The Weather & The Flare

Dear Audy,

Holy Bajeebus, it has been a long week. I would like to extend a hand of reluctant congratulations to The Flare, as it has clearly mastered some sort of time extender spell. I’ll give you that one, Flare, that was clever.

The Flare started last Saturday and has not given me a moment’s peace since. I have tried all the tricks that I know and Feldenkraised my little heart out, only to receive very little relief, which quickly reverts to pain.

My brain has been full of mazes and jumbles, even when I am sleeping. My dreams have harassed me with stress, terror and mayhem. This morning I woke up sobbing and confused and apart from the pain, I couldn’t quite figure out why. The pain is enough, I suppose, it is incredibly painful. If I was an infant I would be screaming and screaming and you would have changed my nappy, fed me, cuddled me, burped me and I still wouldn’t be shutting up, because the truth is that there isn’t a lot to be done for this type of flare.

This is the type of flare for which I blame The Weather.

(A google image search for “humidity pain swelling pretty” gave me this. You would think it would give me nothing. But there it is, a nice reminder that this whole drama began with a pair of high heels…)

(click for image source)

Spring has arrived and all of a sudden, Melbourne is behaving like the tropics. There are many wonderful aspects to tropical weather, but Melbourne seems to have forgotten about those and just decided to focus on conjuring up my worst enemy…humidity. There have been some patches of sunshine, but mostly my Super Sensitive Skin Barometer is detecting humid, cold, humid, cold. Do you know what humidity does to human bodies? It makes them swell up like puffy marshmellowmen. Most people are lucky enough not to notice, they might feel a bit slow and tired under the heavier density of the air, but it’s not usually a painful experience. Being the the true King Of Suckiness that it is, CRPS makes this usually mildly uncomfortable experience painful.

There is not a lot I can do, other than try to stabilise the temperature inside and not get stressed. Stress will always make the pain worse, always. I can spend a little time online again, which is lovely, however my typing fingers don’t last long before they start stinging as though they are being attacked by an army of paper concertina men (whose cuts sting more than the meanest of bees). I can do some minimal Feldenkrais, my threshold is lower than I have grown accustomed to and I have to be very careful not to overdo it. I can soak in the bath, comfortably, thanks to my awesome new, birthday bath pillow. I have been reading a lot. It’s taken a long time to learn to read with a scattered brain, but I seem to have that sussed. Once I accepted that there was nothing wrong with rereading a page, if I had forgotten what I’d just read anyway, reading got easier. Rereading used to feel like a waste of time and a punishment for taking a brain tangent, however now it is just how I get through books!

I have had my super sad moments, The Flare has been much more fiery than any I have experienced in the last couple of months. It’s easy to forget (the more I try) how awful it was when I first developed CRPS and life was confusing, painful and extremely limited. This current type of flare brings all those memories flooding back and it’s a period in time that I don’t really want knocking on the door of the present. Persistent pain has a habit of kicking off negative thought cycles and I’ve struggled with these a bit. I am trying to keep reminding myself that the reason I feel so crappy now is because I have actually been doing really well, all Winter. I have coped well enough to get my pain levels down, that is why the intensity of The Flare is such a shock. If I can just stay relaxed and learn to adapt to the change in weather, I can get back to functioning again. The future isn’t as dismal as the one that my mind is trying to project right now.

Whilst I am absolutely hanging to get back into my sewing room, Camille understands that she will be constructed when I am able to do so in relative comfort. Hopefully that will be in the next few days. I am having creativity withdrawals and all this sitting around is giving my brain time to come up with lots of plans that I want to execute!!

Love & Patience,

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  • 6 thoughts on “The Weather & The Flare

    1. Annette (Canada)

      Your posts are not only inspirational but informative Caf. Thank you :). For a Sister trying to help Her Brother, you give me the gift of understanding RSD which helps me to help him better. When I first started searching and researching any and everything about this disease, I remember watching all your videos and I was comforted to know that someone else out there “knew” what we as a family were feeling. That was awhile ago when there was not much information. Good to see you are still blogging and hanging in there … you help more than you know. Peace Chickie

      1. Caf Post author

        Thank you so much, this comment brought me a lot of inspiration, right when I needed it! It means a lot to me that other people are able to learn a little bit about what it’s like to live with RSD, especially wonderful folk like yourself who are interested in learning to help others. Is also wonderful to hear that others can relate, even though they are awful circumstances, it’s really nice not to be alone in them. Thanks so much for the support! Much love to you and your family xoxo

    2. Tracey

      Stoopid humidity … is there anyone that likes it? Perhaps we can all take part in some sort of protest to get it banned?? 😉

      In all seriousness, I hope you feel better soon and that you can get back to some serious dress making business (I’m impatient to see the next finished project).

      Take care.

      1. Caf Post author

        Yay! Let’s get it banned!! I think that is a fabulous idea, I’mma work up an anti-humidity dance and then we can get the whole tribe involved! Hurrah!! 😀

    3. Denise

      I am sorry Flare and Weather teamed up against you I just had the very same thing happen to me here in NY. We are transitioning to Fall which means damp cold weather and flare decided to join up with it and take me over!!! Thoughts are terrible, I honestly feel there are days that I think I have list my mind or my hormones must be a mess but noooo hormones are good…….I got em checked, so I am either crazy or just succumbing to the horrors and grips of the flare?!? You certainly are not alone and you will be back and better and stronger……we grow each time and learn about ourselves each time this happens, and that can’t be all bad. Plus it gives a lot to write about because it inspires us to share!!!! Thank you for yet again helping me see that!!! :)

      1. Caf Post author

        Thanks so much Denise, I’m getting here a bit late but as I’m still flared up, your words have been very comforting! Has been really hard to deal with the negative thoughts, just feel like I need a break so badly!! Thanks for reminding me that I’m not alone and that sharing can help me to feel stronger. I hope that your own flaring has settled down a bit. Much love!! xxx

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