How Do You Prepare For A Flare?
Well, the title makes it sound very poetic, but it’s not.
If you’re someone who flares on a schedule – and I know there are some people that do, like you flare once every three months – you can better prepare yourself than someone who goes to bed at night feeling okay, and wakes up the next morning feeling awful.
And to be clear, that doesn’t necessarily constitute a flare. There are plenty of days when I don’t feel good, but I’m not flaring. And that just comes with the territory.
So how do you deal – both physically and emotionally – when you flare, whether you have notice or it simply creeps up on you?
- If your flares are characterized by pain, you’ll want to make sure that you’ll have any pain meds on hand that you need. If you have difficulty getting the medication, it might be hard if you extremely fatigued to contact your doctor or make an appointment.
- If you can, plan meals ahead of time and freeze them, so you will be able to be nourished, but won’t have to have the energy to cook.
- Hire someone to come in and clean for you if you are unable to.
- Be kind to yourself.
- Rest when you need to. You might have to beg out of social obligations, but hopefully your friends and family will understand.
- Make sure you have on hand hot pads or cold packs, or biofreeze, or any other kinds of over-the-counter remedies that you use that help you.
- Make sure to take your medication on schedule. When we don’t feel good, it’s easy to think that the meds aren’t working, so why should we bother taking them? But most RA meds can’t just simply be stopped, so it’s important to keep your medication schedule until you’ve talked to your doctor.
I think the holidays can be a difficult time for anybody, but especially for people with RA. There are often a lot of expectations regarding gifts, entertaining, etc.
We hope that we don’t flare so we won’t have to disappoint people with our absence at events.
But many of us get sucked in and end up with far too many things on our plates.
And it is exactly this kind of stress that leads to flares.
It’s not uncommon that many people have flares during the holidays, so the new year is a great time to focus on what you need to stay healthy.
On a scale of 1(low) to 5(high), how difficult is it for you to talk about having RA?