You’ve gone on that trip, attended that conference, or danced at that wedding, and now that you’re home you’ve crashed physically and mentally. You tried so hard to pace your activities both before, and during your trip. But none of that seems to have made a difference. You are flaring; in the grips of pain, or fatigue, or both. Now what?
Sometimes no matter how prepared we are, we suffer with consequences from our outings. I firmly believe that without any attempt at pacing, we would have crashed during or even before our trips. So don’t give up on preparation and pacing. What we need to do is plan for post-activity flares as well.
Flaring Up: Now what?
My trip was June 21st to 23rd. I made sure that I had no appointments for the week following my trip. However, Monday morning I woke up with low back pain, brain fog, and fatigue.
Use Your Flare Relief Tools
I started with using my Oska Pulse, and CBD lotion on my back. Resting was a top priority and I also tried to stay hydrated. I wasn’t really hungry, but I made sure that I did eat.
I’ve had trouble with my lower back for years, so I knew what exercises and stretches to do to work out the tension from sitting and driving for hours. By midweek my back was settling down a bit. Unfortunately, my tiredness grew more intense as the week progressed and was really bad over this past weekend.
Perhaps, I shouldn’t have walked my dog in the park on Monday and Tuesday. I also worked on writing and publishing a blog post. I think I should’ve written the post before I left or just skipped that week. I’ll have to remember for future trips to really just rest on the first two days afterwards.
Flaring Up Tips
So what can you do when you’re having a flare?
- If your pain is flaring use your pain relief tools.
2. If you’re exhausted, eliminate all but the absolute essentials in your day.
3. If brain fog is the problem, set a timer to remind yourself to take your medications, or to drink water so you don’t forget.
4. Stay hydrated.
5. Don’t forget to eat. Meals don’t have to be fancy, just nutritious and foods you tolerate well.
6. Ask for help. (:
7. Be kind to yourself. No beating yourself up allowed.
8. Remember the good stuff you experienced on your trip, and why it was important for you to go where you did.
9. Lastly, remember that this flare will pass as you take care of yourself.
If you need more information about pacing you can read more about how to pace here: https://upbeatliving.net/pace-activities-6-essential-tips/
It’s now July 9th. My low back pain is mostly gone. My energy is still pretty low, but slowly improving. It’s hard to tell how much the high humidity, and heat are now a factor in my fatigue.
Remember, you can manage trips and activities with your chronic illness/pain. It just takes much planning, and a whole lot of patience when you return home.
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Till next time, Kathy