There is pain I feel every day and pain I feel when my body becomes really angry!
Flare pain is not the same as the daily pain one deals with when it comes to Ankylosing Spondylitis. It’s more like that cartoon where the anvil drops out of the sky smashing its unsuspecting victim. You’ll be walking along going about your day when you feel a warning shoot up your leg or down your spine. It’s screaming DON’T MOVE or you will suffer! So you are standing there, wherever your anvil hit you, stuck! Do you dare test to see if it’s a false alarm? Most the time you have no options, you can’t just stay smashed under that anvil you must climb up and continue on. The pain starts becoming so intense you don’t want to breathe. Now comes the time you must determine if the anvil has broken or seriously injured something or just maimed you enough to remind you that you have Ankylosing Spondylitis. Do you deal with the pain or head for your doctor or even the emergency room that is the question! The pain can be so intense you have no idea. There are no visible signs left from the anvil but the pain is so intense you could just puke. It may last moments or days or weeks and we won’t even whisper the option of months. Steroids can be given for the lingering flares but they come with a gang of side effects and shouldn’t be taken often if you can avoid it. Exercising through it is just exhausting to think about. What do you do? Just take a deep breath, get your bearings and try to figure out what level your body is failing you so you know which route will work best for this flare.
So how does one survive a flare?
Rest if possible! I know you’ll hate me for saying it but keep moving the best you can. If you walked an hour before walk a half hour or even ten minutes. The more you keep up the less you’ll have to fight to regain after. Use your full arsenal of pain remedies. Pain medications, Icy Hot, Volteran Gel, heating pads, acupuncture, meditation, and if your lucky a peaceful message. Respect when your body says I’M DONE and don’t delay when it says it’s ready to go again!
The worst part with A.S. is you don’t ever know when that next anvil will strike! It can happen at anytime with no warning. We must just do our best to be prepared for it. I do try to enjoy every moment in between because I never know when it will hit and how long it will last. This disease has taught me to really stop and enjoy every moment.
How would you describe your flare pain?