Having lived with Fibromyalgia ever since I was 14 has given me a lot of experience dealing with flares. The most recent one has been going on for months now. When I was in the beginning of this flare I recorded the video.
Little bit of back story: I’ve been traveling in the US for two weeks and got a major flare on the day before I was supposed to go back home. It was so bad that I had to stay in the hotel until I felt better. This video has been recorded after being stuck in the hotel room for over a week with my major flare.
I want to explain to you what a fibro flare is and what it feels like. At the moment of recording the video I had been in a flare for over a week. I will explain my symptoms in detail, but first I want to explain to you what a flare is.
Whichever chronic illness you have, it can be Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s, Arthritis, Lupus, Msm, or any other chronic illness. A flare means that all of your symptoms are increased , they are more extreme then they normally are. All of your symptoms act up at the same time and make you feel very bad. That is what we refer to that as a flare.
I want to explain to you what I feel when I have a fibro flare, a fibromyalgia flare up of my symptoms. Now I have to be honest, I have no idea if this current flare is due to my fibromyalgia due to my Hashimoto’s, due to all of my other autoimmune diseases or due to some sort of unknown cause. It can also be changes in the weather or that I’ve just done too much. I know for a fact that I’ve done too much lately. But even though I stopped to rest, my flare seems to be getting worse and I don’t know why.
What do I experience when I have a flare?
Right now my hip is really inflamed, it’s hurting and it’s been like that for a week. The pain is kinda traveling from my hip into my lower back and up into the back of my shoulder blades. It feels like my hip is on fire and then there’s also a nerve stuck. The stuck nerve just feels like a stabbing pain.
I’m extremely tired, which could be because of the pain, it could be the flare, it could be the fact that I’m in a hotel room and not in my house. But at home I am this tired as well when I get a flare. It’s not very visible right now, because at the moment of recording it’s afternoon and I’m doing okay. But when I wake up my eyes are super puffy and swollen and I have blue bags under my eyes.
Right now I am also experiencing a ringing in my ears, I’ve had it for four days. It’s super annoying, I have no clue what I can do about it so I just ignore it. But I know it’s not normal to have a non stop ringing in my ears.
I don’t have a throat ache or throat infection but my throat feels raw, annoying, warm and swollen. I think my lymph nodes are swollen. My lymph nodes usually swell up when I’m in a flare.
The other things that I experience, yes there’s more the list goes on, is a tension head ache. But it’s not really a head ache because my head doesn’t really hurt, it’s like a pressure in my head. It could be due to the weather, because where I am right now it’s raining and it’s very humid and cold. That really affects me, My eyes get more puffy and my fingers will swell up as well.
This irritation in my head is like a pressure which feels like there’s a head ache coming, but I’ve had this for four days now as well. I don’t really know what to do about that.
So basically those are my symptoms when I am in a flare. I could have constipation, diarrhea, anything going wrong my my GI track. It varies from time to time. So now my hip is really inflamed, which actually doesn’t happen often. For me it’s usually either in between my shoulder blades or in my neck on the right side. Now it’s my left hip. It could be nausea, I’m not nauseous right now, most of the times I am nauseous.
My common flare symptoms:
- Ringing in ears
- Stabbing pain
- Burning pain
- Head ache / pressure in head
- Brain Fog / not being able to concentrate
- Swelling around eyes and in fingers.
What do I do when I’m in a flare?
I kinda just lay down and try to work through it. Like when you have the flu and you have to just wait until you feel better. That’s the way it works with me when I’m in a flare. But a flare can take days, weeks and sometimes even months. I don’t want to stay in bed for months, so what I’ll do is just rest a lot, but also try to get up and move around a couple times per day.
I make sure that I take all of my supplements, especially magnesium when I’m in a flare when my neck hurts or my hip is inflamed. The magnesium helps lower the inflammation. I use essential oils and Homeopathic anti inflammatory medication as well. Against the head ache I take white willow drops.
That’s basically what it feels like when I’m in a flare and what I do about it. I can’t really do a lot about it but just wait for it to pass, because it always passes. I try to help my body as much as I can. When I’m in a flare I don’t have an appetite, so for me it’s very hard to keep eating. But I make sure that I eat twice, three times per day. Because I notice that when I don’t eat, I feel worse.
Try to stay positive!
The last one is trying to stay positive. That is the hardest one to do though, it’s so hard to stay positive when you feel so bad. For me at the moment of recording it’s been a week, I’m stuck abroad, I’m not at home, I’m in a hotel. I’ve been traveling, I overdid it and my body told me, yeah that’s it! A day before I was supposed to go home.
It’s hard to stay positive by myself in a hotel room, but I try. I focus on the good things, that I really enjoyed the trip and my body just needs rest to recover and hopefully I can go home soon.
UPDATE: After three and a half weeks in the hotel room I could fly back to Europe. Where I stayed another three and a half weeks with my mom. Two momnths after leaving my house, I finally returned home. Where I continue to recover.
Whichever flare you are in of have been in, just try to relax your body, support it with natural supplements and essential oils. Make sure you keep eating and stay positive. Those are my tips!
What does your flare feel like? What do you do to get through it?