Can't seem to handle stress/shock. Is this caused by lupus, steroids or both?

I just had an awful experience taking my cat to the vet for her jabs. Simple you would think, but the nurse was so rude, & I was upset because my cat was upset. This was only a couple of hours ago & now I'm having a terrible flare. My joints are screaming, my chest is hurting, I feel shaky & achy, hot & cold. I am about ready to climb into bed to try & sleep it off, but feel like there is too much adrenaline whizzing around me for that.

This has happened to me before in stressful situations. Does anyone else experience it? Any tips on how to cope? Obviously we don't know when it's going to happen, so can't really take precautions.

21 Replies

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  • Hi sorry you have had such a horrible experience , hope your cat is ok . Yes this is often a reaction to the stress that lupus just can't cope with It is not easy as you had no idea that such a simple outing would cause so much hassle . When you feel a bit better phone the vets and complain I have done this so many times in the past People that work in a service industry must learn to be nice . I don't think it's the steroids certainly not in my case cos I got like that before I went on steroids I have started tai chi and find it enjoyable and calming At the mo I'm also in bed with a flare so remember you are never alone take care

  • Than you Voutton, sorry to hear that you are feeling poorly also. I have had this kind of thing before I was on steroids too, but it seems much worse lately. Then again rheumy has said my blood test are showing more active lupus than before. I was shocked how badly yesterday effected me. I'm going to try yoga next week & hope this helps.

    Take care & I hope you feel better very soon. X

  • Hi -Roobarb - hope you are feeling calmer now. I agree with Voutton, but in my case the steroids definitely made me emotional and weepy - and I found it hard to handle stressful/conflict situations without breaking down.

    Deep breaths and a quick nap - you'll be right as rain!

  • Thanks Maggie, it's not just me then. The nap helped, but I felt like I'd been hit by a truck for the rest of the day.

    Are you still on steroids? Do you find changes in dose effect you in this way?

  • Yes - steroids are nasty things and they make me alternately monstrous and depressed (high doses make me high, too).

    Been reducing since before Christmas and now tapering. Tomorrow I take 1mg (yes, ONE!) and 2 weeks after that 0mg.

    My GP pointed out that it is (partly) about the percentage drop - so 2 to 1 is a 50% cut in dose and I am expecting to feel it. 1 to 0 will be 100% - but I am going to get there, by hook or by crook.

    I know too well the hit by a truck feeling.... take care, Maggie

  • It's great that you are getting your steroids right down, I hope I can do that soon. I am hoping to try a different immuno suppressant, & if that helps I can start reducing.

    My rheumy said it can help to do alternate days when reducing, so maybe if you do get problems going from 1 to 0, you could try this.

    All the best. X

  • Hi there, sorry about your experience,but I can tell you yes THIS IS LUPUS and stress and or becoming upset seems to amplify everything you should when ever possible avoid stress or upsetting situations, they are really bad for lupus sufferers.More easily said than done.Hope this has helped.Takecare.

  • Thanks for your support lizzyhannah. As if we don't have enough to deal with having lupus! It's a bit scary not knowing how we are going to react when anything unexpected happens.

  • Try and express your anger somehow, have a bath and have an imaginary conversation with that nurse telling her what you think of the whole episode. Unless you have a family member willing to listen to you. I download on my husband usually, poor guy, but he is used to close his ears to most of my rants by now. I suspect you've settled down by now anyway, I'm so sorry it impacted your overall health, you so didn't need that.

  • Thanks purpletop, my hubbie gets all the flack too, & now he is going to have the extra duty of taking the cat to the vets, as I don't think I could face that again. The nurse was obviously having a bad day. Who knows, may be she is ill too, or has some problems to deal with. But I was shocked at how bad the experience made me feel.

  • So pleased that I am not the only one, thought I was just being pathetic but I have always told my husband that it is as if I can feel the damaging chemicals pulsing through my body when I feel under fire..... I also struggle to verbalise my fear or concerns but find that if I can resolve a situation, I calm down significantly. I have been diagnosed with lupus for 14 years now and I am still learning

    Keep calm and carry on ;0)

  • Thanks Chablis, Mr lupus likes to keep us on our toes doesn't he? Just when I think I've learned how to cope with things, something new comes along. I understand what you mean about not being able to verbalise your concerns. Sometime I feel as if my brain shuts down, & I can't get my words out.

  • How are you feeling today? hope your poor cat is ok too :(xx

  • Much better today thanks, & I'm having a very quite day. My cat coped better than me, although she still hasn't had her jabs. I'll let hubbie take her next time. Hope you are OK?

  • I'm fine thanks. Poor cat, I think its sometimes worse for us than it is for them

    x

  • Hi

    I'm like that too. I'm perfectly fine and then someone 'official' rings or I get an 'official sounding letter and I go to pieces. I had to contact my bank recently and when she asked me my security details I panicked and could remember nothing. She ended up saying she would send me some secret codes for me to use in future. I felt so stupid.

    I had to take the cat to the vet this morning for a review of her thyroid meds, she is very old and thin and I was thinking the vet will think I've neglected her and panic set in again!

    I can't believe I am a well educated 'mature' lady who used to have a professional career and I am reduced to this sometimes.

    So Roobarb, I am so glad you posted and I read the replies so that I now know I am not loosing the plot! :D

    xxx

  • Hi Mrs B, it seems to be quite common among we lupies. It does help to know that I'm not alone in this. I am the same, I never answer the phone these days. Thank goodness for the internet & texting.

    We are in fact very strong to deal with all that lupus throws at us, so feel proud of yourself. I often think that lupus is now my family & career all rolled into one.

    But my cat is my baby & she protects me from loneliness & despair when lupus is having a pop at me. So I think that what happened yesterday was just the straw that broke the camels back.

    I hope that you & your cat are OK after the vets visit? I'm sure they didn't think you arre neglecting her.

    Take care of yourselves. X

  • Sorry 2 hear u're having such a crap time. I am the same with 1 of my guinea pigs (we call her 'lupus guin' as 4 the last 2 years she keeps getting ill & the vets can't find a cause & nothing seems 2 work 4 her, yet she still fights like Hell!) so I can identify with how upsetting it is when 1 of u're 'babies' gets poorly :( Like u, she always manages 2 lift my spirits.

    Meds (especially steroids) can cause u 2 feel very down & emotional but it's also 1 of the 'lovely' little things lupus & APS can bring along too. As most of u know by now, I personally do not take any meds 4 my illnesses (choosing instead 2 manage my conditions with pain relief) & I still got affected by all the central nervous crap & veer from extremes in mood, temperament etc despite always being 1 of the most emotionally & mentally stable people u could ever meet lol!

    Unfortunately, some of us just have no other choice than 2 try & make the best of our situations :/

  • Thanks Sher. Poor lupus guin. I hope she keeps on fighting, like us. X

  • Thanks roobarb, still no improvement, but no decline either which is the main thing. Hope u're feeling a bit more with it now x

  • Loads better thanks Sher. Hubbie took kitty to the vet today for me & told them about my lupus, so hopefully they will be more helpful in future.

    Too be honest this has been a bit of a wake call for me. I've realised that there are times when I have just GOT to ask for help now, & not keep pushing through & making myself ill.

    Kitty got her jabs & top marks for health considering she is 13. How are you & lupie guin doing?

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