Chicago is very cold in the winter and it is also windy, so the wind chill factor is quite noticable. I live in the Midwest. We don't generally get as cold as Chicago, but we do get below zero at times and have wind chill factors of -20 occasionally.
The cold weather really increases my pain level. My rheumatologist always increases my meds in the winter. He even told me my pain would be worse in the winter. I don't have RA, but I do have a type of inflammatory arthritis.
Congratulations on your graducate school studies. Let us know what you decide and how it is going for you. You might want to write a Sharepost and share your experience with others. That might help someone else in a similar situation.
Congratulations on going to graduate school! One of the best things you can do for your future career is to get as much education as you can, so good for you.
Reaction to weather tends to be a bit individual, but your experience seems to indicate that you are sensitive to barometric pressure. Both locations have humidity, but if I were choosing, I'd go for the warmer - barometric pressure messes with my RA and it doesn't much like humidity, but humidity and cold are even worse. My symptoms always better in the summer and the winter (I live in Toronto, which is close to Chicago in terms of weather)
You may want to check out my post on going back to school for more information about going to school with RA. Are you already aware that as a student with a chronic illness/disability, you are entitled to accommodations? That means assistance taking notes, longer time for exams, help with technical adaptations, such as voice-recognition software, etc. If you haven't already, contact your school's office for students with disabilities for more information. Another thing you may want to look into is carrying a lower courseload. I did my undergraduate degree full-time, but my graduate degree part-time and it made a huge difference in my health, my energy levels and my grades. It was a much better experience because I had the time and energy to enjoy it and to do a better job.
Would you consider writing a SharePost about your experience of going to college with RA? I think it would be valuable for our other users to read about.
We hope you find this general health information helpful. Please note however, that this Q&A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. No information in the Answers above is intended to diagnose or treat any condition. The views expressed in the Answers above belong to the individuals who posted them and do not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media. Remedy Health Media does not review or edit content posted by our community members, but reserves the right to remove any material it deems inappropriate.