Author Archives: AllFlaredUp

Ice ice baby


So speaking as someone who is always cold, and has always been cold her whole life, I really truly thought heat was what my RA craved.

I would happily sleep in flannel sheets in the summer, I wear sweaters over short sleeves year round, and that one time my heater broke, I thought I was going to die.

Additionally, my go to comfort when I’m flaring has always been the hot tub and steam room at the gym.  Seriously.  I maintain a membership at a more expensive gym simply so that I always have access to that.

So color me crazy when I couldn’t sleep the other night because I was achey…I went to fill a cup with ice to crunch on (guilty pleasure) and I spied an ice pack a friend had left in my freezer.

I saw it and something inside me said ‘try it.’  So I did and I slept like a baby.  I woke up feeling much better.  And I’ve slept every night with it since…

Moral: don’t get stuck on one idea that you think is the trick to feeling better when you haven’t explored the opposite!


Sometimes you have that day…


That day where the only good thing that happened is that you made it through.

Sometimes you have a bunch of those days in a row.

Nothing is wrong, persay.

You’re just so damn tired.

Three nights in a row of sleeping 10+ hours barely takes the edge off.

Then, on night 4, you stay up a little later because you feel a little better.  You get in bed and get chased around by a cat looking for head scratches. 

Then you know everything is going to be fine, that you just need some rest and hot tea and distance and perspective.  

And lots of cat head scratches. 

Just like riding a bike?


I have been wanting a bike for awhile now and a friend of mine gave me this beauty for free because his wife didn’t use it.  (He did ask her before he gave it to me, to be clear.) 

I have had so many bike related plans for a long time.  Biking the park near my house.  Joining a bike group to meet new people and hopefully get better at biking. Taking it to the beach with me and riding around there.  Finding something new that keeps me active but is low impact on my joints.

I’ve been so excited.  

But truth be told…

I haven’t ridden a bike since middle school and relearning how to ride a bike while dealing with RA, is NOT just like riding a bike.

In fact, here’s where the bike lives right now:

Don’t judge the clutter.  It’s inside because stupid people have been stealing things off patios in my neighborhood and someone recently stole a LAUNDRY basket off mine.  Jokes on the thief: the laundry basket was from the dollar store. But still, the bike stays inside now. And sadly, I haven’t ridden much.

I’ve rode it in my parking lot and around the track at the school near me on weekends but I’m actually quite terrified of it now that it’s an option.

I’m afraid of falling off and hurting my wrists.  It has hand brakes and when I use them, it feels like I’m going to fly over the handlebars and break my teeth.  I’m afraid of biking over the speed of tortoise, especially going downhill, because I have visions of me somehow falling off and having to dig rock out of my leg.  I’m afraid of….

I’m totally overthinking this, aren’t I?

I’m frustrated with myself because I don’t like operating out of a place of fear. I know this sounds silly because in the grand scheme of things it’s not a huge deal.  But I was excited about it and haven’t been able to do any of the things I wanted to do because it scares me.

I try to write about overcoming the limitations of RA but it’s fair to say that sometimes it’s not that easy.  

I’m going to keep trying.  I have a good friend who is going to help me.  I’ve found a group that teaches new riders about their bikes through a Saturday morning clinic once a month. I’m going to try that too although if it’s all children and my 37 year old self 😂😂😂

As long as we try, we grow, right?

Spring cleaning, sorta


Sorta because you know, it’s mid February.  But it’s almost 80 here in NC and that means that I officially have spring fever.

That also officially means that I’m in NC and it very well could snow in three days. February in NC can be fickle like that.

But I always feel better in warmer weather and today, I woke up well rested and feeling great.  

I went to the store and bought potting soil and started the process of opening my patio for the season.  I.E. I put the dirt in the pots in case in snows again.  I’m looking forward to planting things I will ultimately wind up killing in the next month or so.  Team Black Thumb.

I also just finished my meal prep for the week and my laundry.  I take an hour every Sunday and I make all my food for the week because I find I feel better when I eat clean.  Grabbing Tupperware from the fridge is much more likely to happen than making a meal from scratch each night.  For breakfast, I’ll be eating chicken sausage and either tomato slices or half an avocado.  Lunch will be grilled Greek chicken and asparagus.  Dinner will be salad with either chicken, chicken sausage, or black beans on top.  Snack is veggie slices and guac or an orange.

Wow, that last paragraph was thrilling, right?  Just a quick view into some of the time and energy I spend to try to keep myself healthy.

I’m not always perfect at that or at anything…but I do try!

It’s been an interesting week.  Work is great, I feel great, but I had my eyes opened about a friend this week.  So in the keeping with the mantra of spring cleaning, I’m just going to focus on keeping my life springlike and pulling the weeds.  I can’t control my disease or the people around me, but I can control me and I choose to be positive.

Warmer weather is here and soon to stay so I’m just going to do me and roll with it. ❤

Did you know falling in the shower has its own ICD-10 code?


No, that’s not the actual code.  But I would totally understand if it was. 

The fact that there is a dedicated way for medical professionals and insurance companies to specifically record each instance of some poor soul who just wants to be clean and winds up completely wiping out tells me it is certainly a common occurance.  

Yes, where I’m going with all of this is that I recently took a tumble during my nightly ‘get clean and relax before bedtime’ shower.  

Short version is that it happened quickly and I’m fine.

Long version is a bit longer.  My tub is slow to drain and I think soap dried on the tub floor instead of draining when I showered the previous night.  So the following night, when I stepped into the shower right after I turned it on, it was basically a private naked ice skating event.  I literally stepped in, realized I was falling, grabbed at the shower curtain rod with my left arm and the shower shelf with my right arm.  Grabbing these didn’t break my fall but a) slowed me down b) allowed me to pull myself around so that I stayed inside the shower.  I wound up landing on my butt facing the other direction, cracking my head and upper back on the faucet and tile in the process.  I pulled a muscle in my left side from grabbing the shower rod and warped the shower shelf, but landing inside the shower was preferable to falling out and cracking my head on the toilet. I also had some crazy looking bruising on my upper back.

But I’m fine.  No doctor visit required.  But also quite frightening. 

I mention this because it was a wake up call to me that falling in showers doesn’t just happen to the elderly.  I’m fairly stable with my RA right now so falling in showers also doesn’t just happen to people experiencing ambulatory difficulty. 

It happens quickly and can be very serious.  Even if you’re stable in your RA.  Especially if you’re stable.  We don’t want broken bones, especially because in my case, injuries cause flares.

So be aware.  Buy the super attractive no slip mats for your bathrooms.  Use them. I’ve already decided that I’m going to purchase a shower stool if I’m ever having walking problems ever again.  

Even though I’m doing well, even though I didn’t get hurt, even though I’ve been proactive to implement safety features in my home going forward, I still can’t believe it happened and I’m still a bit shaken up every time I shower now.

Protecting ourselves never stops, does it?!?!?

Happy 2017!


Happiest of New Years to all of you!  I, for one,  am excited for the chance to wipe the slate clean.  To make better decisions for my health and to realign where I decide to spend my time with what’s important to me.  To find happiness in learning and simpler things.  To spend more time with those I love most. 

Best wishes for all of the things you want for yourself for the new year.

Merry Christmas and Happy 2017!


So my last post was in July.  Eek.  Worst. Blogger. Ever.

It was unintentional.  I’ve had plenty of material to share.  

  • Tried cryotherapy.  It was cold.  Like really cold.  And I realized I still get panicky in enclosed spaces.  Particularly if they are freezing and I am in my underwear.  It did help, but I’ve got to work on that whole naked and claustrophobic thing.
  • Finally allowed my doctor to put me on anxiety medicine.  I’ve struggled with anxiety and when I’m really stressed, panic attacks, since high school.  I’m feeling much more human, have been able to develop some ‘calming’ techniques that are working in situations that usually bug me out, and am shockingly actually sleeping for the first time in years.  I guess it makes sense that you sleep more soundly when you aren’t so tightly wound.
  • Bought a bicycle.  I state bicycle because I live in the South and when I said bike to someone, they assumed a Harley.  Nope.  I’m accident prone on a good day.  That would be a terrible idea.  But so far, I haven’t fallen off the bike. Yet.
  • In line with hurting myself in strange ways, I wound up on ten days of antibiotics because my fur child accidentally bit me while we were playing.  I realized as it was happening that in the 14 years I’ve had her, she’s never once bit me.  Nipped, sure.  But a true bite feels *surprisingly different* than a playful nip.  By surprisingly different, I mean that my whole hand swelled up and I spent 3 hours at urgent care.  On the left is 3 days after, the right is the night of.  Public service announcement: I googled how to treat a cat bite a few hours later and learned that if not treated quickly, one could end up hospitalized on IV antibiotics.  I’m so glad I learned that a few hours after the bite because I fear what the implications could be for immunosuppressed people.  I’d like to retain my hand and not have to explain why I have a hook!  I’m fine now.

So clearly, I’ve had a ton going on.  The new job is great too and keeps me hopping.

So why the silence?  

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately and for a great part of 2016, my priorities have been completely out of whack.  I’ve been eating horribly…as in eating ALL THE FOOD.  And drinking too much…2 glasses of wine a night.  Which isn’t bad bad but still more than I should.  I’ve stopped exercising.  All those together mean I’ve gained weight and feel like I’ve let myself and my health done.  

My focus has been work and social.  Period.  Not gonna lie and say that I’m too busy to blog or to make better wellness decisions.  It just hasn’t been a priority.

I miss feeling good about the decisions I make for my body.  I miss feeling physically strong.  Yes, you can have RA and still feel strong.  Even on a bad day, pushing myself to take a few extra steps can feel like an accomplishment and I just haven’t pushed myself to do that.  I miss blogging.  I enjoy the cartharsis it brings.  I like connecting with other patients.  I miss not being 100% in the loop on what’s going on in the community.

My project for 2017 is balance.  Balance in all things.  I want to write again, to connect again, to be the best version of me with RA that I can be.  I hope I never have to reset my password to log into my blog ever again.  

Happy 2017 to all of you!