How to handle a woman in flare up mode!!!

After living with RA for nealy 3 years now I thought I had the hang of things. Well no not really it seems.

At Christmas my joints decided to go into overdrive on Christmas Day of all days. It was on this most important day when our daughter and her husband had driven in the most atrocious weather from England to France to spend time with us that I suddenly realised something awful.

When I start to go into flare mode my whole personality changes. I am angry, frustrated, intolerant, chitical (well perhaps I am a teensy bit like that!) but I take everything out on the one person who matters -my husband who is my carer.

The poor man cannot do a thing right. If he does the washing, ironing, clearning, cooking, shopping there is always something he has not done right according to me.

After a couple of days the mood lifts and I start to feel better but it is an horrendous feeling while it lasts. I am almost suicidal at times and more than once have considered ending it all and feeling the family would be better off without me.

My husband has come up with some ideas on how to handle me when I am in the early throes of flare mode. Mainly he thinks it best to keep as far away as possible! He just tries to ignore what I say and just do his own thing. 'What would you like for lunch?' he asks. 'Anything,' is my usual reply at those times. He will prepare something special to try and cheer me up, I of course will find a reason for it not being what I wanted but he will just smile and say well do your best with it!

At some point I will cry, for myself, for the situation, for what I have lost, for my family and friends, for everyone suffering with this horrid disease. He will hold me and comfort me and NEVER EVER give up on me. The worst part? He is ill himself with a kidney problem.

My rheumatologist tells me that as RA is an auto immune disease I shouldn't get upset, worried, stressed whatever word you want to use. How are we supposed to do that? Life is full of stress. I have tried meditation, talking therapy, yoga, Tai Chi loads of stuff.

The one thing that works for me is going to a favourite place and just sitting in the peace and quiet. It is possible around here even in the height of the tourist season if you know where to look. My husband and I will pack a picnic and go and find somewhere to relax away from the house, the phone, e-mail everything. Sometimes we pray together, sometimes just sit. He is intuitive and knows that I don't really mean the things I say when at my worst and that after nearly 40 years together if I can't rail at him who can I rail at?

8 Replies

Together we are stronger than one.! Thankgoodness for our friends, family and carers. Life is some journey.. my hubby says he is there to accompany me along the way and when I stumble and fall..pick me up. I try to do the same but also have up and down days when I wish i could have done better. But what is love if it is not forgiving each other our shortcomings. I love it when bloggers are honest about feelings as well as giving out techy stuff about the disease etc.

I quoted this line before.. because it seems to sum up Humans and love. It goes

"Love is a dim but ever growing light."Thats how i like to think it comforts me. My ability to love may be dim at times but it is an evergrowing light. Right thats enough of me getting all over philosophical !!!

nite nite


Oh BC,

That is a very honest blog and not one that most of us would ever own up to! We are all like that when in pain, we strike out at those close to us, your husband sounds like a trooper and well used to you:0! I hope you also have times where you express your appreciation for his efforts, patience & love :)

Maybe, it might help to have a pain relief/ anti dep, (I can highly recommend Cymbalta or there are many effective anti deps, see your Consultant and mention the 'lows' it is quite common to feel a burden, but am sure you are not at all}, especially as your RA does not appear to be well controlled?

Looking on the bright side, you do live in France lucky you, so try stay positive, there is no magic pill or method, its just about acceptance & enjoying the good days:). Hope you don't take that as glib - I know that bad feeling when the black dog appears!



What a smashing blog... like Gina says, no honest and your husband sounds like every woman's dream :-).

The moods really are part of RA aren't they. I met my partner 10 years ago, and shortly afterwards (about 18 months) I started to get really painful and swollen joints. I never at that point put my moods down to the pain I thought I was being miserable because of the pain. Thinking back to then and how I am now i can see the moods are a forerunner. I try and convince him I never used to feel this miserable before. My stock phrase is "I was ok until I moved down here!". Just co-incidence. I know that since I have been on the anti-depressants the old me has re-emerged, now he thinks that I am who I am because of my tablets. I keep trying to convince him this was how I used to be!!!! Oh dear life's a bugger....

Any ways sounds like you and hubby are working together and he must know he is appreciated.

Lovely to hear from you BC and look forward to reading your blogs.

Julie xx


Hi, I can totally empathize with everything that you have said and feel for you.

A little trick that works for me sometimes is to “Love something every day”. What happens is you will find you are looking at the positives of your life to find that one thing each day to love. Let me know how you get on. Chins up old thing ;) Ax


AMDP I try to thank God for something everyday. My family and friends, the lovely countryside and just being me.

Chins is right since I started prednisone I have gained so much weight and today I am sure I counted three chins!!!!


Yes I too have put on rather a lot of weight. I blame the drugs but the truth is I enjoy eating and it has probably become a comfort for me. Ax


Great blog & I have to agree, I wish my man was as lovely as your hubby, he often makes me worse! I know it's because he can't fix me & feels inadequate but that doesn't help at the time.

Pain sure does make you cross & crotchety!

I am far better now at dealing with it, 12 years in, & can say that you do accept it more in time. I still get wobbly days though :)


Awesome post - thank you for your honesty and everyone else who has commented - how much I can relate to this & taking my frustrations out on the one person who has stood by me since 6 weeks after my diagnosis 23 years ago & who puts up with every mood swing, every curve ball that the disease & treatment throws our way. I thought it was only me who had these outbursts & who treated my dear hubby this way - he is a tower of strength in so many ways, even allowing me to do my own thing when I am well enough & need to. Thank you that I now know I am not alone & that I can hold my hand up, while as far as the shoulder allows, & admit I too have my off days/weeks. Thank goodness someone created the word 'Sorry' and hugs are so healing and how I wish I didn't use words like 'You never' to him - that is so untrue.



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