When you’re having a flare you really don’t want to move much so this might help. You can prepare a flare or bad day box/bag in advance to have ready for when you need things close at hand. The idea is to put everything you might need into the box, include all your favourite things and a few treats.
You can put it all into a plain plastic crate and store it away or if you want to leave it out there are lots of lovely storage boxes and baskets available, you can even stick some pretty paper over a box you have already.
If you know someone with a chronic illness a ‘flare comfort kit’ makes a great gift, you could include some of the ideas below and add anything else you know they would love/find useful.
Flare day kit ideas:
Ipad/phone/pc whatever you need to contact others if you need to, or just for entertainment. Plus spare chargers.
Books you can dip in and out of, short stories etc or your kindle and of course reading glasses.
Colouring pencils and colouring book. Crossword/dot to dot/sudoku books.
Craft items such as knitting/sewing.
Notebook & pen. You can keep track of your flare if you want to do that, or just make notes of things you need to do when you feel up to it, but know you’ll forget if you don’t write them down. Also if you like to write the notebook is good for that.
Bar of chocolate or sweets, when I feel ill I think I particularly deserve a little treat to feel a bit better! Healthy energy bars, bags of nuts/dried fruit, mints incase you don’t really feel like eating much.
Snuggly socks, soft slippers and a cuddly blanket. Microwavable wheat bag to use if you’re cold.
Favourite cardigan. jumper or wrap to hand if you suddenly feel cold, my temperature varies wildly during a flare.
Earplugs/eye mask to help you have a nap.
Comfortable pillows. I absolutely love the v shaped pillows and have one on my sofa and one on my bed, (details of the one I have further down the article).
Tissues/wet wipes and/or hand sanitiser.
Lip balm/hand cream. My skin does also seem to suffer when I’m sick.
Flask for hot drinks or soup. I don’t feel like moving far from the sofa during a flare so if you have something to hand it’s helpful.
Refillable water bottle, it’s very important to keep hydrated.
Regular prescribed medication and pain relief such as aspirin/paracetamol etc
Also not for in the box but useful: keep long life milk in the cupboard so you can still have warm drinks even if you can’t get to the shop. Keep a few healthy microwaveable meals in your freezer so that you don’t have to make any effort preparing them.
Whilst we’re looking at what you can do to feel better, let’s look at some tips for your bedroom as some people prefer to lie in bed rather than on the settee during a flare.
Keep your bedroom tidy, it’s well known that clutter is stressful and you won’t relax, which is the object of the exercise. Your bedroom should be an oasis of calm.
Try one of the pillow sprays, I swear by them, lavender is very good.
Another item I swear by is a v shaped pillow like this one (which I have). They’re great for propping you up to read and if you have a cough they get you into an upright position that helps you stop coughing whilst you nap.
You need to be as comfortable as possible, a memory foam mattress topper can help. I invested in a memory foam mattress years ago and have never regretted it. You might have to get used to them, but since I swapped I found I had far less joint pain, so they work for me.
There are a couple of things that help me sleep, especially as I need total darkness and complete silence. Blackout curtains and sometimes ear plugs are essential for me.
Your bedroom should be cool rather than warm (60-65 degrees F is optimal) as it’s very difficult to sleep in a warm room, it might even be worthwhile investing in a thermometer to check the temperature. However, you may have cold feet or hands and for that I use microwavable wheat bags, I prefer them to hot water bottles as you can mould them to your body and reheat them easily. Some even come with a fragrance such as lavender, you can even get them in the shape of animals such as bears and foxes!
And finally, you must have heard this before: no gadgets or gizmos in your bedroom, this ensures your bedroom is your sanctuary.
The content on this blog should not be seen as a substitute for medical advice. If you have, or think you may have lupus, always seek advice from a qualified physician.