This last week has been dreadful.
I don’t really like to complain here, because that’s not the point of this blog, so I’m not going to now.
What I will say is that some issues from over the summer came to a head this week, there was a lot of drama with my job, and I had a killer autoimmune flare up.
The last one was the worst. I can tell when I’m having a flare because I get a very specific set of symptoms:
- Exhaustion. I literally nap 6-8 hours during the day, and crash for 10-12 hours straight at night. For those of you keeping score, that means I’m awake for 4-8 hours per day. And “awake” is a pretty generous descriptor, as you’ll see.
- Limb heaviness and aches. This doesn’t feel like flu aches. Here’s the best way I can describe it. Imagine your bones suddenly double in mass. They’re so incredibly heavy that just holding your head up or turning pages of a book feels impossible. When you do manage to do it (say, eat a meal or shower), you need to nap afterwards. Couple that with a kind of vague, tingly ache in your muscles and skin (like a less intense version of the pain right after blood starts flowing to a foot that was asleep). Even when I’m not sleeping, all I want to do is lie down.
- Fever. This is a low-grade fever that comes and goes. It leaves me overheated and sweating one moment and physically shivering when it goes.
- Allergy symptoms. Swollen glands and sore throat are usually the biggies.
Basically, my body thinks that there’s a foreign invader that’s worse than what my meds already handle, and it freaks the hell out.
These flares are pretty few and far between, thankfully. Usually they follow super intense stress – but that wasn’t the case this time (it came before that other stuff I mentioned in the beginning). So I don’t really know what caused it, which is distressing in and of itself. Again, thankfully it also only lasted three days. By the fourth day I was back at about 90%, which is pretty good.
I don’t say all this to complain, but because I’m curious – those of you with autoimmune diseases, is this how you experience a flare? What brings them on? How do you deal with them?
Back soon with a new posting schedule for the semester, workout updates, and class news! We learned something really fascinating in Human Nutrition today. Can’t wait to share happier stuff with you!