Person walking along path that leads through hills and meadows to a flare

Fear of Flare

I forgot what “normal” felt like. To wake up with no pain, hopping out of bed with a spring in my step, those days are long gone...  I’ve learned to maneuver around the pain, stiffness and swelling. Adjusting my diet and taking copious amounts of supplements helped manage the discomfort but still daily activities weren’t always easy.

Meditation and RA medication

After a few months of self-managing my RA, I decided to try meditation. A round of prednisone followed by twice daily pills of Plaquenil. My rheumatologist had informed me that the Plaquenil could take up to 3 months before I would see any changes. You can only imagine my excitement when I woke up one morning and hopped out of bed without hobbling. I’m sure the pills had been gradually working but at that moment ... I felt it! I was sleeping through the night, working with barely any discomfort! Miraculously I felt like me again! The “me” I remembered, the “me” I missed!!

Fear of RA disease progression

Fast forward to 3 months later, present day. I’ve noticed stiffness coming back in the morning, pains coming and going throughout the day. It’s not debilitating by any means, but it is discouraging.

Is the Plaquenil no longer working? Do I need more prednisone? Do I need more cortisone injections (I get these in my hands and wrists)?

Or... Is this another flare??? It gives me anxiety to think about it. Being a single mom and a hair stylist, I literally can’t afford a flare-up. I need my body to function so I can work. I need to work to pay my bills. It’s a vicious cycle.

Fear of RA will not take control

I’m an anxious person and I hate that about myself. I don’t want to live in fear of what RA can potentially cause in my future. I try to live in the present, appreciative that I can still do what I’ve always done (with a few adjustments).

I do, however, fear the flare. Fear the day the medication stops working completely, fear the day I can’t continue in my profession. I’m hoping with the help of other RA warriors I can find a way to not live in fear of what I can’t control, without letting RA control me.

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