So this week has not been a good one.
I had a really bad flare. I've had many psoriatic arthritis flares and many of them have been pretty horrible - LOTS of pain, not being able to walk, difficulty sleeping and even the simplest tasks becoming impossible. This was something different.
I spent most of the week on the couch. The fatigue hit me so bad. My muscles felt really heavy and I was so exhausted I had trouble breathing, let alone moving. My skin hurt so much that even the sensation of my clothes touching my skin was like being burnt and the muscle spasms, which are normally not a big deal, were so violent I nearly threw my laptop across the room when my leg jerked. Added to that, I developed a stutter for a couple of days - this was pretty difficult to deal with especially since I work on a mental health help line and I was rostered on that day. Needless to say I had to take some sick leave.
I wanted to come up with an analogy of what this flare felt like. The best I could do was: It's like running an all night marathon, while you have the flu and are really sunburnt (I think there should be something in there about being repeatedly punched too, but I couldn't fit it in without the desciption becoming rather rambly.)
Anyway, brain fog meant that I had some pretty interesting conversations with people. I either forgot what I was saying halfway through a sentence, or seemed to vocalise every thought that came into my head. On a good day, my conversations are kind of random, as the things I find most interesting are pretty weird, but this was a whole new level as I was verbalising all the weird things I think about as well.
Anyway, several times over the weekend I found myself describing a blobfish - I actually can't remember why, but it seemed really important at the time. My description went something like this "It's like a bowl of pudding - like if you put gelatin in milk." You'll see from the picture this is actually reasonably accurate.
What I realised later is once you've established what a blobfish looks like (preferably with a picture, not the pudding description) this is the perfect description of what a flare feels like. A flare feels like a blobfish looks.
So in future, if I'm having a flare and someone wants to know what it feels like, I will not start a list of symptoms, I will say 'go google a blobfish.' Then I will probably have to explain that this is not a more creative way of saying 'go get f*#ked' - 'cause I just realised that's kind of what it sounds like. Hmm... I think I'll have to work on the wording, but the idea is there.
Little Miss Autoimmune