Just under a fortnight ago, my mother rang with horrible news. My younger brother had been killed in a horrible road accident.
I knew that the effort of travelling to the funeral would probably cause a flare, but if I didn't go, the stress and upset would probably cause a flare anyway. So of course I went.
Now, a little tip for pensioners travelling in Queensland. Queensland Rail charged me $25 each way to travel from Brisbane to Rockhampton on the Tilt Train. (You need your pension card when you book with them.) With a letter from my doctor saying I needed a carer with me, my son got his ticket free.
The actual trip involved about an hour on a city train to get from Ipswich to Brisbane. Then it was eight and a half hours on the travel train.
To help with the pain of sitting so long, I wore the portable tens machine attached to my hips and back the whole time.
I chose to stay at a hotel for the air-conditioning, instead of with family or friends. Because this trip was not planned ahead of time, with no time to save up, I could only afford two nights in the hotel. So we arrived the night before the funeral, stayed for the day of the funeral, and left the morning after.
By the time we arrived home, neither my mind nor my body wanted to function at all. To be fair my healthy son was in a similar state.
Two days later, however, he was back to normal, and I was sleeping on the couch all day. I've been fatigued, in pain and brain-fogged for a week.
With this flare, something new is happening. Not the crying, that's about my brother. No, there's something weird happening with my feet.
When the rest of me is hot and pouring sweat (even in the air-conditioning), my feet are freezing cold. I've been lying on the couch, under the air-conditioner with my feet wrapped in a blanket. Then occasionally I get horrible pains in the soles of my feet.
I suspect it's a circulatory problem. One of the tests on my brain ages ago showed lupus had caused some vascular changes, so it's not beyond the realms of probability that the same thing is happening to my feet.
So I'm making sure I use the big tens machine at home each day - the one that does the base of the feet as well as having the electrodes for sore spots on the body.
My hope is this flare will burn out quickly, so I can get back to the exercise program the exercise physiologist worked out for me. But all lupies know a flare will last as long as it lasts.