I feel that the worse is already over with my recent flare up. My personal indicator is that I can workout again AND NOT GET A FEVER THE FOLLOWING DAY! (Shh.. my mom didn’t know this was the reason for my fevers). When I tried this the first week of September–fever, second week–fever. This week (three days of workout), all good!
The first and second weeks were also the worse! I had to visit the ER twice: once for dehydration and the other was a sudden attack of allergies. For each of these, I was only admitted less than two hours and for that, I’m grateful–no hospitalisation!
My prednisone is also down from 15mg to 10mg a day. 🙂
I am accountable to my flare up.
First thing first. My flare up was a result of my actions. I had not been consistent with my diet. And when my body is in this unhealthful state, my mind is affected. I was not able to manage my stress properly from July to August. I also caught a pesky bacteria as an effect of lowered immune system and not being strict with hygiene (handwashing, keeping medical supplies sanitised). My fault.
I am accountable for getting better.
On the other hand, getting better is also a result of consistent actions that fight lupus:
- Eating the appropriate amount of fruits and vegetables: minimum of 1.5 cups per meal.
- Getting enough rest. There are days that I’ll palpitate during a certain time, and that’s a solid indicator that I have to rest. So I force myself to take a nap. And guess, what? Super effective, I wake up feeling better!
- Sleeping on time: 9:30PM latest.
- Managing stress. Also grateful for the perfect timing that my boss is abroad, I had so much time to recuperate. I spaced out my tasks into days and just took it easy. I also had 2 weeks to myself and got minimum contact with my friends/work. This really helped since my usual role is the listener/shock absorber and it can get stressful.
- Laughing and allowing myself to be inspired. I started watching a local television show,’Till I Met You. I’ve also been watching cartoons. (And then there’s Julian).
- I used to get fat the moment I take prednisone, but I was able to maintain my weight since the three weeks I’ve been taking it. It’s all in the mind and our actions. There were these two days when all I can think of is food. An effect of taking steroids is this bottomless feeling of hunger. When I realised it, I started to apply Neuro-Linguistic Programing (NPL) I learned from Tony Robin’s book, Unlimited Power. I programmed my mind to take a different response to this feeling. Whenever I felt hungry after just finishing a meal, I channel an image of myself working out and with abs (lol), sometimes I channel the feeling of being able to fit in my mum’s medium-sized jeans–that got rid of the craving. Then, I eat on a schedule: 7am, 12noon, 4pm, 7pm so I never get too hungry to binge.
- Workout if you can. I think one of the best things I did before my flare was workout consistently and build stamina, strength, and muscles. During the last weeks, there would be days when I feel lethargic and all I can do is lay down. But days when I’m feeling energetic, I would do a short workout. Short could be short 4-minute exercises 4 times spread across the whole day. Having that leftover strength from months of “gains” makes me feel more physically equipped to fight lupus this time around.
I’m so grateful for God’s perfect timing. All experiences are lessons. And a big lesson from this is that a permanent lifestyle change is the key to fighting lupus. Also, having tools such as meditation and NPL come in extra handy for handling unexpected stress.