As a Fibromyalgia warrior, my life is often made of of good days, flare days and recovery days. As hard as I try, it’s become impossible to chart what day I will be enjoying until I wake up. Some people put a lot of weight on “spoon theory”. But not me. I really do not like the idea that I can only do so many things on any given day. It feels like I am being held back.
Of course, I make sure that I am exercising well, taking care of personal hygiene and eating as best as I am willing to. While all that certainly does help, it doesn’t immunize me against flare days.
So what’s a flare day?
I’m glad you asked!
A flare day is the common name for a day when any chronic illness causes intense pain flashes in small increments of time, thus making up a day. A lot of people I know have flare days. Plural. I have had them as well. That’s when they become flare weeks and even months. Prior to diagnosis, my sister would sit tightly bundled to herself, fearing anyone touching her. It can become that awful. Quickly.
Some of my worst flare days have been spent lying flat on my back, hoping to gawd that my child can figure out how to make a sandwich for herself. There’s no real treatment for a flare day. I have tried various pain medications, CBD oil products, deep tissue massages. To no avail. On the actual day of the flare,I find it best if I do as little as possible while also making myself as comfortable as possible.
The day after the flare begins, I can usually start waging my passive / aggressive war on Fibro. Over the years I have built up a self care box of goodies that can nearly guarantee that I will prevent my single flare day from turning into multiple flare days.
I must note - I am NOT a medical professional of any kind. These are not cures to any chronic illness. They will not prevent flare days and you should only modify what works for you after consulting your doctor or specialist.
LET’S TAKE A LOOK INSIDE MY BOX!
disclaimer: most, if not all, of my posts contain affiliate links. This means that if you should shop through the links I have provided, I earn a small compensation for having been the referrer. Unless otherwise stated, the companies I work with and for are 100% legit and I back with my life. My promise to you is to always provide the best content, products or services that I am able and only recommend that which I feel will bring value.
Joy Organics is new to me. I discovered it only this month and am quickly amazed by the potential each product has. In fact, I believe in Joy Organics so much that I became an affiliate partner in order to help them raise awareness for their products.
CBD oil isn’t new to me. I’ve tried it in many forms over the past two years of my Fibro journey. Personally, I love having products that I can run over achey muscles and having a capsule that I can take in the mornings after a flare day is so helpful. I am partial to the Joy Organics drink flavors though and find that mixing a little into my water (staying hydrated is crucial to anyone with chronic illness - TIP: if you know someone who does have a chronic illness, a great way to show support is to help them remember to stay hydrated! ) really helps me fight off muscle spasms.
Tens Machine - personal massager
Har har har, yes, I know what comes immediately to mind when you think of a “personal massager”. I’m laughing right along with you that I will soon have a blog post that highly recommends you purchase a personal massager for the benefit of your chronic illness. I am awesome like that :-)
Seriously though, I’ve used a TENS machine forever. I started using it when I had a knee injury about a hundred years ago and I just kept finding uses for it. After my fibro diagnosis, my TENS unit became a staple in my self care box.
Benefits: These things are portable you guys! Yes, I have often had to explain that I have wires jutting from my neckline / sleeve / waist if I am out and about but it’s worth it. #realtalk: I took my kiddos to see The Incredibles 2 over the summer and it was the day after what I still consider one of the worst flares of my life. The eyes of my babes told me there was no taking a day off due to my flare. So I packed my TENS unit up with an external battery (they run via usb or battery) charger and off we went to the movies. My girls knew I was feeling bad so after the invalid (that’s me) was situated, they took it upon themselves to bring popcorn, candy and soda to me and allow me to let me and my machine have the seats alone.
I’m actually dead serious here.
Distractions help me out so much on any given day but when I am trying my best to rise up and accomplish things on the day after a Fibro flare, I am forever grateful to Amazon for offering me free shipping (I don’t need to go to certain stores now) BONUS: Prime Video. Documentaries running in the background is so helpful when I am up and down managing a task list, Audible (because books are life and I need a mental focus sometimes when I am active and unable to read an actual book or my Kindle. AND of course, having access to thousands of ebooks via KindleUnlimited.
I cannot even count how many post-flare days I have had that were eased simply by knowing I was going to read a great book later or that I didn’t need to go to the store for batteries (you know, for the TENS unit hahaha)
Shower bombs are the best way t begin any new day. The right mix of aromatherapy on the morning after a flare day is often enough to keep me going for the endless hours ahead.
I have a whole box of these things that I keep around for any use at all. I also have a super-secret box that has my favorite flare day and post-flare day scents. I tend to go for eucalyptus/spearmint in the mornings because it always energizes me and the spearmint gets deep into the muscles while steaming in the shower to help combat inflammation.
MY FAVORITES SHOWER BOMBS
My planner acts as a distraction (pretty planner fun!) and also as a journal. I am able to keep each day documented on a regular basis thanks to Plum Paper and this is especially true for noting down my flare days.
I find it difficult to fully document properly during an actual flare. Honestly, I just want to be left alone. I’m known for simply grabbing my red pen and writing a number between 1-10 to note the degree of pain I am in but the details are saved for the next day when I can think clearly, rationally and admit that I was not actually hit by a Mack truck.
I keep both a notebook for full journal entries and a place in my planner where I document my symptoms (to compare with previous flair days) so that I can analyze them later with my amazing team of doctors.
And hey - if you send me your email address with “plum offer” in the subject line and you are new to Plum, I will send you an email back with a discount code for 10% off your order!
There they are! My top 5 tools for managing my post-fibro flare days
What are some tools in your arsenal that help you make the most out of your days after flares? Do you have any fun secrets or tricks of the trade? I am always looking for new ideas so leave me a comment and let’s chat!
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