When it is 3AM and you are awake for your sixth day straight from painsomnia, it is hard to see anything good or nice in pain. When you have a chronic disease such as Lupus, Fibro, Rheumatoid Disease, or many of the hundreds of others auto-immune diseases pain is just a part of life that sadly you live with. Pain is a function that warns us that something is wrong. It is our body warning us of danger in the case of a heart attack, of a catastrophic injury, or of the constant disruption of a system or systems.
This morning, I was laying there thinking that the pain in my legs had become almost a comfortable old friend. It Is the pain I know that lets me know I have gone to far, the cliff is about ten feet ahead, but I am okay. It is actually the oldest pain of my disease state. Maybe that is why it is so familiar to me. I hate it, I am by no means saying that it is something I like or appreciate as an entity within me. Yet that leg pain is always the first to warn me that my disease is going haywire, that I have pushed to hard, that my world is not right. In an odd sense, my foe is also my old friend. It lets me know that my nemesis is preparing to strike. It has become something I have learned to cohabitate with regardless of whatever else is going on. The fire may burn hot with inflammation, but it is a familiar inflammation I know. I know what will come next… I know what the next steps of my treatment protocol will be.
Today, I challenge you to think about what your warning symptom/Sign is… Do you have something that lets you know you are getting ready to flare? A trigger? Is there a common symptom or symptoms that warn of a coming flare? Part of disease management is being able to target these. Sometimes, no matter what you do there will be no warning. You will wake up one morning in a flare, or you will be out to lunch and by the time you get home you will be unable to walk because of fatigue and inflammation. But knowing symptoms of flares help prepare you to fight back against these diseases.
You can then work with your doctor to isolate these symptoms and work on a treatment protocol when these symptoms arise. It also gives more information to your doctor as to how your disease works and acts. This grants them more insight and information. Remember, any information that we can continue to glean on auto-immune diseases is needed.
Knowledge is power! Preparing yourself, Knowing what to expect and how to help yourself empowers you.