Monday, January 23, 2012

The Flare!

(Sadie says it all!)
We all have them. The dreaded flare! It comes on in so many different ways for so many different people that for this post I am going to focus on how mine tend to come on.

Lately, I know one is heading my way because first I tend to get exhausted. Then comes the shivers or feeling of being cold. Cold to the point I put on extra layers of clothing, turn up the heat, and burrow deep down under the covers. And need I not forget...the dreaded pain of it all. Yes, mine also come with that PAIN! You know what I am talking about if you have ra.
(Sleep...blissful sleep)

The pain really only depends on where you have ra and what medications you can take to staff off that pain. Mine has been ratcheting it up a bit and hitting me square up and down my spine and in my ribcage. I am not going to venture out on a limb here as we all know (snicker snicker) that ra doesn't hit the spine. Bull! Yup, bull. It does, it has, and chances are it will hit you at some point in your spine if you have a formidable case of ra. No, we are not imagining this doctors out there! RA does hit our spines!

For me I am able to rest when I need so for this flare from the deep down depths of the dark (I hate to use cuss words on my blog), I took to sleep. I also took one additional tramadol and additional pregnisone and no....I did not call my ra doc as you know I am currently trying to figure out how to get a new one. That doc would have not so kindly told me that I probably deserved this flare as I am not on the heavy duty ra meds he has recommended. Of course if you have been reading my blog you know why I don't want to try anymore heavy duty ra meds. I am worried about triggering cancer as I have had two types of thyroid cancers already and have a high history of breast cancer in my family. I will take the flare instead.

I slept for over 14 hours straight. Sometimes we just gotta do what we gotta do to get through these beastly things. I made it through and hoping that after I close this post and go back to bed, the morning sunlight will bring me a better day tomorrow.
(Sadie says maybe tomorrow will be a play date)

We can hope...can't we?

What do you do to overcome a flare? Can you tell when one is coming on? If you work, how do you cope when a flare hits at work?
I love my pj's too Sadie!

Further Reading:
The ABC's of Pain Management: Let The Games Begin
The Pressure Cooker: ABC's of RA and barometric pressure
A Perplexing Problem: The Girls

15 comments:

adrienne said...

How come I have never seen Sadie before? She is SO cute! Love those pjs. I am so sorry you are flaring. Take it easy and stay in bed and hopefully you will feel better real soon. Take care.

Joan said...

Sadie is adorable! I hope you're up to walking her and playing with her soon.

I had to go research flares because I'm just not sure if what I have is a flares or just active disease between treatments. I dunno...

I just know I hurt, have hurt since November, and I"m tired of it. I baby myself and take it easy. But sometimes it seems my husband forgets I'm sick. Actually, I'm not sure he even realizes I am sick. Sorry... Didn't mean to whine on your blog!!! ;)

Wren said...

Awww Deb, I'm so sorry you're having such an awful flare. Staying warm and resting is probably the best you can do for it (and maybe the only thing, too). It must be frustrating not only to be wary of taking those toxic RA drugs for fear of cancer, but to also have your doc be unsympathetic to your suffering and even imply that you're to blame for it. That just makes me growl.

The flare of RA and the bursitis pain I'm coping with right now actually gave me some warning of their imminence last week as the barometer began dropping. I could feel pressure in my joints that normally isn't there. But usually, my RA hits without any warning. The flares just strike suddenly and for no reason I can figure out.

I cope by slowing down, resting the affected joint (not that I have much choice in that when the joint is so painful moving it takes more courage than I can muster), and applying heat for the RA, ice for the bursitis. And I wait until it goes away. These days that can take anywhere from four to 48 hours. And of course, since life can't slow down or stop with me, I do whatever I can manage in the meantime.

I hope the flare in your spine (ow ow ow ow!) eases soon. Sending warmth, comfort and peace your way.

Theresa said...

I sure hope morning brings a better day for you, my dear. If not...just keep caring for yourself the best you can. And know there are so many of us out here thinking of you, sending love across the world wide web and straight into your heart.
Rest well, my friend.
Theresa

Deb aka AbcsOfra said...

Adrienne...Sadie is Moomee and Mango's cousin :-) My nephew's pup. She is the sweetest thing. I grabbed these photos over the holidays thus the candycane pj's. I love Sadie like she is my own.

Joan...sometimes the ones closest to us seem to dissapoint us the most with chronic illness. I am not sure if they just don't get it or maybe they don't want to get it. I can only imagine that our chronic illness can be overwhelming for them at times but just so it is at times and not all the time. If it is an all the time thing, maybe you guys could consider counseling but be sure the counselor understands chronic illness and just how it can impact relationships. My heart goes out to you.

Wren...I read on your blog about the current problems you are experiencing. I am confident it is the monster of pain that is attacking us all here. Take out the swords, call in the marines! We need to put this one away for good! I hope you start to feel better also. (((HUGS)))

Theresa...Well the morning brought sunshine and that is a good thing. And although this flare isn't gone yet, I can finally get out of bed and make it to the kitchen and maybe outside for a short shuffle walk today. I am hoping the sun will revive my drained batteries. I am solar charged...did you know that :-)

Tonya said...

Oh Deb....I am so sorry that you are in such pain right now. I hope you get relief soon and can play with cute little Sadie!

Deb aka AbcsOfra said...

Tonya...well bless your heart for such well wishes! Sadie has such funny antics, she would make anyone laugh...in pain or not. When I was visiting them she hated the cleaning lady that came to their house. Not the lady herself but plastic garbage bags, brooms and the vacuum. I won't even get into the vacuum. Definatly at dog with some OCD issues but funny as all get out!

Candee said...

Hi Deb, you're on my mind and in my prayers for endurance. I hope you are feeling a little better today. I tried posting twice yesterday but it didn't take.

gentle hugs your way sis.

Deb aka AbcsOfra said...

Candee...thank you so much for the well wishes. The weather here is more like spring and that seems to have helped this flare a bit. Still weird stuff going on in my back/neck/rib area but oh well....at least the weather is picture perfect. Something to smile about...eh.

tharr said...

Sadie rocks! Bottom line ... flares suck, I don't care if they are mild or extreme. I've been there, sleeping 12-14 hours straight. I usually just work and sleep while in the midst of one, trying to avoid using the joints most affected as much as possible. I can sometimes tell if a bad one is coming on. Hope this one passes soon.

Corry said...

I am sorry you are going through a flare up. I used to rest as much as I could, but since I started taking Humira, which is years ago, I haven't had one at all. It is worth looking into and in case your health insurance doesn't cover it, Humira has a plan that helps out a lot financially and makes it affordable.

You are in my prayers!

(((HUGS)))

God's Grace.

Deb aka AbcsOfra said...

Tharr...I read your blog with amazement often as I know you are still working. You have the right, if we can rest the worst flare joints it is better. Mmmmmm....then that means I shouldn't be breathing much then :-) And Sadie told me she was happy to be featured on my blog in her uptown pj's. She approves.

Corry...I did try Humira right after it was approved. I was highly allergic to it. I have done several of the injectables but stopped them either from bad allergies or later with Enbrel because of my thyroid cancers. But you are right that alot of the companies have assistance programs.

Candee said...

I really need sadie today deb!!!

Gardensongs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
susan said...

Gardensongs said...
So sorry to hear you are flaring, Deb. Your upbeat attitude helps so many of us.

I have an excellent warnings system. Fist my daughter gets a migraine, a few hours later my son starts noticing his ankles and knees, and a few hours after that, my feet and hands start talking. The exhaustion is the worst. We actually all get really pale, too. We've had a month of constantly changing weather, so have had lots of data points, and think we could get a job as a weather team!

The sauna at the gym is my first line of defense, if the timing is right, which is seldom. I may have to think about a home sauna.

Living with two others who suffer from this dratted disease is a mixed blessing. It helps to be surrounded by my understanding family, but as their mother it also breaks my heart to see them suffer.

I hope you are through the worst, and that the weather holds for a few days so you can get out into the sun and charge your batteries!