have to prepare ourselves.

I went to the park this week, with my children as it was blue skies and no rain. When we got to the park, we had a lovely walk and playing football. What spoilt it was how freezing it was; even my children complained.

I had a nice warm coat, but it wasn’t warm enough. I had gloves on as well, and whilst they helped, I didn’t realise just how bitterly cold it was. I couldn’t wait to get home in the warmth with a nice cup of tea.

So, this month I am discussing the changes in the months ahead and what we can do to help ourselves.

Firstly, make sure you wrap up warm, gloves, hat, scarves, nice warm cosy socks. Even wearing thermals would be great – extra layers. I either wear a hat to cover my ears or earmuffs, as the cold weather gets into my ears and the pain can be horrible. It stings. So, make sure you wrap the areas that need to be extra warm.

If you start feeling unwell out in the cold, go back home. Staying out could cause you to have a cold, even the flu. I have noticed since having leukaemia that I do feel the cold a lot more, which does hurt my joints.

A good, thick, warm coat and footwear will help going out. We need to make sure we are warm as we are prone to catching something. We need to look after ourselves the best possible way. Prepare all your clothes before going out and double check you have everything you need. There’s nothing worse than not feeling the best when we are out.

I use a water bottle as well, especially for bed. Sometimes I will take my water bottle out with me. Drinking plenty of hot fluids as well warms the inside up.

In the house, I have my heating on but not all day – I have to pay the bill. So again, around my house, I use a water bottle and blankets, along with nice cosy socks.

So, if we look after ourselves in these bitterly cold winter months, we then can enjoy all the festivities coming ahead. We have Halloween, Bonfire night and, before long, Christmas.

All the bright lights, music, family, atmosphere and a chance to enjoy life.

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