A lupus ‘flare’ is a period during which there is a peak in symptoms, while a ‘remission’ is a period during which symptoms are under control.
Factors which can trigger a flare include sunlight, exhaustion, nutrition, the weather, emotional stress, physical stress (such as an accident or surgery), infections, certain drugs or pregnancy.
While some lupus patients can experience flares lasting from months to years and requiring hospitalization, I am lucky enough to have a mild case of lupus. So far, my flares have lasted only for a few days during which I experience fatigue, achy muscles and joints, fever, mouth ulcers, nausea and dizziness.
When this happen, I continue my regular treatment (Prednisone, Plaquenil and Vitamin D supplements), but also take painkillers, antiemetics and whatever can help to ‘tame down’ the symptoms.
Here are a few ways I cope with flares:
- Cancelling or postponing any activities which might require a lot of energy or worsen the flare.
- Medicating proactively.
- Getting PLENTY of sleep.
- Hugging my favorite plush toy!
- Books, movies, playing brain games, journaling.
- Infused ginger or coconut water help with the nausea.
- While I may feel grumpy, reaching out and talking to others tend to do a lot of good.
- “I should probably hire a personal assistant so that I never need to get out of my bed again. How much would that cost?”