Monday, 26 January 2009

What's Your Weather Vane?

Why it could be worthwhile identifying your 'weather vane' symptoms

It has occurred to me that one of the key ways I have started to manage life with lupus far better than I did in the past is because I am far more conscious of it than I used to be and therefore tend to ‘nip’ any nasty lupus action ‘in the bud’ before it gets too hardcore.

The key is spotting the signs and dealing with it before things spiral out of control.

Take this week for example. My husband has had a nasty on-going cold which I had miraculously seemed to avoid (see previous post!) but last week the inevitable happened and I got a mild version too. This weekend the roof of my mouth turned into one giant ulcer and each side of my mouth ulcerated too.

Now, this is something I have become quite used to, as in recent years it has been a clear indicator that the lupus has been ‘sparked’. In the past I might have tried dealing with it by ignoring it and hoping it’d just go away or if it got unbearable by putting something on it that I bought from the chemist: after all, why make a fuss over something so minor? So things were left to take their own course. Unfortunately it was more often a case of ‘one thing leading to another’.

These days I am more aware. I now recognise that obviously having a cold has ‘pissed off’ the lupus. I now recognise that although admittedly painful, for me mouth ulcers are no bad thing. This is because they act as a kind of ‘weather vane’ to tell me which way the ‘wind is blowing’ with my lupus and so, in consultation with my doctor, the situation has been address and my meds altered accordingly and hopefully and major flare has been averted. Fingers crossed anyway!

Over the years the symptoms that act as my ‘weather vanes’ have changed but I reckon if you are aware of yourself, you soon get to learn what to look for as your ‘tell tale’ signs at that time. I find if you make sure you look after yourself and get help at the point your ‘weather vane’ changes, the situation often stays more manageable.