Sunday, 28 August 2011

Could be a new flare

I suspect I'm starting a new lupus flare. Here's what tipped me off to this possibility.

Depression:

I'm showing signs of depression - you might have got that from the tone of my last post if you read it. Things I would normally find a way to deal with are just getting too much. (I'm usually very creative at finding ways to deal with almost anything. This just venting about things I can't control isn't the usual me.)

I'm also feeling as if I'm on the verge of crying all the time. This started yesterday, but yesterday I was making French onion soup, and chopping up 1.5kg of onions and caramelising them for an hour can have that effect.  The onions are all gone now. (I'd thought the soup would be lunches for the week - turns out that even people who don't like onions loved the soup and it's really all gone.) I still want to cry, and not just because my soup's all gone.

And I'm binge eating, uncontrollably. That's a sure sign I'm not coping. It goes with depression - it also goes with intestinal problems I have. I can't tell when I'm hungry or when I'm full.

Rashes: Every time I do anything much at all, my cheeks and nose are turning pink - getting brighter (and feeling drier and more irritated) the more I do.

A little bumpy rash is also starting to come up on my arms and legs. This rash isn't so severe it's noticeable from a distance, yet, but if I run my hands over my skin, I can feel all these tiny rough bumps. Sometimes they get itchy, but if I scratch, they come straight off and then I have tiny sores.

Fatigue: My naps are getting longer, and I'm able to do less and less before I need them.

Pain: The pain isn't severe, but definitely it's not as well controlled as it usually is. Aching ankles and knees made it hard to sleep last night.

Intestinal problems: I'm suffering from reflux, even though I'm not consuming lactose. I'm suffering from irritable bowel symptoms, even though I'm not consuming gluten. (You don't want the details of either of those issues!) "Hungry" and "full" signals seem to be getting mixed up - I'm binge eating, because I feel like I'm starving all the time, even though intellectually I know I have to be over-full.

Temperature: Here in Brisbane, it's the last of winter. It's cool weather, and days and days of drizzling rain have made it seem cooler. I still need to put on the air conditioner to make it cool enough for me to sleep. I'm hot when everyone else is cold.

Headaches: I'm getting headaches.  Fluid tablets help to relieve them, but they don't go away completely.


Anyone with lupus who is reading is now nodding and thinking, "sounds familiar." A flare affects us all differently, of course, but we all have a list of symptoms that tell us we're getting sick again. This is pretty much my whole list!

So where to from here?

I'm not due for my regular blood test for another month, but I have a spare doctor's referral for one, so I'll go and get some blood taken early this week. That means the results will be ready by Thursday, when I have my monthly check-up with my GP.

I do what my body tells me to do. I have longer naps, and I start to look at my "to do" list and start working out what's essential, and what's not - and how I'm going to handle whatever is essential.

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