With a hope and a flare….

This past week, I’ve been dealing with one of the worst flare ups of my disease in years.  I say the word “disease” because honestly, no one seems to know for sure what I have.  Sometimes I’m told I have rheumatoid arthritis.  Other times, I’m told I have psoriatic arthritis or spondyloarthopathy.  All I know….is that I feel like hell.  This episode started about a week ago.  I thought the “end-of-the-school-year” routine was wearing me down and I felt tired.  Next thing I knew, my joints started to swell and ache.  Walking became difficult and I had to start using my cane again.  My feet and ankles swelled horribly.  I expected that because those joints tend to be my worst.  My hands and fingers also swelled, but my ankles are the drama queens in this situation.

8:30 pm Wednesday


On Wednesday night, I got home and propped up my feet to relax.  Then came the unexpected and painful lump:

10:00 pm Wednesday

It appeared in about 1.5 hours.  I have had these lumps before.  It’s when the synovial fluid around my joints start to leak and I get these soft pockets of fluid floating on a part of my body.  It’s very unpleasant.  It’s creepy and scary to see.  It’s definitely a “what the hell moment”.

A call to my rheumatologist led to a prescription for a high dose of prednisone. I then went to my amazing physical therapist who massaged a lot of the fluid out of my legs and applied ice and then therapy tape to try to rein the swelling in.


Thankfully, this combination of medication and treatment helped.  Soon the swelling decreased, thus, reducing severe pain to a dull ache. The side effects from prednisone are taking a toll.  I’m weepy, restless, and unable to sleep.  I’m also running fevers as whatever “disease” I have is being kicked to the curb by prednisone.  My temp causes a flushing on my face and chest. img_4782My head aches……oh and my old friend Fibromyalga, well that decided to come on strong this week, too.  My body likes to keep me on my toes.

I’m a big old sack of….”insert-anything-disgusting-you-can-think-of-here” this week.  As I stated, it’s the end of the school year, so I need to finish up paperwork, pack up both of my offices, and do this all while smiling and pretending to be healthy.  I’m good at pretending because I always pretend that I know what my diagnosis is.  I’ll even pretend to know what triggered this flare so I can prevent it from happening again.  I’m not the type of person to be all “why me?”  Honestly, why not me?  I’m able to handle it, for the most part.  I’d just like a break now and then….or a lottery win….or a free house keeper for life….I’m not picky.  Wish me well as I try to heal.

Until then, I’ll snuggle with my #spooniedog who is just getting over some serious medical issues, too.   Sometimes her snuggles are the best medicine.61914934_398037937720395_4457875787789369344_n

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Kelly holds masters degrees in both Special Education and Speech-Language Pathology. She works full-time as a speech-language pathologist in both a public school setting and as an adjunct faculty member at a university, in Philadelphia, PA. She specializes in both autism and augmentative/alternative communication and took her skills to Uganda, Africa to start a special needs program for disabled children living in an orphanage in 2011. Kelly began experiencing symptoms of autoimmune arthritis in 1984 (while in her teens) but wasn’t officially diagnosed with autoimmune arthritis until 2001. Her first diagnosis was Sjogren’s syndrome. Eventually her diagnosis was changed to sero-negative RA and now Polyarticular Spondlyoarthropathy. She also manages thyroid disease (resulting from Graves Disease), fibromyalgia, renin-deficient hypertension, and disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis (DSAP) on a daily basis. Kelly connected with other autoimmune arthritis patients via social media in 2008. She began volunteering with the “Buckle Me UP! Movement”, which evolved into the International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement (IAAM) beginning in 2009. Then became a cofounder of IFAA in 2013. She has represented the ACR on Capitol Hill as an Advocate for Arthritis, was a finalist in Wego Health’s Health Activist Hero awards in 2014, and speaks at various healthcare conferences as a patient advocate in the Philadelphia area.

8 thoughts on “With a hope and a flare….

    1. Hugs 🤗 sweet lady as you go through this flare. Your blog reminds us that we are not alone in this fight and that we can make it through. Kisses for Georgia Grace.

      Liked by 1 person

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