Awaking on my birthday the morning after Christmas, my husband was plying me to enter the morning with fresh brewed coffee. What could be better at 7:00 a.m. than fresh gourmet java? After greeting me with a sweet good morning kiss and ”Happy Birthday, sweetheart,” he agreed to my groggy suggestion of where he could find the Christmas leftovers to take with him to work for his lunch.
Soon, he had headed out to work while I sipped half of the hot cup of coffee, and after setting down the partly finished cup, I rolled over and snuggled into my pillow to catch a little more sleep. After all, I was entitled, it was my birthday! One more hour would be just what the doctor ordered for my groggy grey matter.
Five hours later, I stumbled out of bed toward the kitchen, gasping when I saw the clock face on my stove read 12:07. I had slept until noon! The only trouble with sleeping in was that I was supposed to have been to work by mid morning, earlier than it was by then. I stood there for a moment, and was in a deep state of mental cloud with whopping all over lupus symptoms. I was I the middle of a major post-holiday flare of my CNS lupus. A not so welcome birthday lupus adventure!
I went straight for my morning meds and some extra prednisone, downing them with a cup of fresh brewed coffee from my new Keurig coffee maker. While it might seem like I should have been fully rested after fourteen hours of sleep, I was everything but refreshed. I felt completely exhausted!
I sat down at my desk and wrote a quick email to my boss explaining the all too clear truth, and set out to quickly recover the rest of my birthday and work day.
Within just over an hour, I arrived at my office but was still stumbling mentally through my responsibilities. I had brought goodies with me to share with the skeletal group who staffed our office in the days between Christmas and New Years, and they helped me indulge in my favorite triple berry birthday pie and a plate of Christmas sugar cookies.
Except for the three high points: my husband’s good morning kiss, co-worker birthday greetings and berry pie, it proved to be one of my toughest half work days in recent history due to the extreme activity of my lupus, attacking brain, joints, and just about every other part of me. My evening however ended on a high note, as I arrived home to a message that the kids were bringing home dinner. We shared a quiet birthday take-out dinner from a local pizzeria with my husband, daughter and son-in-law.
Each morning since, my lupus symptoms have been a little lessened, and each day I have dropped the prednisone dose by a couple of milligrams. It will take a couple of weeks to get back to my normal five milligrams per day maintenance dose. Although I have ambivalent love/hate for the steroids, there is no choice but to take them when my lupus flares that severely and suddenly. The only real option is to burst with prednisone to take care of that kind post-holiday lupus flare.
Unfortunately, the extra sleep had not been enough to prevent it, but a timely burst of steroids can shut it down. I am grateful my doctor prescribes extra prednisone for me to have on hand for quickly controlling flares just like this.