The Wellness Edition No. 37 // Autoimmune Flares
From time to time I unfortunately have to deal with autoimmune flare-ups. It does not happen anymore as often as it did in the past but it still happens and I can tell you, it is no fun at all. Last week I experienced another flare and believe me, I truly felt very miserable. Usually I get hit by a flare when the weather changes dramatically or whenever I am very stressed out Apparently last week was a bad week for pretty much everyone who is suffering from autoimmune issues because I heard from many people that they felt really bad as well.
I assume in my case the trigger was a change of weather, it got much colder in the evenings and mornings, and the cold always is a bad trigger for me. And another thing flares thrive on is stress of course. Well, who would have thought?! Just kidding, of course we all know that stress triggers quite a lot and that health is one of the first things to suffer whenever you are stressed out. So yea, a stressful lifestyle and a sudden change to a colder climate do the trick unfortunately. Another thing that did not help was a very painful menstruation, that also put me to bed for days straight away. As one thing had not been enough, I was facing stressful times, cold climate, hormones being outta whack with a painful period and a flare that gave my whole body horrible joint pain and made me lose my appetite which always happens whenever I am in pain.
Thankfully today is a better day but it took some time to recover again. Lots of sleep certainly helped. Sleep is the best medicine for sure - and chicken soup is a real lifesaver as well. Whenever I have no appetite and eating becomes a real struggle, pretty much the only thing I can digest then is homemade chicken soup since cooking is out of question anyways when going through a flare. I am just very grateful that I don't experience these flares anymore as often as I still did a few years ago. But of course from time to time they still pop up.
During the last few years I learned to accept that flares come from time to time, it is part of autoimmune diseases. Before I used to beat myself up for them, feeling guilty about not being able to function when going through one. Now I accept that I have to rest in order to recover when experiencing a flare. I am not hard on myself anymore. It is okay. My body needs a lot of rest then and I make sure to get as much rest until I feel better because otherwise I only feel gradually worse and that is what I truly want to avoid.
The cold and humid climate is really bad for me because it triggers flares, that was one of the reasons why I moved to Barcelona at a time whenever I was going through lots of flares, eating was a real struggle because I had no appetite or reacted to tons of foods anyways and I still believe that living at the Mediterranean, soaking up lots of sunshine and sea breeze, living on seafood tapas and fresh fruit certainly helped my body and soul to recover and heal much more than it would have ever been possible if I had stayed in Germany.
I am glad that I am back home in my apartment for now and that I can rest while still getting work done. Dealing with all these health issues is a main reason why I prefer working as a freelancer instead of a 40 hours per week employee. Because that way I can rest whenever I need to and do the amount of work that my body lets me do. In every employed job I more or less felt constantly sick, I had ongoing colds that did not want to leave and it only got better once I left the corporate world and starting freelancing. Of course freelancing is also tough but the good thing is that you are a lot more flexible at least which is a big bonus for me and my health issues.