A doozy of a flare-up

So, it seems that I spoke too soon last week, as pretty much, the afternoon after writing that blog, a nice old flare up started to creep up on me. It wasn’t too bad at that point – creeping into my hands for most of the weekend, making them stiff and sore. However, on Sunday my knee got pretty bad. I wondered if I’d done something during a home pilates workout the day before – perhaps I’d pulled something when I was doing a stretch? By Sunday night, going up and down stairs was getting too difficult  and so once I’d gone up to bed early evening, I stayed there.

By Monday morning the knee pain was all gone. So not an injury then but part of the flare up. No pain for the rest of that day until…. until I got home late that night. I’d gone over to Leeds to see one of my favourite bands of the moment with a few friends. We’d got back into Manchester at 11.30 and by 12, I was already in bed, having shelled out for a taxi home from the station. The knee pain was creeping back on, but I stupidly thought that it would be fine as I’d sleep it off as I had done on Sunday.

It was not to be. The pain creeped up and up on me in the knee, my hip and in my hands and fingers until it was louder than my urge to sleep. I lay in bed, dozing off and on and listening to my audio book of the moment (Bill Bryson’s Notes from a Small Island) and praying for sleep. By 5am, I realised that I was no longer half awake but properly awake and I made myself hobble out of bed and get a heat patch to put onto my pyjama bottoms to try and bring some relief to the poor knee. By the morning, the pain was still pretty severe. Walking was pretty difficult and some of my fingers were swollen too. There was no way I was going to get downstairs, so I was particularly thankful that my partner (recovering from a heavy cold) was well enough to bring my breakfast up for me.

I was supposed to go back to my expert patient programme but there was no way I was physically or emotionally up to it. I’m always a little emotionally fragile during a bad attack, even more so when I’m also hormonal AND haven’t slept. So when I realised that I was not mobile enough to go to zumba, I just burst into tears!

I spent the morning in bed, feeling a little sorry for myself, but mainly being pissed off at missing my dose of happy through Zumba. The attack started to ease off at around lunchtime and by the afternoon I was able to cycle (it was easier on my knees than walking) and visit a friend, bringing along copious amounts of cake with me. By the evening, the pain was all gone, and all I was left with was exhaustion from not having slept the night before.

As I write, it’s now Thursday and I’m pain free again. Seven years into this condition and I still get surprised at how rapidly a flare can come on, and how rapidly (relatively) it can completely disappear again. The other thing this flare highlighted is how useless most of the painkillers are. I have been prescribed Naproxen, but you’re supposed to take it with food. Pretty useless if an attack starts in the middle of the night. Mind you, when I have tried taking them with food, they didn’t do much anyway.

I’m not too disheartened by this week’s flare. It only really left me incapacitated for one day, which on the scale of things isn’t too bad. I just wish it hadn’t been my zumba day! Next time it strikes, I hope that its timing will be better!


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