Bad Flare...Stress or Weather?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by lgp, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. lgp

    lgp Well-Known Member

    I am in the crux of a really bad flare. Everything hurts, I am tired, phlegmy (I know, gross), sinuses hurt, not sleeping well, getting the 'burn', muscle pain, joint pain, etc.

    I don't know whether to attribute it to the extremely long or cold winter, PMS, or the extreme stress our family is under right now, particularly my husband and myself. His 91 year old father is on a respirator, battling pneumonia and various ailments since November, so we are going to the hospital every day, sometimes twice a day, speaking to all sorts of doctors, dealing with the non-stop flow of well meaning phone calls, etc., and trying to live life somewhere inbetween. And my husband also has the anxiety of executing the DNR if he feels it will be necessary. It is agonizing to be the voice of another person, even if they have given you the legal right to do so. Of course, my husband turns to me for advise, so I share his anxiety with him. I feel so sorry for his position, and my FIL and I were very close, such a sweet man. Anyway,I think this may be contributing tomy flare as well.

    I also think I may be flaring because I am not taking any vitamins or supplements now--nothing, because I have to have a colonoscopy in the next two weeks. Fortunately, I seemed to have recuuperated form the bout of diverticulitis that landed me in the hospital in December.

    So does anyone have an opinion on this? Is it the weather, stress, vitamins, etc? What do my friends here think is the biggest culprits for causing flares? BTW, this time of the year is my worst for pain. This fare is a dilly though and I think I was ripe for it--and all the factors may be contributing. an interesting thing that I have come to notice is that I only get 'the burn' when the flare has an emotional or stressful component attached to it. Can anyone explain that.

    This is the oddest disease ever. I don't think I will ever fully understand it.


  2. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    I'm so sorry to hear that you are dealing with everything that is on your plate right now. I can only imagine the heartache and stress that you and your husband are feeling about your FIL.

    I don't know (can't remember, sorry!) if you are suffering with FM, CFS or both. For me, (FM), I know that there are certainly contributing factors to a really bad flare/feeling MUCH worse than usual. Stress is a big one for me, yes the weather can do it too. I think with your daily visits to the hospital is tiring both emotionally and physically.

    I also know that I can be couch bound for no particular reason. It just comes on and there is nothing that I can really pinpoint to it. However, my underlying stress etc. certainly doesn't help even when I'm not thinking about it.

    You really need to give yourself a break and give yourself some much needed pampering. I know it's hard with all of the demands you have right now, but I think it's key. Rest as much as you can, sleep, sleep, sleep and do anything you can to get your mind off things even if for an hour or two. Sometimes I have to get lost in a couple of sitcoms or a comedy movie just to let me mind relax.

    This IS a difficult thing to deal with because we don't have much control over what we're dealing with day to day. I wish I could explain why you're feeling like you do - but like I said, you have a lot on your plate right now. Prepare to need a BIG break when things calm down because your body/mind have probably been pushed to the limit right now and you're doing more than you should be because you have to.

    I wish you strength during this most difficult time.

  3. lgp

    lgp Well-Known Member

    Than you for your sensitive and insightful reply. It is so appreciated.

    I do try and set a little time aside for myself; I get my nails done every week and occasionally a pedicure. It is very relaxing for me, and even if I hesitate to go,my husband says, 'Just go!' and they always throw in a quick shoulder massage. Can you beat a manicure and pedicure for under $20? And the other thing I am doing for myself is I started to go back to the gym three time per week. The only thing I need to remember is to pace myself and not compare myself to everyone in the gym. I am dying to break out into a run on the track or treadmill, but every time I do, I pay for it later. So I am signing up for a few sessions with a female trainer--she's a middle aged woman who has had knee surgery and has some joint issues herself, so she gets it. I do not love the gym, but I know if I do not keep moving a bit, I will pay for it. But I find the noise in the gym to be a bit stressful, so yesterday I went (forced myself) to go around 1 in the afternoon--it was so quiet there at that time, and oh so much more enjoyable/tolerable. My other favorite things to do are walking and riding my bike; the first moderately warm morning will find me riding around the development early in the morning or around noontime! Fortunately, I am able to do these things because I am not working right now. I decided to suspend my job search until the situation with my FIL is resolved.

    Something really weird happened last night--and it's about the third time its happened. Yesterday, I felt this flare was still with me, and I still did not feel good-sinuses were killing me (which I believe are the source of my problem). We got home from the hospital last night, and sat down with hubby because he really wanted to watch Law and Order. I was glad because he needs to once in awhile himself zone out from all that is going on. The show for some reason, was not holding my interest, and I accidentally fell asleep on his shoulder for about ten minutes. I woke up pain free and feeling so much better! I do not understand this at all; as I mentioned, this has happened before. I know my fibro is tied to sleep problems. A few sleepless nights is almost a precursor for me that a flare is imminent. Belelive me, I am glad for it, but I just do not get it.

    I am planning to address my sinus issues with the ENT in several weeks. It's tough because I cannot take any medication now due to my colonoscopy in two weeks.

    I am also trying to stay off the couch as much as I can--only makes my stiffness worse. So I try to do something for awhile, like iron or straighten the pantry,my closet, etc. so I only watch tv at night for an hour or so before bed.

    The situation with my FIL is so heavy on my heart, but we try to put it into perspective. He's 91 and up until a month ago he was okay and still driving--never had any major health problems beyond eary stage prostate cancer, which he received the seed treatment for in 1999, left the facility immediately after the procedure, and drove to the diner for a cheese omelet! The prognosis is grim/guarded and is even all the more difficult because he is conscious now and fully aware of what is going on even though he is unable to speak. They are going to try one more time to reduce the ventilator (CPAP) before they resort to the trach. He has a feeding tube also, which may have to be permanent. It's all so confusing, but my husband's extended family and my family as well have rallied behind my husband and are fully supporting every decision he makes as his dad's legal representative, which is comforting to my husband.

    You have given me some very good advice. Thanks so much.