I wish I could say that the title of this post refers to a positive definition out of Webster’s dictionary such as “a sudden brief burst of bright flame or light,” but I’m sad to say that it doesn’t. In this case, it refers to the flare up I’m experiencing in my autoimmune disease(s).

I had been doing quite a bit better since greatly reducing my gluten intake, but my condition has worsened again. I’m not sure if it’s because of stress or exposure to sunlight or trying to get off Prednisone as my rheumatologist insisted, but I woke up one day with intense joint pain which I haven’t experienced since my days of Lupus. I’m also exhausted and getting chest pains off and on.

I went to see my rheumatologist who said my joints seemed terribly inflamed and that I needed to increase my prednisone and get the inflammation under control before I can even consider getting off prednisone again. *sigh* One step forward, two steps back.

The tests results are back, and the good news is that my muscle enzymes were normal for once. However, my complement level is low, my ANA is positive again, and my C-Reactive Protein is high. Some of my other numbers are off as well, but my doctor didn’t say anything about those. What she did say is that I need to start Cyclosporine. I’m just hoping it’s not like Imuran, Cellcept, or Methotrexate all of which make me run to the bathroom every 15 minutes. Luckily, the school year is almost over, so in six weeks I can get plenty of rest as the Cyclosporine kicks in.

OK, so I’m sorry to be a Debbie Downer. I usually try to be all positive and upbeat in my posts, but I also want to keep it real. So where is the positive? The positive is that I’ve backed off on some responsibilities. For instance, I removed myself from a committee at church. There are a couple of new people on the committee who can pick up where I left off. I’m still serving my church in a couple of other ways that do not involve my going to meetings at night when I should be getting ready for bed.

I’m also asking questions of God when I pray, and even though a certain preacher recently stated that there’s no point in asking why bad things happen and that we just have to accept that life isn’t fair, I think that asking why is an acceptable form of prayer in a close relationship. I don’t think God minds us asking why when we are heavily burdened as long as we continue to honor him as well. Would a parent mind his child asking him a question? God gave us a brain that attempts to rationalize, did he not? Therefore, I’m leaving you with the following video clip of Queen Latifah in Last Holiday because it’s not only a great scene, but I think it captures how I feel right now.

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