Recently, I have been going through a fibro flare. This flare has been brought on by a toothache, a damn toothache! I have a tooth that needs to be pulled. Since I don’t have dental insurance I go to the dental school. I am very happy with the dental school, but things take time and there is a month wait to get my dead tooth pulled.
I have been in agony. My body has turned on itself, leading to a need for antibiotics for an infection, pain pills for the fibro flare caused by the infection, and anti-nausea medication because I feel like I’m going to throw up ALL THE TIME because I am in full flare mode.
Now, the flare is ceasing. I am done with the antibiotics, decreasing the pain medication and the icky, empty, confused state of mind complete with an all over uncomfortable feeling is playing out. I know this feeling, and I know how long it will take to get through this feeling, three long agonizing days.
- I will not be able to sleep.
- I will not be able to eat.
- I will not be able to think clearly… and I will probably cry, a lot, from pure exhaustion.
Well, guess what? It’s day four and I made it, again.
This is how my body works with fibromyalgia. The length of a fibromyalgia flare is always uncertain. The reasons for the flare itself are at times, uncertain. The increase in the symptoms the overall feeling of helplessness vary from flare to flare. And your flare will be different from mine! The only certainty about a flare is that it is temporary and it will eventually stop. You will return to a manageable level of pain. So how do you get back to the manageable level of pain after throwing everything you got at the monster flare?
The three-day rule.
A fibro flare is an increase in pain, fatigue and other symptoms unique to your type of fibromyalgia. Mine comes with the pain, fatigue, restless legs, nausea, and fatigue but the inability to sleep plagues me. I do try to sleep as much as I can until the flare lets go, but I have difficulty sleeping longer than a few hours at a time.
When a flare hits, it is time for rescue medications and your fibromyalgia toolbox (read this if you do not know what a fibro toolbox is; Pick Your Box ). Anything you can think of, use, to just get through the flare. What you are not told is you will also need an exit strategy from the increase in medications you took and the body pain you feel from being so immobile for the time you had the flare.
Your exit strategy. First, this is unfortunate, you will go through three days of wishing you could just take a pain pill to make it go away. Do NOT. This is how you get addicted to pain medications. Just get through three days of feeling like crap after your flare ceases. Come up with your exit plan.
Here are a few ideas that work for me, they may not work for you but you will figure out what does and you must use your exit plan. Take Tylenol or ibuprofen for the pain and rebound headaches. Use Dramamine for nausea and dizziness. Try drinking herbal tea, eat jello, use everything you have in your toolbox to keep your mind busy and pass the time. Get Netflix and binge! Sometimes … chocolate helps, (keep some mini fun bars in your freezer). Regular Coke calms the stomach, try sipping on a regular coke. (SIPPING not drinking six cans.) What I am saying is do what you need to do to get through three days after your flare. Whatever it takes.
When you hit the fourth day, get back to making smart choices … until your next flare comes along. You have your arsenal ready! You will do what you need to do and you have an exit plan in place.
You got this!