Sleep mask and comfortable pajama top

Flare Day Survival Tips

Flare days do more than inflict an unconscionable amount of pain on our bodies, they have the power to destroy our plans and make a mess of our lives. It would be one thing if it was just physical pain, I don’t say this to belittle our pain, but I do find dealing with a physical pain easier when my brain is unaffected.

When severe flares disrupt life

When I experience an extreme flare, there’s usually swelling around my spine and skull. The inflammation produces migraines, the inability to speak or think like I am used to, and a level of fatigue that turns me into a narcoleptic.

Severe flare days used to disrupt my life. Okay, they still do, but not like they used to because now I have a plan. Because I can’t schedule a flare, I have to prepare for them the same as I would an earthquake. Who knew that moving to California would help me survive living with psoriatic arthritis?!

Here are a few of my flare day survival tips.

Be prepared!

I refuse to drink tap water, so I make sure to always have plenty of drinking water available. Besides allowing my body to rest, the second best thing I can do is to stay hydrated.

Not only is cooking the last thing I want to do while flaring severely, it is something that I am unable to do when my brain and body are in that state. I make sure to keep food on hand that is easy to prepare, such as frozen meals or fresh foods that don’t require any preparation. Flare days are also perfect for taking advantage of the convenience of restaurant delivery apps.

I keep an emergency stash of items that comfort my body. Some examples are: heat wraps, ice packs, topical CBD oils, herbal pain relievers, sleep mask, etc...

Create comfort

Because it is so difficult to find comfort while flaring, I do whatever I can to make my time in bed as comfortable as possible. I have special pajamas set aside for times when comfort trumps fashion. While I typically prefer crisp cool sheets, my body prefers flannel or t-shirt sheets when flaring. The most important thing I have done is to make my bedroom a place I am okay with spending time in. My bedroom used to be cluttered with knickknacks, clothing everywhere, and had become the place that I threw things that I just didn’t want to deal with. Decluttering it made the world of difference. Now when I flare, I don’t feel like I am lying in a junkyard or like the walls are closing in on me.

Have a back-up plan

Since I can’t schedule a flare and trying to solve problems is next to impossible when one hits, I make alternative plans ahead of time. For example, when my daughter was taking dance classes I had my mom on standby to drive her when I couldn’t. I have learned to make it clear with people I make plans with that they may change. This way they aren’t caught off guard when I do have to cancel.

How do you prepare for a flare?

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