I have a flair for flare…

So, I guess the stupid disease department has caught up to me.  I don’t go without a fight, that’s for sure.

I mentioned in previous posts that my blood work has been wonky and that I have been “off.”  Well, I have been making the rounds to all my specialists to see what might be brewing and have heard the news that I am much ado about nothing.  In other words, I have the same diseases I have had: but, my autoimmune disease is active again and that is just how it goes.

What does that mean?  It means I am having a flare.  A flare, it turns out, can be either a noun or a verb.  I think in my case it is a verb.  I am not a flare in the person, place or thing- sense; flare as a noun can be described as  ” a bright burst of light.”  No, that is not me.  I am more on the verbal end of things: “to burn with sudden intensity” or  my personal favorite, “gradually become wider at one end.”

My connective tissue, the glue that holds together all my bones and joints and the gooey stuff in between,  is most certainly burning with a sudden intensity.  I can even see in my mind’s eye that the connective tissues themselves are becoming wider as they swell.

What causes this? My autoimmune system is attacking me from the inside out.  It thinks my own tissues are the enemy: I mean, how dumb is that?

You would think I could just say, “Ok, stop it you idiots. Behave!”    Instead  I have to take medicine I hate because it is not elegant but more like a carpet bombing of my system:  I mean steroids.

Steroids are great things when you need them.  They can’t fix a damned thing but they do shrink swelling.  They also make you more prone to infection (already a problem for me) and make your face swollen, your bloated belly hungry,  cause anxiety and sleeplessness:   So, I have been avoiding them.  In fact, I have told myself, “never again.”

My flare pain has reached max output.  I can’t deal with it.  I have to go for the ‘roids.

Yesterday I was bed bound and sleepless due to the pain.  Rolling my eyes back and forth in their sockets was unbearable.

But, I am proud of myself.

In the past I used to come totally unglued and go to the hospital and beg for pain meds.  So far, I haven’t done that yet.

I can do this.

I can flare but not scare.

But I wish I could figure out how to not flare.  There is always an element of self blame when this happens.  It is complicated.  I suppose it is just like with all chronic disease.  I always ask myself the question, “Did I cause this?”

If I did, I didn’t mean to, obviously.  But, it always feels like a sort of failure.  It’s like a giant weight drops down on top of me and I cannot get out from under it.  I want to hide and to sleep it off but I am too uncomfortable.

The blame game can get old.  It is compounded by the guilt I feel for failing to keep up my end of the family work.  It is as though I have a big, “Out of Order” sign on me. I think that in some ways it is easier to be in the hospital, hooked up to pain meds, than it is to wait it out at home.

But, I have to do this.  And, I have to realize, without going crazy, that it will happen again and again and again and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.

I have to submit.

I have to learn to have my flares with flair…