In His Grip
AlwaysRosie "We can't control the waves, but we can learn how to surf!!"
Co-Moderator - Lupus Forum
UCTD, Inflammatory Arthritis, Diverticulosis, (recent dx - Sjogrens, Crohn’s 4/08)
Clickable Links: Lupus Resources Lupous.Org Lupus Criteria (4 of 11) Lupus Chapter Locator
Hi Hap - Welcome to the forum! I've been trying to figure out those flare markers myself. As Rosie said - the fluish/malaise kind of feeling seems fairly common. I have fibro as well, so I used to always assume it was the fibro....but then things started to change. The symptoms you described all are familiar to me, except maybe the stuffy nose. Recently I've had some nasty ear pain (interior and exterior) with a sore throat on that same side and some tenderness under the jaw on that side, and extreme tenderness on my scalp (same side) with the last time this happened. The ear pain has happened several times in 3-4 mos. and the scalp pain only came on with the last time. Lasts about 3 days and then it's gone. No cold or sinus thing develops to attribute it to - so I've decided it may well be part of a flare.
I had an appt w/ my massage therapist this last time when my scalp was so tender. She said the muscle bundle that wraps from the ear/jaw area and back around the skull/scalp was extremely tight. She showed me those muscles on her anatomical poster and it lined right up with where it was hurting. It felt much better after she worked on stretching those out (not so much while she was in the process!). It's been a couple weeks and it's been fine. I'm sorry this doesn't answer your question better - I do still think it could be flare related - because that connective tissue is everywhere - but it may be like a constricted muscle thing as well. I didn't have fever assoc. with mine - and I tend to think the fluctuating fever is a sure sign of flare - even if it's a mild one.
I also I decided I needed to make sure I didn't sit with a draft on my head - whether riding in the car with the window open or anywhere air from an A/C vent was landing directly on my head. And I also wondered if it might be related to sun exposure - since I haven't experienced this in the winter (yet). I didn't think of it in time to look for rash on my scalp .... but it makes me wonder.