So let us start with the definition :
Flares or “flare-ups” are a classic sign of an autoimmune condition. Flares are the sudden and severe onset of symptoms which can include redness, heat, pain, or swelling.
My medical diagnosis: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Sjogren’s, Raynaud’s, Testing for Polymyositis, Possible MCTD, and Ankylosing Spondylitis
My flares consist of extreme fatigue, joint pain, scalp Folliculitis, flu-like symptoms, & difficulty walking. Every warrior struggles with different symptoms depending on their conditions. When I first was diagnosed this was a struggle to give in to the flares if that makes any sense, I was forced to no longer be able to work and I found myself being stuck in bed for a minimum of 12 hours a day with what I thought was no hope in sight. After doing more and more research on how to better handle the flares I learned for me that my triggers were:
😢Lack of sleep
So let me break it down to how I had to make changes in these areas because it depended on my life.
Stress: I was stressing myself out because I felt I needed to try to work and maintain the way I used to be. I continued to not listen to my physicians or my now husband about continuing to work a 9-to-5 that was very stressful and I kept getting sicker and sicker. I learned to finally surrender to God and know that he would take care of me no matter what it was not an easy journey. I also had to let go of certain people IE. family and certain so-called friends because I learned if you’re not making positive deposits in my life and only withdrawals that were draining me and killing me you had to go PERIOD!
Foods: Now let me be a very honest I have the worst sweet tooth ever I could sit and eat 10 boxes of Mike and Ike‘s in one sitting, DON’T JUDGE ME lol. I know that when I consumed a lot of sugar or processed foods my flares were so much worse, I’m speaking for myself I know others are very healthy eaters and still experience severe flares that is not what I’m saying. I felt when I consumed healthy foods that my flares didn’t last as long.
When I first was diagnosed going through all of the treatments, the side effects from the medications, and the pain I was only getting maybe two hours of sleep at night. Trying to explain that to family members they would make comments like “maybe you shouldn’t sleep during the day then you can sleep at night”. Well, I’m here to tell you when you don’t listen to your body and sleep during the day then you are likely to be awake for 24 hours. It wasn’t until I started taking medical marijuana(post coming )that I was able to get a true night’s sleep and turning my phone off an hour before bed (still a work in progress), this helped me stop consuming so much negativity from social media and the news.
Checkout one of my flare videos: