Posts Tagged ‘Flare’

Flaring! Flaring bad!

November 23, 2021

Yesterday was the perfect storm. Everything conspired against me.

  1. Poor Sleep. According to my fitbit, for the last several weeks, I’ve been getting usually between 4 & 6 hours of sleep a night, average rating poor-fair. There’s the occasional longer, better sleep in there, but not often..
  2. Forgotten Medication. When I left for the cottage early this morning, I forgot all my meds at home. Admittedly I didn’t need them all today, but there are certain ones that I do have to take at certain times for them to be effective. Unfortunately, those got left at home. I did have limited or weaker alternatives which I suppose is better than nothing.
  3. Emotional Stress. I am currently having problems with my current relationship. I’m not sure if it’s something I can handle and accept or not, so there’s alot going on there..
  4. Poor Diet. Due to the aforementioned stress, I haven’t been eating.. I haven’t been eating well & I haven’t been eating much. Neither is good, both is worse.
  5. Activity. Spent the day in bed.. with my boyfriend, not sleeping. While this is usually a good thing, due to stress, I was unable to truely relax and enjoy it. So I was getting the workout without all the longer term benefits
  6. Physical Stress. After I’d started going down hill, I had a horrible drive home. What would normally be a nice relaxing 1½ hour drive home from the cottage turned into a 3+hour nightmare. Between accidents causing an entire highway to shut down for over 14hrs, excessive detours, multiple accidents on said detours, snow.. The body begins to tense up more & more & more.. and with me being in the car I wasn’t able to like stretch or anything creating more physical stress

For the first time in over 3 years, my pain turned to a solid 8/10.

After 2+ hours, 4 Tylenol3, 4 muscle relaxers, an anti-inflammatory, my CBD oil, prescription edibles, and a backrub with A535.. the edge started to come off, but I also started feeling the effects of over medication too..

I just can’t win..

What *Is* a Flare Like?

October 26, 2021

This is very hard to explain as each one is different.

A flare can vary in duration, intensity, symptoms, triggers

A flare can last for a few hours, a few days, a few weeks, or even months.. Possibly years..

A flare can simply be a temporary exacerbation of symptoms that can be treated reasonably easily through medication and rest. A flare however can also be a debilitating excruciating exhausting with a skyrocketing increase in symptoms.

A flare could be pain, fatigue, insomnia, significant cognitive impairment, muscle spasms or charlie horses, IBS/IBD inflammation, exacerbation of sensitivities to food, smells, touch, less severe symptoms include body temperatures fluctuations, nausea, RLS, TMJ, dizziness/lightheadedness, costochondritis, headaches or migraines, numbness & paraesthesia

I am not including depression in this list despite the fact that many will think that yes this is part of a flare. For some it may be but for me my depression is not related to the fibromyalgia so much but the limitations of the flare in physical activity, mental stimulation and socialization.

With all the symptoms listed above a pain flare is different, day by day, hour by hour, trigger dependent and with various possible causes, intensity.

For example, one person might have issues with increased migraines and fatigue.. Another might have a flare in IBS/IBD symptoms, or muscular pain or cognitive issues. No 2 are ever alike.

30 Facts!!

May 24, 2021

Originally written for the 25th Anniversary with 25 facts,, this is a list of things you should know, from someone with Fibromyalgia. From someone who experiences it, not just studies it. I have taken the original, modified it and added to it from *my* perspective as my experiences with fibro are not the same as hers. OP info available at the bottom.

  1. Every morning is a tough morning.
  2. I can sleep all day and still feel like I just ran a marathon.
  3. If I went out last night, I need a day or two or three to recover — its okay, it was worth it.
  4. When i’m tired, let me sleep.
  5. Certain foods make me flare up, For me that’s items like Ice cream breaded food products (like fish sticks or chicken fingers), mayo & salad dressing, KD, etc.. Some I know why, others no clue.
  6. When I’m in a flare, leave me alone in a dark room but please check in, even if I don’t answer. It makes me feel cared for & loved .If I am flaring and I am responding, I’m likely asking for a ride to the ER.
  7. Yes, diet matters, but in flare mode, all bets are off.
  8. Yes, my face is swollen. No, I didn’t gain 5 pounds overnight… Well I could have gained, but not on my face.. So, Yes, that is a tell that I am in a flare.
  9. I have many different sizes of clothes in my closet to accommodate flare vs. non-flare days. I currently have clothing from a medium ( very generous medium) to 3x.. I’ve lost weight, so likely only a few items & eventually they will go too.
  10. Fibro Fog sucks. Ya know when you get absent-minded every once in a while? Misplaced your keys? Misread something? Forgot to water the plants? That’s Brain or Fibro Fog. While it happens to everyone at some point, it not the norm. For people with Fibromyalgia this is the norm. Every day. I have even lost my train of thought, mid-sentance. It happens enough that those close to me don’t bat an eyelash when it happens. Some even see it happening & will remind me of what I was saying. The worst, is fogging out when I drive & I love to drive, but have to be super careful to make sure I am clear minded.
  11. Ask before you touch. Some days, I can barely tolerate the feel of clothing or even my hair on my skin. When I’m ok, give gentle hugs please — my skin & muscles may still be tender. But if I give you a bear hug, you can give me one back!
  12. Bright lights, loud noise and too many smells can overload the senses and can cause nauseous (or worse) or kick in a migraine.
  13. Allergies play havoc on my body. Scented products like perfumes & body products are typical culprits Sometimes I don’t even know I’m allergic until I experience it, So it’s a bit of Russian Roulette when I go into public because I can’t control what scents other people wear. Food allergies/sensitivities do not make life any easier either, especially when eating out.
  14. I am a human barometer ( there’s a post around about that.. I can typically tell it’s gonna be too cold, too wet, too hot.
  15. Yes, i am on medications, sometimes even alot of them. I have a decent relationship with the pharmacy staff, and I know exactly what all my medications are, the dosage, and why I’m on it & how it helps.
  16. To me, car rides are joy rides cuz I really love to drive. I need to stop every hour or two to keep my legs from going numb or seizing up. It, for me, is so worth it! But so many with fibro feel differently than I do & equate it to a highly painful roller coaster ride.
  17. Some days it’s OK to let my Fibro win. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
  18. I can get moody. You would be too if you were in pain all the time, be patient with me.
  19. Don’t be surprised if I can tell your mood as soon you walk in the room. My Fibro/spidey-senses are tingling.
  20. My day, week and month are carefully planned to accommodate my Fibro. Only important events & people like you are scheduled.
  21. If I cancel my plans with you, don’t be mad.. Remember, I made plans with you, because you are important to me. I am trying and obviously want to hang out with you, so please keep any nasty commentator yourself as I already feel guilty.
  22. Your friend with Fibro that says they have no pain doesn’t make me feel any better. Plus if they have no pain, they may not have fibro cuz *all* Fibromites have *some* level of pain at *all* times Alternatively they could simply lying either about having fibro or about being totally pain-free. Also, just cuz someone says they are “Good” that’s does not mean pain-free
  23. “You should exercise.” ROTFLMAO. Have you considered going to the gym while you are in the middle of the flu with body-wide aches & pain, fatigue? Didn’t think so, so how can you expect me to when I have body-wide aches & pain and fatigue? Yes, I do exercise, but I’m not a hypocrite. Do you know how long it took from me to go from bobbing in the water during aquafit to get to my current level of exercise? Years!! It helps, that I have lost weight. Before you use me as an example of of someone with fibro who is ‘fit’, remember that I started my journey to become healthier & to increase my fitness level in the winter of 2012, almost 9 years ago. And I would not consider myself ‘fit’
  24. Going to the doctor makes me sad & sometimes overwhelmed— it’s a reminder of my condition. And it doesn’t help that I have at minimum a half dozen medical appointments each month – GP, Pain Doc, RMT, Physio/Osteo therapy, Gyn, Neuro, Dental, Psych, mental health support groups, and one offs for tests like bloodwork, ultrasound, x-ray, MRI or CT.
  25. There are zero no-pain days, but my low-pain days are my happy days. So if I’m looking good and acting good and I’m social, I’m better, right? No, just a good *low* pain day. Fibromyalgia is chronic & will not go away
  26. Because of Fibro, the mandated downtime gives me the opportunity to write this blog, and I’m grateful. Unfortunately, some of that downtime does not even permit blog writing because the pain or fatigue is*too* intense, so I have missed posts.
  27. Because of Fibro, some Fibromites get to spend more time with their families than if they were healthy.
  28. if i am being a dick about my health, you will not change my mind. I have to figure it out myself. For those in my life who put up with that for years, I am sorry.
  29. Because of Fibro, I’ve become part of a strong, supportive community that reminds me I’m never alone.
  30. Yes, I have depression. No, it’s not because of my fibro. My depression started at age 16, but fibro, we believe, started from Mono when I was 19-20. So, obvs they started at different times plus I do know the triggering event that started my depression.

Original published by Puja Rios on May 11, 2007 at https://www.huffpost.com/entry/25-facts-for-fibromyalgia-awareness-day_b_59148663e4b01ad573dac1c2

Crappy Week

April 16, 2021

So, I posted on the 13th of April about how crappy I was feeling on Monday… While I’m not having a problem getting my shower door open, I’m still feeling like crap.

It’s been a long time for me that I’ve have sustained a higher pain.level over more than a few days..feeling crappy started Sunday morning.

If you ask me what I did on Saturday? I went for a drive. I love to drive, but with the price of gas right now, it’s a little expensive. So, I has in & out of the car & driving around.. Even hopped on the highway to drop of my BFF’s birthday pressie..

So nothing was done out of the ordinary that could trigger a flare. To be honest, I’m surprised I didn’t flare the weekend before at the cottage when I *did* do something that could cause a flare – helping my Dad move the trailer.. I just don’t get it

And to top it off, I’m not sure what my body is trying to do. My pain levels are up. And all I have thinking about is fentanyl…. I just don’t know if it’s a want for pain relief or if the want is to be oblivious to everything cuz of the medication, or just to get high..

Ongoing Holiday Crash

January 9, 2021

Most of the time when I have a crash in the holidays I end up in the hospital because of how bad the pain can get.. I usually manage for a few days at a level 7 or 8 out of 10 and after that, I’m in the ER.

This year, while the pain has been up, it hasn’t spiked to that level yet. And I hope it doesn’t. But unfortunately I have been in less higher level since the 26th of December – so, 17 days days now, which is unusual, for me… A severely sucks..

But I called my pain physician in Scarborough for an appointment on Monday & see my other pain doctor Tuesday. . With pain levels at a 5 or 6, I can deal, but only to a point.. after more than 2 weeks, I’ve hit that point..

Wish me luck!

Post-Christmas Crash 2020

January 1, 2021

Every year the inevitable happens. I manage decently enough getting ready for Christmas, pacing myself trying not to overdo it. Every year I end up failing miserably before the holidays end.

Some years I’ve managed to get through Christmas Day with a nap and crash afterwards. . Some years I’ve actually had to postpone Christmas from the morning to the afternoon and eventually this became consistent as I really get up any day before noon. I’ve even had two years where I didn’t do Christmas with my family or anyone just because my crash hit before the holiday.

The most common reaction is to hit my wall on Christmas Day in the evening… After I get back from wherever I’ve been.. Fortunately, with the improvement of my Fibro over the last almost 5 years, that is shifting.. Crashes are less severe and don’t typically last for week or more on end..

This year, I did well! Before you say that’s it cuz of covid & no one did anything, it’s not true. Christmas this year is not *that* different.

As per the norm, I baked cookies. I give these his gifts to friends, family & my pain physician. It’s not uncommon for me to purchase premade dough however this year I made two different types of cookies from scratch. I have one of those cookies I ended up making up 4 batches. I don’t know how many cookies I made in total but in the end I had enough for two’s cookie swaps with my Cub packs, 3 small baggies, of a half dozen, 8 larger bags of a baker dozen, & 5large bags for almost 2 dozen cookies. I also did up one package of two dozen Brier Rabbit cookies (that’s the recipe I made for of) for a friend of mine who specifically likes that type of cookie.. After all that, I still had some left over.. That’s almost 400 cookies this year.

Cookies From My Cubs

As I usually do, I also did my Christmas shopping in person. I don’t like doing a lot of shopping online unless I know exactly what it is like books. So I do gifts for my sister and her family and my parents every year as well as select friends including my best friend and her family This year I also got a few things for my brother’s family beyond cookies.. Plus stocking stuffers for my Mom and Dad.. So gifts for about 20 people this year.

Because of COVID my deliveries have been different this year.. but I have made them and have had short safe visits with friends. I stopped at my 2nd bff’s on Christmas Eve Day and we had a short safe visit. . Christmas Day was spent with my parents followed by a social distanced gift exchange with my Sister’s family. Afterwards, I stopped by another friend’s later on also for a short safe visit to exchange small gifts. Come Boxing Day, I had a longer, yet still safe visit with my BFF & her family. Finally, I saw another friend that evening and gave him his cookies & gifts..

So Boxing Day evening I hit my wall (My Wile E Coyote IG post shows it well). When I got home about 8:30, I crawled into bed & slept. I ended up overheating in my sleep but you can read more about that here.. Otherwise for the next 24 hours, I slept, only getting up so myself & Lilly could use the facilities and to feed her.

Since then my pain levels have been up and so has my fatigue.. I’ve done very little over this last week. I had a Cub Scout planning meeting on the 27th via Zoom. I’ve had a visit or 2 with Mom & Dad as they only live upstairs.. I fixed a mask, having to replace the elastic & add a third layer. I have watched TV, I have player video games on my phone & I’ve slept.

Do I consider myself bedridden? No.. I’m able to function.. I can get up & take the dog out & Ake myself some food and do liw energy activities. So why am I not doing more? Cuz if I do things will go downhill.. Right now I’m just keeping the course steady so that my body can rest, relax, recuperate and heal..

Moving Day

November 30, 2020

Last Saturday was moving day. No, not me. I’m staying put. My best friend, however, has to relocate into the city for her new job.

For the last 3 weeks I have been going over to her place every other day to help her pack. The woman has *way* too much stuff, IMO. Since I’ve helped her move her household countless times over the 30+ years we’ve been friends, I would know.

Boxes,and boxes, and boxes, Oh My!

Why every other day? I am not taking the risk of going into a flare & not being able to help at all. Am I packing heavy stuff? You betcha! Am I moving it? Only when necessary & if it is light enough that I can safely lift. But some things, no way. Vinyl? No way! CDs? Nuh-uh! Paperbacks? Yes, cuz they’re in small liquor boxes. Hard covers? Not a chance. Collectables? With my flakey shoulder, I’m not taking the risk of dropping anything, so unless it not heavy & not far then sure, but otherwise, not happening. Movies? Nope cuz they are packed in a fairly big box. Linens? Depends on if it’s the big box or the small ones! Kitchen stuffs? Again depends on the weight. Decor? Nothing big, nothing heavy.. Furniture? Not in this lifetime, unless it’s like a TV tray or something equally light in weight.

Physically making the boxes, filling them,then sealing them up & moving them to start the next box, even if it’s super light, is quite the challenge. It helps that her & I do it together. She grabs the item off the shelf or out of the drawer & hands it to me, and I pack it to the box. So neither of us is doing all the actiins. Then we switch. It makes for fast work, while not completely stressing out our bodies. (BFF also has fibro). And that has been working awesomely!

Pain still happens though.
Thankfully a bad day, not a flare.

Sunday & Monday were a small crash, but may or may not have to do with packing cuz I was also exercising on Friday & Saturday.. this is the first & only time I’ve skipped helping due to pain. Given that I’d been helping pack now for 2 weeks, every other day, I think I was doing really well. But it’s not a flare, thank God, just a bad two days..

Did I unpacking anything? Only immediate necessities on Saturday. I usually start with the bed. Get that set up & made, so they have somewhere to sleep on Saturday night instead of under a pile or boxes. I rarely get past that point. But I know it’s greatly appreciated. This time because her daughter’s could not help due to covid, I started on her kitchen… Actually got most of her dishes, dish ware, glasses, cutlery & utensil unpacked.. So her kitchen, minus her food was pretty much unpacked by the time we stopped.

Let’s avoid crashing under a pile of boxes.
So, afterwards, I was home most of Sunday recuperating.. Went out for dinner with another friend that night, as we were going back into lockdown the next day. Monday & Tuesday were additional days of rest. & I was grateful that my cub meetings, despite me leading the main activity, were virtual – made bird houses! But by Wednesday I was feeling like my normal self.. Yay!!



Anyone concerned about my risk of exposure to COVID, please read my previous post “Upcoming Move – Keeping Safe”

Crappy Day #2

October 2, 2020

I know, I know.. 2 posts in one day! The other was scheduled. This one is not.

I recently posted about being in remission and how things have settled down significantly, overall. But I do still have flares.

Today is a perfect example of that.

Last weekend it was approaching 30°C, low-mid 80°F.. Went swimming twice in my sister’s pool.. Absolutely gorgeous day!

Selfies last weekend while swimming – Gorgeous weather!

Monday, had a brief high of 18°C, 64°F.. that’s a big jump for my body.. & then Tuesday, it was overcast & the mercury dropped a bit more.. but I was still ok. Pain crept up asmidge, but nothing I couldn’t function through.

Wednesday, it stayed cool and it rained on & off all day.. By midnight, my body started to acknowledge the weather shift.. The increased pain & my own wonky sleep schedule had me up all night, with only able to get about 4 hours sleep.

Thursday, crappy day #1, I’m toast between the shift & the lack of sleep, my pain levels have skyrocketed. This is despite efforts on my part to help reduce the effects my environment has on my body.

Friday, crappy day #2, is worse.. I didn’t get a decent night’s sleep, so no REM or healing sleep to help me improve, to heal, to recover. My pain level right now is a 6/10.. Pure Fibromyalgia pain.

Chrinic pain isn’t very pretty, is it?

I only hope I can get better sleep tonight. Wish me luck!

I don’t look sick

January 20, 2017