Friday, August 20, 2010

A Tale of Survival

 Recently I had a flare that lasted two weeks. Have no clue what set it off. It just happened. And in the same way, it just went away.

So when I was invited to an outing that involved sleeping in a tent for a few nights, I wasn't sure what might happen. Anything was possible!

So off I went, armed with a down duvet (haha – yes, I was the only person there with a down duvet! Long story short: I have no sleeping bag.) I had no bug spray, which was silly, given my response to bug bites (see previous post), but I'd tried to find eco-friendly stuff, with no luck. I figured if it got really bad, I could retreat indoors or borrow some from someone else...

The weather, which has been crazy hot all summer, ended up being rather breezy. I went swimming, and got chilled even though the water was warm, and then stupidly sat there shivering in the breeze instead of putting on warmer clothes right away.

It got cool at night, which was good, cause it kept the mosquitoes at bay. That didn't stop the ants or spiders or whatever decided to munch on me and leave me with over 30 bites on my right arm alone, and random other bites on various parts of my body, but, HEY, what else are anti-inflammatories good for but keeping down bug-bite swelling??

And the cool weather also meant it was very comfortable for sleeping for three of the nights. The fourth night, it dipped down to 8°C (WTF!!!!!), and, boy, was I glad I had that down duvet! Everyone else was freezing with their appropriate-for-camping sleeping bags! I just got chilled on the air mattress side of things, even though we had a fleece blanket on the mattress.

I was sure that between the after-swimming chilliness and crazy winter-like nighttime temps and the bites, I'd end up all sore and flaring again, but, no!



As it turned out, I survived everything!

That's rheumatoid arthritis for you!

P.S. It was also my first time travelling with Enbrel! Done + done!!!!!!!


  1. It's great that you took the plunge and went camping. Sometimes we gotta go for it and hope for the best :)

    Bug bites: daub on some vinegar. If available, take a dose of benadryl, too.

    Despite the bugs and crazy weather, it sounds like you had fun.

  2. That's just wonderful! I love going camping, but I haven't gotten to go in a long time. I can just imagine you wrapped up in a down duvet, nice and warm while everyone else shivered.

    Back in the late 90s, I did a lot of backpacking and camping while limping along with rheuma flares. I enjoyed doing it anyway, but the long hikes were pretty rough. When I think about it now, I wonder what in the world I thought I was doing, hiking into the wilderness with a bad knee or foot. Heh.

    Nice hearing from you, Laurie. I've been wondering how you were. :o)

  3. Nice to see that both of our flares decided to back down. I'm always at a loss to explain why flares come and go...they defy logic! Glad your travels with your new "friend" (Enbrel) went well. It certainly adds another dimension.

  4. I'm impressed. My idea of roughing it is slow room service, so I'm always interested - in a theoretical sense - to hear how camping is. Glad it went so well for you. And it does sound lovely.

    In a theoretical way. ;)

  5. I travelled with humira while camping, too! The first time I went camping with RA I was really nervous about how my body would respond to sleeping on the ground. Turns out there's not much difference for me (well, with a good sleeping mat).

    Oh, and I have a nice and cozy down sleeping bag rated to -10 :) When I was shopping for one I refused to buy synthetic, down-only for this gal :)

    Boo on all the bites, but glad that you survived!

  6. This is awesome! I'm so proud of you, even if you don't own a sleeping bag. lol And no repercussions from your RA on top of having a good time.

    I am in the process of adding a rack to the back of my bike to carry a small tent and duffle bag. I have a couple of 2-3 day rides planned for this fall ... can't wait.

  7. Thanks everyone! I love sleeping in a tent so I was so glad to have gone. My sister and I slept in a tent every summer all summer when we were kids and it was great. The only time I don't like it is if it's really raining out – then, not so much fun! :) L