Bad Flare Day

RA Guy Adventures of RA Guy 11 Comments

Wow, talk about a bad flare day. I’m definitely having one today. One of the things that I wrote when I first started blogging was “12 noon is the new 8am – life with RA.” (On a side note, I think that’s the first time that I’ve put a sentence’s closing punctuation inside the quotation marks…what exactly is the rule on this? A quick online search says its a stylistic choice.) Back to the 12 noon thing, though. Today, this saying could not be more true. All morning long I’ve been thinking to myself, “man are my feet hurting!” Usually one foot hurts worse than the other, one ankle hurts worse than the other, and so on. Not today. Today, both sides are absolutely equal…and while it’s me lower body that is getting most of my attention (ever seen feet that look brighter than a tomato?), the fact of the matter is that everything hurts, from top to bottom.

I don’t find myself getting as anxious as I might have in a previous flare of this severity, which I guess is a good thing. But I do find myself once again being surprised at how much it can actually hurt. (And I’ve probably had hundreds of flares that were as bad as today’s is.) You see (and I am sure that others who live with this will know what I am talking about), there is pain that is so bad that even though it registers in the mind at the present, as soon as it passes, that same mind cannot even imagine how bad that pain was. I guess that’s why I’ve always told people that even though I can find a lot of similarity between all of my flares, each and every one of the stands out as its own singular event.

Writing about this helps. During times like these, when is feels like the whole world is shrinking down on me (I was bedridden until about 1:30pm), it’s nice to have a way of counteracting these thoughts of fear and helplessness that enter my mind. It’s scary..but right around now, I’m just a little bit less scared. And I know that I am going to be okay.

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

Comments 11

  1. silvercrone

    Yes- I agree with EACH flare being its own particular event. I cope with one in increments – meaning TIME increments. First, can I sit up but stay in bed?, then can I walk with my rollator to the bathroom? Sometimes I have to stop and sit on the rollator’s seat a few minutes before I continue on. But ON is the key word, time stands still but I still move ON.

    Having three patient pets waiting for their breakfast is my motivator. I say to myself, If I can just feed them & open the dog door- I can lay back down a while. I sometimes I do and sometimes I am able to continue on to the kitchen for my coffee.

    The key for me is ON….gotta keep moving ON.

  2. Jan

    Glad you posted and are moving ON. Bad day, but you reached out, which is good. Helps the rest of us. Have you ever tried meditating? That is something I am trying to put into my life on a regular basis, along with water aerobics classes.

  3. Laurie

    I get more anxious whenever I flare and it’s a new pain. Last night I felt like I was walking on marbles under the balls of my left foot. I have had occasional toe pain, but never actual foot pain. An hour later I had pain under the base of my left index finger. I just wasn’t sure how long it would last. Thankfully a night of sleep and lidoderm patches helped. My finger is still a bit sore, but not like last night.
    And yes, then new 0800 is noon or 1300!
    Feel better!

  4. Deb aka murphthesurf

    Wow! Even though we are in different hemispheres (we are aren’t we), I was reading my own day today on your blog. Bad day! Down bad day I say! Down! It has become really challenging lately and I am thinking maybe it is the weather here…no rain in a very long time. And the humidity is a killer too! I hope your pain day is over…none for tomorrow which then means none for me…I am hoping…really, really hoping here for both of us!

  5. Wren

    The placement of the closing quotation mark before or after the ending punctuation IS up to you, Guy. That said, my advice (as an ex-newspaper editor) is to put the closing quote after the punctuation. Why? Because anything you put in quotation marks is meant to stand out, either because it’s something someone said or because it was written previously. The quoted material included all of its punctuation when it was spoken or written, right? Then include it inside the quote marks.

    I also handle each flare, and the pain or discomfort it includes, as a new and separate event. And like you, I tend to forget each time how absolutely badly a flare can hurt. Sometimes it seems like there’s no way I’ll get through it–but somehow I always do. I’m so glad that you’re able to write about it, Guy, and that writing gives you a distraction from and an outlet for the pain. You cope wisely.

  6. Arlene

    I’ve been in a flare now for weeks. I am so ready to move beyond it. I’ve been in so much pain, but I keep forcing myself to get up and move. Today, though, was the worst, and I stayed in bed until 4 pm. Truthfully though, the pain kept me awake until 6:30 am this morning.

    The pain has been so bad that I find myself wishing I would just crawl into a hole and die. I hate it when I feel like this because I work so hard to remain positive at all times.

  7. ca42

    For the last year I’ve been on Enbrel, I’ve become spoiled with being almost pain free. When the flares come, it’s like a kick in the pants. Out of the blue, and makes me realize how very lucky I am the rest of the time. It was 10 years of almost constant pain and then BAM! Now the pain seems to hurt much worse when it comes, BUT, I’m still grateful it’s not all of the time anymore. Today was a rough day. I could barely get out of bed. The storms here have been relentless lately, and they’ve caused a prolonged flare. Boo! This is the first day I’ve missed work because of a flare in a very long time. Hoping that tomorrow is better. No one I know REALLY TRULY understands what it’s like. I really appreciate blogs like this!

  8. Cathy

    I hope today brings some relief. Keep writing and sharing with us because not only are you making yourself feel better, but you always have a way of making others feel better too, despite the pain you are feeling at the time. You are actually kind of magical that way. 🙂

  9. Beth

    I am sorry you had a rough day. I hope today is better for you. Pain sucks.

    Thanks so much for writing. It’s so nice to have someone who is able to articulate and explain the way I feel a lot of the time. You are such an important part of this community.

  10. Gabriela - Living La Vida Normal

    I’m sorry you had a rough day.

    I agree that each pain episode can pass and the mind can have selective amnesia about it. That’s why I had two kids. I forgot how painful the first birth was.

    Now it’s not birthing kids but it’s surviving flares. Each one is unique and individual and when it passes it’s “forgotten” until the next bad flare that reminds me of a previous one but it has it’s own flavor.

  11. Elaine


    This if the first time I have been on this site.

    I’ve had RA/pmr for 12 months and was beginning to think what a “whoose” I am. It seems as though I only have a part of one day that is livable every week (or more).

    I hate the idea that a lot of people have the continual flares, but the other side of the coin is “I’m not such a baby” as I thought I was! The pain over rides all other thoughts. When will it stop!

    I start on Orencia next week and am hoping for a miracle.

    I hope you all find some relief soon.

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