Flare time

I’m still trying to nail down flare season: I’m aware that my ankylosing spondylitis is worse in the spring and fall, but it’s impossible to be more specific than that. If it’s affected by seasonal weather changes, for example, the onset will be different each year; and there are probably other factors as well. Because I’m a compulsive planner, I’d like a bit more predictability; as it is, I’m reluctant to make any long-term plans for spring and fall in case I’ll have to cancel them — especially travel, which is hard on my system to begin with. So what do I block off? March through May? October and November?

This year, it hit in early March and persisted for four weeks; in 2002, though, I spent the spring largely pain-free. I’ve had flares in the fall, but not in the fall of 2003. I suspect I was simply too busy to get sick during those periods (or possibly I was too active to get stiff), in the way that people get the flu as soon as they take a vacation: their bodies hold themselves together until they can fall apart at a more convenient time.

Which is a roundabout way of saying that I think I’m back in flare again, as of Sunday.