Pain Effects on Appetite and Digestion

Does anyone else sometimes feel like they’re not hungry when having a bad flare? If I’m in a lot of pain, I can barely eat. It has to be quite a bit of pain for me to get that far, or a lot of bad pain days in a row, but it definitely seems to have an effect. Even more so though, is that foods will often not agree with me when I’m having a flare, no matter what I eat.

IMG_1322Love me some grilled calamari.

Case in point, the past few weeks, I’ll be hungry in the morning so I eat breakfast. I try to be healthy – gluten free oats, or eggs (scrambled, over easy, soft boiled – really any type) and then feel sick after. For hours. Mostly just nauseated and uncomfortable. What’s worse is that it’s foods that are supposed to be good for chronic pain and autoimmune diseases. Eggs have been kind of funny for me for the past few years, so it may or may not be disease related (they are funny for my brother too and he is perfectly healthy), but it doesn’t seem to matter what I eat, if I’m having a flare, food is bad in the morning. Though for the most part it is better later in the day, it really just depends on the day and what the food is for how I feel.

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As a result, I’ve been looking up some ways to decrease this problem. Here’s what I’ve found: eat more smaller meals or snacks, rather than a “breakfast, lunch and dinner” routine; even if you think you’re drinking a lot of water, drink more; make mostly homemade meals; and stay away from foods that agree with you the least.

fullsizeoutput_aa3.jpegHomemade is the best made.

As annoying as it is, and uncomfortable, we get through our flares, and for us foodies, back to our foodie lives.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Loves

Today being the day of love, make sure you take some time for self love. Whether your single or in a relationship, treat yourself today. Buy yourself that one thing you really want. Wear what makes you feel good. Do some self care.

fullsizeoutput_a79Yes I have valentine’s socks because they are awesome!

What did self care look like for me this Valentine’s Day? I took a bath and read a book, relaxing in the bubbles. My dog and I went for a lovely stroll around the block. I saw the chiropractor and the therapist. And as an impulse buy, I picked up two chocolate covered strawberries, one for me and the other for a friend I’m going to spend Galentine’s Day with (I didn’t even hear of that term until she sent me a meme this morning, but I love it).

IMG_1340Who doesn’t love a chocolate elephant heart?

We need to love ourselves everyday. Do what you need to do to take care of your mental, spiritual and physical health on a daily basis. This is short and sweet today. Keep fighting, chronic pain warriors, you are loved.

The Feeling of Frustration When New Symptoms Appear

I’ll admit that I’ve been pretty lucky in the sense that my symptoms have remained the same over the past few years. Chronic, widespread pain (joints, muscles, nerves) and fatigue (yes I like to be in bed by 9:30 at the latest, though I do try to get up early). The catch-22 is that it’s hard for any official diagnosis to be made when new symptoms aren’t popping up… that leaves the question, is it better when they do?

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I’m a sun bunny. Which is not good if I really do have lupus. AVOID THE SUN! Is what is preached as it exacerbates symptoms and can lead to rashes. I spent all of last summer, and the summer before out in the sun, just here in Toronto, but still. Too much sun and yes my joints maybe hurt a bit, but literally only if I was lying on the beach. If it was combined with some sort of exercise, then not so much. Fast forward to last week, which I spent in Arizona. Above average temperatures all week lead me to hiking, swimming, the hot tub, and patio lounging. All of my favourite things. Oh yeah, and it lead me to these little tiny white bumps on both my hands – a sun rash.

IMG_1232Good ol’ Arizona hike last week.

And while the optimistic part of me took a picture so I could show my rheumatologist (my next appointment isn’t until May). Maybe they can officially say it’s this or that! The realistic part of me says “oh fuck, now I can’t go out in the sun.” Segue grumpy face. I don’t want to wear long sleeves, as was suggested to me on Instagram when I posted a picture of my hands (also not sure how I’m supposed to cover my hands in the summer anyway). So, I’ve decided to take my psychotherapist’s advice for now and be grumpy about it. It’s impossible to be happy and positive all the time (even though that’s my preferred mood). I’m going to be grumpy and frustrated and sit in that emotion for awhile, until it’s time to not do that anymore.

IMG_1274Is this rash even necessary?!

If anyone has any advice for sun-lovers, stories, or anything else they’d like to share, feel free to comment or email me.