The Morning After...

The Morning After...

I recently crashed at a friend’s house overnight because I was too sleepy to drive home. As a 20-something, you would think ‘no big deal! That actually sounds like an accurate event in a young person’s life. Except, it turned into a total fiasco! Just as the days of get up and go are long gone so are the nights of just crashing on a couch just because I can. I managed to get through the first few hours of the day but by mid-afternoon, I was totally flared up and really beating myself up for staying over.

Night-time supplies for my autoimmune condition

First, let me say I do keep an overnight bag with the general nighttime supplies (extra clothes, night skincare routine, feminine supplies, tissues, makeup wipes). However, even though these are great products to have on hand they are highly ineffective when it comes to my autoimmune condition.

I recently wrote about being a young adult with RA. The main takeaway was that even though I’m young at heart and mind I just couldn’t enjoy life the same way as my peers. It turns out unplanned vacations are totally out of order.

Unrelated to the RA, I need to be toasty warm when I sleep. Apparently, this is not the norm for the human race. No big deal, though, right? Can I just snuggle deeper into the blankets? Not exactly. Let’s do a quick math problem: Cold + RA equals what? The answer: extremely sore and stiff joints in the morning which are then compounded if I’m sleeping uncomfortably on a couch or other ‘not meant for sleeping’ apparatus.


Now, as a rule of thumb I always carry extra pain medication because in case of an emergency. I am not in the habit of carrying my morning pills since I take them first thing with breakfast. The morning after can quickly become a problem without the steroids and its buddies.

Generally speaking, I don’t like staying away from home. Aside from it’s just more comfortable I don’t have to worry about waking up in front of other people. From day to day (hour to hour, really) my RA symptoms change. Add in the factors from above and it’s not surprising that I feel. Only my family and my two best friends have seen me disabled and I have no plans to show anyone else this side of me. I try as hard as I can to not spend the night away from home but, as this weekend showed, sometimes it’s inevitable.

So, what can I pack to make my “holiday” a little more pleasant?

  1. Layers. I generally keep something simple like shorts and a tee to change into the next morning. However, since I get cold, socks and a sweater (and sometimes sweatpants) are a must!
  2. Medications. Aside from the ones I generally keep on my person a full supply of AM meds is a lifesaver.
  3. Eye drops and lip balm. In case I don’t take off my makeup and clean my face the night before my eyes are definitely going to be raw and dry. My lips are the same way. Thanks, Sjogren’s!
  4. Face cleanser/towel. Even though I am a skincare junkie, I really believe a clean, fresh face just makes me feel better in the morning. I wet the towel afterward with warm water and place it on any unhappy joints!
  5. Makeup. Whatever is my easiest, feel-good makeup. For me it’s a little highlighter in the inner corners of the eyes and middle of the eyelids just to make myself look more awake.

What do you take on a spontaneous trip? Or, are you like me and avoid them at all costs?

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