Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring Forward? Yeah, I Don't Think So...

You know that phrase, "Spring forward"? Well, nothing about me "springs" anymore!

I don't "do" change well. My body doesn't respond well to temperature or any weather related changes, time changes, sleep changes, dietary changes, and ... well, you get the idea!

Oh boy, did the time change kick my franny! The weather got warmer, and even though it was for the better, it triggered a nasty headache that just kept escalating all week. After 5 days of increased water, tons of stretching and plenty of Tylenol, it kept getting worse. Ugh, why do I wait so long to break into my muscle relaxers and heavy pain meds?!

Welp, let's see... I can't think straight on the pain killers and I can't stay awake with the muscle relaxers. Put them together, and it is a recipe that can only bring sleep and LOTS of it. Do the meds help? Sure, most of the time the combination is helpful. Besides the side effects, the other big problem is that I have to unplug from life for a while. This means not being there for my family. In turn, it means that my husband won't have his assistant (OR his wife!), my daughters won't have their mom, and the house goes into anarchy. People are eating ice cream for dinner, dishes pile up, and even the dog gets into the trash and gets snarly. 

I don't like not being in control of my body. Which is a paradox in and of itself considering that no one really has control and anyone who suffers with chronic pain and illness has even less control of their body. But, in terms of being completely out of control and down for the count with medicine, it has to be REALLY bad before I break into the heavy meds. 

In the past, I was even more stubborn. I waited longer to medicate, to stop and lie down, or to ask for help. It became a pattern that lead to a cycle that started with my body shutting down and then invaded my thinking. It was like poison ivy that started out green and leafy but then created an unscratchable and uncontrollable itch that spread. I could easily go from being in pain to suddenly blaming myself for doing whatever activity lead to the flare and then on from there. Even now, I have to be careful with my thoughts. Before I know it, I could feel terrible about myself. I do still have those moments of guilt about my flares but I have learned to recognize the negative voices in my head that start to blame me for them and stop before it gets too far. 

I have also learned how important it is to really pay attention to my body. I got to know my triggers. I watch the weather and try to plan my activities or errands around any severe changes. If I start to lose energy, I try to take a break and lie down as soon as I can. I have gotten better at asking for help. Eh, I know that I do still have some work to do on that one for sure! 

Most of all, I have learned to be gentle with myself. It is an ongoing process. 

But, this I know:

I didn't cause my ongoing, every minute of the day pain and my condition is not my fault. A diet, medicine/vitamins, or exercise will not cure my illnesses. Surgery has not even cured me. Blaming myself only makes things worse. I am responsible for trying to take the best care of myself that I can. That includes going to bed and staying there if I have to!

1 comment:

  1. I, like you, have Fibromyalgia. I had to resign from my job in 2009 and at this point, don't even dare to drive a car because of heavy traffic, my Fibro fog and the meds I take. I have Bipolar Disorder also. It is very difficult to accept this disease and on those good days, I feel so called "normal" again. I have learned in this process that I can only do the best that I can at any given moment. In the past, I have felt sorry for myself and went through the "Why me" thought process. Do I have pain and all the symptoms that can come and go at any given moment? The answer is Yes, of course I do. Every day can be challenging. I started selling on eBay as a hobby to get my mind off of the many symptoms. Now I have a full business. My self esteem and confidence in myself has returned. I've just started a new eating program to track what I eat. I drink lots of water each day and even use a tracker for that. As I type this, some words are coming out in reverse. I type a word and when I look at my monitor it's a different word with letters scrambled. All of this ok with me. I make the corrections and move forward. I remind myself that there is always someone worse off than me. I donate to the my all the little angels with cancer at St. Jude. These children didn't ask for cancer but for some unknown reason, they have it and have to deal with all the treatments, etc, not to mention their parents and loved ones also. I don't care anymore what others think of me. If they want to talk behind my back, so be it. I am only responsible for my own behavior and attitude.All of us were never given a script that our life would be perfect, however I have found there is perfection in everything, even if we don't understand it in that given moment. I roll with the punches that are handed to me and move forward. When life gives me lemons, I don't make lemonade, I make lemon pies. Laughter is my best medicine. So what if I don't have a perfect house any more? That's when others can step up to the plate and help out. Are my thoughts helpful or hurtful? If I'm in a hole, I stop digging. There's a lot of truth in that. I've stopped the digging and see sunshine and the rope is embracing, accepting and awareness that I do have Fibromyalgia. and it will never define who I am. After all, it's just a dis-ease.