Last night was a long night. In addition to loud peals of thunder and rain pelting the roof, our cell phones kept blaring out several severe weather warnings. Things finally calmed down, and we went to sleep with the now-soft pitter-patter of rain on the roof. That is, until 3:00AM when the phones blared out another flash flood warning. We finally went back to sleep and woke up to — surprise! surprise! (not really) — no power. Shoutout to our wonderful linemen around here though, they had us back up and running by 8:00. Imagine my surprise when I turned on the TV and saw that our little city had made the national news! They were reporting that less than a mile from where we live, people had been evacuated due to fears of a dam breach. That wasn’t the only evacuation going on either…. All of this was going on around us and we were completely unaware.
This whole thing reminded me of how fibromyalgia flares work sometimes for me. Sometimes they’ll come with warnings, but sometimes they just seem to come out of nowhere.
My flare warnings usually come in one of three forms:
- Throat pain – it’s not a sore throat, but rather a feeling of my throat being tight, or under tension.
- A feeling of general grumpiness or being overly emotional.
- A feeling that I can best describe as a feeling of someone pushing down on my shoulders.
If any of these warning signs appear, I usually try to slow down, and if possible, go ahead and take a recovery day to try to help lessen the effects of the flare and hopefully, shorten the time it lasts.
Then, of course, there are the flares that just appear out of nowhere, with no warning at all. I can be fine one minute, and the next, my bones feel as if they’re on fire and I’m so exhausted the thought of walking to another room makes me want to cry. This definitely calls for a recovery day!
Everyone’s recovery day looks different. For me, it usually means a day spent mostly in the family room with my good friends Heating Pad and Fuzzy Blanket watching some of my recorded shows or Netflix, with a nap or two thrown in whenever I feel I just have to lie down. I used to spend these days in bed, but discovered that for me, it seemed to make me more stiff and sore, and it seemed to prolong my flares. Now I try to move around the house a little every hour or so to prevent the inactivity/pain cycle I talked about here.
When we live with fibromyalgia, we can pretty much expect flares from time to time, and finding what works to help lessen the pain or at least give us some comfort as we go through it can help us hang in there until we feel better. It sometimes takes trying new things and new combinations of things to get the most relief, but eventually, we find those things that help us ride out the storm.
Thinking about this really has me wondering if some of you also have warning signs before some of your flares, as I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone else mention it. I’d really love to know –
Do you ever experience any warning signs before a flare?
Please let us know either way in the comments, and if you do, if you don’t mind sharing, please tell us what kind of symptoms you experience that let you know a flare is coming.