Back in June, I quit my full-time job. I felt great within days. The absence of stress really affected how my body felt. For two months, the frequency and severity of my flares were less. I climbed more often and became more active.
Then, for no apparent reason, I flared up badly. I had trouble managing my daily routine. My activity level dropped significantly, and with it, so did my positive mentality. I became more depressed, lethargic, and anxious.
This all happened when I was on 8mg of prednisone. I was thrilled. This was the closest I had come to my life-time “maintenance” dose of 5mg since I was diagnosed.
I was allowed to increase the prednisone, as needed, so I decided to increase to 11mg. It didn’t do anything. Reluctantly, I increased to 12mg. For me, 12mg of prednisone brought insomnia, anxiety, and mood changes. Anything higher and I was a wreck, so I proceeded with caution.
I stayed on 12mg for a week and ,physically, I felt great. My energy level increased and I was more willing to stay active. My mood didn’t get any better. I figured it was because of the medication so I’ve started to decrease, in hopes that I would become more positive. I am at 10mg but I still feel lousy.
When I look back over the last year, I see that I felt the lowest in August. Why August? The weather is beautiful, there is a ton to do, it stays light out for longer, but I still feel depressed. I change my routine but I still feel restless. I don’t want to go out or hang out with friends. Before, I’d jump at the chance to make plans, but now I have to force myself to be social.
I’ve been in the same place for three years now and maybe I just need a change of scenery. Hopefully, I can manage a vacation weekend, just to clear my head. It’s possible I just feel stagnant.
I’m hoping, like last year, this is just a phase and soon I will feel better but I’m struggling to pin point why I feel this way.
Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.
degrees of disruption said:
Hi Monica! I am Marcia and I also have RA. My last flare was in April. All in my knees that time. I manage my activities and lifestyle to stay in control along with Humira injections 2X a month. I don’t know where I would be without those. Stress does cause my body to revolt. I’m still learning how to deal with that. Glad to meet you!
Hi Marcia! Thank you so much for your comment! I am so glad that you have found a medication that works well for you! For me, it seems like my medications have a mind of their own sometimes. I’ve been working on finding a lifestyle that maximizes my abilities but it has been a rough road.
Thank you for following my blog! I hope that we can continue to share insights on coping with RA!
Hi Monica, I also have RA, and am so grateful that I have been able to reduce my stress and adapt my lifestyle so I can still enjoy my life without over doing it. I think the flyers are so mysterious. When ever I have one, I am always questioning what caused it. Sometimes it seems to be storms. sometimes it is something I ate. Sometimes it is an emotional condition or a stress. Sometimes it even seems to be the medicine I’m taking. It can get frustrating because I want to be in control of my body and physical abilities, and so I want to avoid anything that hurts me. I’m about to buy a journal so I can keep better track of it. Good luck with your condition. Is there anything about August that triggers painful memories or something like that? Or maybe you used to always love to do something in this month that you no longer can? , or is it the anniversary of your diagnosis? That might contribute to some subconscious stress…
Thank you for following my blog and for this lovely comment! I am still trying to figure out how best to manage my condition while not giving up on the things that I love to do.
Yes, August does trigger some painful memories but it is at the beginning of the month and generally I am back in fighting form within a few days. Unfortunately, I think there seems to be other stress and depression triggers that might be weighing on this particular flare. I am hoping that when my mood brightens, the flare lessens.
I look forward to following your blog. I have been told by multiple people I need to explore meditation in hopes that it makes a difference. If I can find a place of peace, hopefully my symptoms will either completely disappear or lessen.