Do you flare with flair?

Psoriatic arthritis rears its ugly head in so many ways. How does it go on a rant in your body? What happens when you flare?

Myself, I don’t flare all that much: the fatigue and aching gets better and it gets worse, but I don’t think that I’ve ever had an onset of a particularly bad period of PsA.

Do you flare? What happens when you do?

Let’s hear your story!

Swollen toes.
Swollen fingers.
Low back and hip pain.
Shortened stride (due to back/hip pain).
Increased psoriasis, usually on face :frowning:.
Unexpected swelling in ankles and calves.
Swollen hips (not visible but noticeable because my pants don’t fit!).
Changes in vision (as though lens prescription has changed).
Increased neuropathy in feet which often results in unpredictably restless legs (poor massage therapist nearly got a kick to the head two weeks ago).
Crazy levels of fatigue accompanied by its nemesis insomnia.

Yup … you certainly do things right, don’t you Janeatiu! I’d say that’s a flare with flair!

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I’d say my flares are nothing compared to what I hear described by others. But that’s Enbrel doing its job, because before Enbrel I was in a constant flare for a couple of years. But, again, that wasn’t like acute
horrible debilitating pain. It was gnawing and grabbing and twisting and stabbing and squeezing and swelling and burning and throbbing and fizzing. Oh, and exhausting, and all of it accompanied by a lot of brain fog. I guess I should include itching because that was ever present and more than likely helped intensify all of the other symptoms–or was it the other way around?

I’d have been with you on not having real flare-ups, until this year that is. Different bits have always taken it in turns to complain but since finding treatment that works there’s been no real downturn. This year I’ve had bouts of extensive pain, hard to pinpoint where it comes from, and also some severe pain that does seem to have a location e.g. hip (I think, could be back lol!) Also getting very tired to the extent that I feel I’m dragging my bod around. Ever see the Bunuel movie where a man is lugging a grand piano behind him for no apparent reason? It’s a bit like that but not very grand!

I think at least some of all this may have been due to me mis-treating my Humira injections while in transit. And if so, the flare-ups have served to remind me what an utter &*^%$£ PsA is without the bio.

Steroid injection in the backside sorted me out. It must be wearing off 2 months on & I’m fine & dandy still. I could see the downside of the steroid this time … peeing like a racehorse several times a night plus some ‘fun’ mood swings. But still, good stuff if used advisedly.

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LOL GrandmaJ, your description made me laugh. That’s how it was for me: constant and pervasive. The thing about that is that if you are a stubborn cuss like I am, you just push past it until you finally collapse in a heap. I am very good at ignoring what my body is saying. That’s dangerous: that’s how people (like me) get damaged.

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Peeing like a racehorse! Better stay hydrated, Sybil …

I have to say that I’m envious of the generosity with which Brit docs will give you a shot in the bum. I’d love to know what’s holding them back :wink: on this side of the pond.

I wonder the same thing … first month made me realise that it is not without problems, but presumably no worse, possibly better, than a steroid taper. I’d like to know a bit more but Dr Google’s just alarmist on this subject.

It’s a-gnawing and a-grabbing and a-twisting and a-stabbing
It’s a-squeezing and a-burning and a-throbbing and a-fizzing
it’s exhausting, it is itching

And then there’s brain fog …

But don’t worry, it wasn’t horrible or debilitating …

Grandma_J you are one tough cookie!

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I begin to feel off, then one morning I wake up feeling like I’m going to get the flu. Then I realize my joints are burning and my thumbs hurt. That’s a normal flare.

This past summer, before we realized my gall bladder doing a nice job of poisoning me, I had more swelling than normal in my left foot and ankle. I normally walk with a hitch in my giddy up. This past summer, I walked like something rusted in the rain, listing to the left.

I did a steroid burst four times. A normal year for me is maybe two. Had gall bladder surgery on October 12–swelling is gone and I’m walking normally (for me).

Then there’s the reason why my rheumatologist calls me Curveball. In early November, my hands hurt and were swollen. We tried everything: soaking in hot Epsom salts water, massage with cocoa butter, I forget what all. Then came the morning when Paul had to dress me from hide out. I called the rheumy when he opened at 8; I was in the nurse-practitioner’s office at 11. You guessed it, the flare was only in my hands, with a massive case of tendonitis to boot. Got lidocaine/dex injections and it began to resolve.

You’re asking about flares, but this past Thursday, I gained yet another arrow in the Curveball quiver. I have pleurisy.

I think I made the PsA mad by having the gall bladder removed. :sunglasses:

Omg, Sybil, you turned it into a song–I love it!!! LOL !!!
I was thinking about that–I mean, if I’m tough. I’d like to think so, but I’m more wimpy the older I get and you guys probably all remember what a wimp I am when it comes to meds–I’m scared to death of them!
IDK about all of you, but I have a huge, huge fear to the point of embarrassment of not being able to do things–I NEED to be the doer.
My bags were heavy as I was leaving a department store Friday evening so I asked for assistance carrying them out to my car. I was embarrassed and disappointed in myself so I apologized to the young gentleman who carried them. I explained to him my back can’t handle carrying things more than a couple steps. He pointed out that I was smartly avoiding weeks or months of pain by getting assistance carrying the bags. So, there I have learned that toughing it out is sometimes not smart. I’m pretty sure, in my case with my bad back and feet, had I let the men in my life at least do more of the “men’s work” and not been the tough girl, I’d probably be in better shape now!
So, although being called a tough cookie is a compliment, I think I and all of us need to accept the fact that it is showing a bit of toughness in accepting our limitations and getting help from those who are healthier than us. Wise advice a little late!

Definitely, 6CL. You made the PsA really angry by having that GB removed. And now you are flaring with even more flare than you used to. :tada: Add that to your long list of things you do so well.


When everything is ticking along, I’m in pain but I’m not panicking or stressing about it. I don’t know about other people, but it’s now “normal.” I don’t like, it’s a pain up the rump, but it’s managable.

Basically, when I get a flare, for me it’s a bit like spinning plates. You know those old variety acts that went on stage and had spinning plates on poles, and the idea was to keep each one spinning till the end of the act. I seem to be forever metaphorically running from one thing to another, trying to keep it in balance. So my knees will play up, and just as they start sorting themselves out a bit, my feet will swell for no reason, so I concentrate on getting them down to normal size. As that eases up, the knees will start off again, but then I have to work on my hands instead because they’ve decided to play silly devils and not work properly. And then, because nothing’s been working properly, you pull a muscle in your back because you’ve been walking funny or had to bend down the wrong way. That means you have to sit down for longer each day, and that means the bloomin’ knees seize up again. All of this adds to stress levels, which tenses you up and makes you sore and tired, so you sleep longer and then seize up again. Then you blow a gasket, throw some plates across the room out of frustration, and then you get even more stressed because you can’t get around well enough to pick your mess up. Then finally, the stress, anxiety and panic of having to deal with all this takes its toll on your stomach and you end up in the loo for a day. But at least losing weight is supposed to be good for arthritis, right? :wink:


Darinfan, I know it’s not funny, but you made me chuckle! It was funny how you described it! :blush:

Thank you, Darinfan for making me laugh too. It’s not AT ALL funny, but it is SO true!
Spinning plates … yes, that’s flair.

Well, if we didn’t laugh, we’d cry, right?

Ok, I do that too!

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Right on. We cry. And then we suck it up and get on with life.

I’ve just come back from a really great holiday. I was able to do my pool exercises daily, and relax in an ideal environment for someone with mobility challenges. Aaahhhhhhh it was glorious. But I’ve come back to a winter storm here in the Canadian bush, a load of laundry, and the nastiest cold I’ve had in years. And you know what, my hip hurts, my fingers hurt, and my toes feel like they are stiff little sausages. My eyes and nose are streaming and my throat is sore. I don’t flare often, but I think I’m on a roll here. FEEELLLL SORRRY FORRRR MEEEEEE. Nah, don’t. I had a great holiday, and I’m warm and comfy at home. Life is still good.


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This is the first year where I’ve noticed that the cold weather makes a difference. It doesn’t seem to matter how warm the house is, so it must be something in the atmosphere, I guess. The weather turned warmer last week, and damp, and everything seems to have eased a bit. Perhaps the damp oils us up. At least Christmas is coming. I can watch the Wizard of Oz and sympathise with the tin man who needs his WD40!

Thanks jane!