The Dreaded Flare
This invisible disease PSA has many twists and turns. It can lead us through more challenges than we care to go and having a flare is in the top ten, for me at least. There are a few things that set me off and I am not sure if I share these symptoms with many or am I an island.
The impact of inconsistent weather
There is the weather. This is a big factor in my life in the Northeast, so much so I contemplate moving. This past winter has been with us too long, time is up, Goodbye already.
One day it was 30 degrees the next, 2 degrees. That 28-degree drop is my nemesis, I am sure to get sick. This past February was one giant flare, I was a walking flare. During the month, one day It was 71 degrees. Two days later, it was 25 degrees! This occurred all month long. All the complaints, I get it. It used to annoy me too, where is spring? I really didn’t care where it was, I would prefer one or the other. Just be cold or warm.
I go into a flare, another invisible, painful aspect of PSA. When this happens I awaken to what feels like hammers slamming my knees and my shins. Excruciating. The reason? Barometric pressure. My joints are expanding OR contracting, like a balloon. It is dreadful.
On to the day of a typical flare for myself, which I do not know how many with PSA are experiencing this too. Hot flashes constant followed by bone-chilling freezing. I honestly don’t know which is worse. This is not menopause either, that is what I used to believe was going on. The hot flashes are a part of the inflammation inside our bodies coming through, our immune response. The joint pain is always worse than normal.
Getting through a flare
There is not much you can do with this type of flare, just pray it passes quickly. I want to eat right so I can feel better, however, how?
Getting out of bed is a journey and with a dog, it is a necessity. So, usually, I have a Kind bar or the like. This is the part where you really miss having a mom to take care of you. Being this sick so many days in this psoriatic arthritis calendar is very challenging and having to endure a flare is no holiday.
There are many factors that can trigger a flare, I am one of the lucky ones that don’t suffer from skin eruptions, my heart goes out to those with a skin condition too. I will get a small rash here and there but I know it could be so much worse.
Food can cause a flare, flying can cause one because if you experience the temperatures change of anything over or under 10 degrees can cause it. Alcohol, yes some will end up in a flare for having too good of a time. Dry skin—something so simple as flaky skin can cause a flare and of course, I saved the best for last — stress!
Yes, stress will put you in a flare. How hard is this? It’s hard, I try to be calm, I try to be upbeat, I really am a glass half full person but defeat is around the corner all the time with this affliction. Hopefully, Spring will emerge very soon and bring better days for us all and leave the flares behind.
Do you have a sleep disorder (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your PsA?