An Unwelcome Rheumatoid Flare


I went to sleep with a migraine, and woke up headache-free, but unable to walk today. At the moment we’re having a storm, and I suppose that might have something to do with it, but I was useless for the first half of today.

It’s frustrating because I’m actually crazy busy with work, and I have a big project that’s due on Friday. This didn’t stop me from going back to sleep after the kids left for school and sleeping until 11:30. I’m back to being completely freezing and that’s sure not helping things.

Because of the high pain-level, I didn’t exercise at all today, which bothers me. It’s very hard to establish a routine when you don’t know when you’ll have a rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia flare…or in my case both at the same time.

I don’t really know how to gauge the difference between the pain, but I guess if I’m having a lot of joint pain (like today), I blame the RA. If it’s all over pain and fatigue, fibromyalgia is to blame. That’s my rationale, anyway. My neighbor was nice enough to suggest that I have MS today because I was in so much pain. For me, they have ruled out MS, but don’t you just love how people become instant experts after watching a Dr. Oz episode?

I try not to get mad when people say helpful things like that, but it’s not always easy. If one more person tells me to give up gluten, dairy, and sugar, I might scream. Hello! I know sugar isn’t good for me. If I give up chocolate I’m going to be a major bitch, and no one wants that!

Did you notice that you are hearing about more and more people with autoimmune diseases? I feel like lately, so many people I know are telling me they have fibro, lupus, or RA. I don’t know whether it’s because I’m open about my autoimmune struggles, or if more and more people are getting diagnosed. I think if I wasn’t hit like a ton of bricks I’d likely have waited to go to the doctor.

I’m not someone who goes to the doctor for aches and pains. It definitely would have taken me longer to get a diagnosis. I didn’t have the experience of things coming on slowly. I went from walking to not being able to walk literally overnight. It was drastic and it was scary.

I’m glad to hear that more and more people are talking to their doctors about how they feel. As a mom, exhaustion was just part of my life. Three kids = busy. I know it would be like me to ignore things for a really long time if my symptoms didn’t start in a full flare.

I guess if I really look back, though, there were earlier signs. I blames the pain in my hands on knitting. I blamed hip and back pain on teaching classes. I think it was easy to shrug it off…possibly for years. I’m interested to hear how your symptoms started. Did you notice an immediate change? Did you possibly ignore symptoms for a while before seeking help?

I want to write up a list of warning signs for autoimmune issues, and would love your feedback. I’m going to try and close my eyes now, as I’m going blind looking at nutrition information for like 100 different kinds of baby food — and not only in English, but also in Spanish! Don’t be jealous…this is my life!


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Renee
    Mar 20, 2014 @ 05:58:30

    I happened to borrow your migrane today, you can have it back now. I’m done! The woman who said you have ms, we call them Google degrees and I’ve been noticing the same about people getting diagnosed more or they just know you come to us for a starting point. I’ll tell you more about my beginning on another night. I can’t think clearly. I’m sorry you had a crappy day, good luck with your project! Hugs!!!


    • autoimmunemamabear
      Mar 20, 2014 @ 12:37:35

      Oh no! I hope you’re feeling better this morning. I think all the weather changes are screwing with my headaches. I LOVE the term Google degrees, LOL! It’s funny how everyone thinks they are an expert yet they’ve never lived a day with an autoimmune disease.


  2. TTD
    Mar 20, 2014 @ 12:36:40

    My first symptoms of fibro came after I turned 40, and I put the aches and pains, and other symptoms, down to getting older.

    Ten years or so later, I was so fed up of feeling sore and exhausted, I wrote a list of all of my symptoms and gave it to my Dr, where he told me that he’d thought for a while that I had fibromyalgia! Of course, I had to ask him what fibro was, as I’d never heard of it before.

    When I got home, I immediately consulted with Dr. Google to find out as much as I could about this previously unheard of illness. Thank goodness for cyber-support on Facebook!


  3. autoimmunemamabear
    Mar 20, 2014 @ 12:39:39

    It’s funny (well, not really) how many of us shrug off our symptoms at first. Dr. Google can be good and bad. I have overdiagnosed myself many times on WebMD…when I had symptoms of Mad Cow, I knew I had to step away from the computer 🙂


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