It may seem unlikely, but one of the problems I have with systemic lupus is that I can't always tell if I am sick. When I feel a new ache or pain, or have a day that ends in severe fatigue, or "lose" a few words in the recesses of my brain, it may simply be an ordinary day with a few inconvenient symptoms. If the symptoms persist over several days and some tell-tale iconic signs arise, I suspect it is a flare. For me those signs are painful feet, an ache in my sacroiliac joints and feeling feverish in the evening.
Those signs are not very specific and sometimes I am still not sure if the disease is "flaring", or becoming very active. Moreover, I'm attached to my healthy time and dread being sick. 22 years of this cycle has not given me an ounce of real acceptance, only resignation and dread. Frequently this leads to some foot-dragging in acknowledging that I am sick again, and a delay starting the necessary high-dose steroids.
Last week I noticed some symptoms, said "Here it comes," and increased my prednisone immediately. My thoughts floated above the usual anxiety and indecision. I rested when I felt the need, kept as busy as possible and focused on the coming knitting business season. Is this some kind of crazy grown-up thing?
The coming season starts next week when I set up a display of products for sale at the new Merchants Warehouse in Chattanooga. It is home for many local makers and a few small antique sellers. It is my first opportunity in this kind of sales venue, where I rent space in a retail emporium that is open every day, staffed with lovely, welcoming people. I will be free to stay home to design and make new products, with a periodic check on my inventory. Joy! A business change that doesn't require a strong back!