One morning last week, while I was trying to bring my world into focus after a pretty restless night, I found the above picture in my blog feed. Julie, over at Counting My Spoons always has some of the best information and advice for those of us learning to live with Fibro. While I was reading her post for, I stopped and realized the things she was writing about are a few of the most difficult things I’ve had to do as I learn to live with Fibromyalgia.
Maintaining relationships is, at least for me, one of the more difficult challenges I go through on a daily basis. I have always been overly independent and because of that, I don’t want people to continually ask me if I’m OK or what’s the matter, or can I do anything for you. So, instead of doing the things I used to do, I find myself isolating me from the outside world. Because when I do go out, I move much slower than before, I am constantly looking at the ground and placing my feet specifically so I don’t trip over anything (baby acorns are DEMONS I say, I’ve tripped/slipped on those suckers more than anything else. And our yard is full of them!), and I tire so quickly. I have also found I’ve reduced the time I spend online, thus making it difficult to maintain the blog or Facebook pages I own and manage.
And while my family and close friends are supportive and understanding, I still feel like I am letting them down when I can’t do simple tasks like walking down the steps from our front deck to the yard. Maintaining a relationship is not easy when you are healthy, and I can verify it is more than difficult when you aren’t.
Maintaining a routine isn’t as easy as it may sound either. When you wake up in excruciating pain and all you want to do is crawl back under the blankets, pull them over your head and block out the world, trying to do the normal daily chores or activities is often more than ambitious. This morning I woke up at 4am and couldn’t get back to sleep. So, I’ve been up since about 5:30, working on my 3rd cup of coffee (yes, I know I’m supposed to be limiting my caffeine consumption, don’t judge) and willing my body to move and the fog to clear from my brain. Once I accomplish this, I’ll be up folding the laundry I washed yesterday, making the bed and dusting the furniture in our bedroom. Oh yeah, right along with taking care of the Witchling. Don’t expect much more, I am great at a few things each day…
Maintaining your health also tends to be somewhat intimidating for me. But I am learning. I do not have health insurance, so that means no doctor visits and no prescription meds (I probably wouldn’t take them any way) to help me get through the everyday challenges of Fibro. I’ve learned to eat MUCH better than I used to. Yes, I was a junk food junkie. Now I mostly eat fruits and veggies, I’ve found a fish market here in Hope Mills I’m going to be checking out to see what kinds of fish they have and where it comes from. And I’ve found a couple different *meat markets*. The meat isn’t local, but it does come into the shop and they actually cut it there *in-house*. We have seasonal Farmer’s markets and I’m anxiously waiting for the season to open. There are also a few roadside stands where fresh vegetables and fruits can be purchased, but again, I’m not sure where they actually come from. When asked, the response is often times pretty vague. Another goal is to find local raw honey. I have some that came from Florida and while I thoroughly enjoy having it, the local antibodies usually found in raw honey are absent.
I use over the counter generic Motrin for pain management, a couple times each day I do as much stretching as I can tolerate, I take vitamin D, B, and a women’s multivitamin, and recently I found I should also be taking a magnesium supplement as well. It’s on the shopping list. I also have a passionate love affair with my soaking tub. There are days that nothing helps alleviate the deep pain, so I’ve found myself watching the clock, just waiting for the time to take a bath (this can actually sometimes bring me to my knees on the days where Tanya works more than just the normal 3 or 4 hours and I take care of the Witchling). When I’m able to slip into a more than warm and sometimes hot Epsom salt bath and just soak, I can honestly feel the pain lessening, which in turn gives me the ability to have a better nights sleep.
I didn’t know much about Fibromyalgia until I figured out I had it (remember, no insurance equals no doctor for a definite diagnosis) and begun reading everything I can find out about it. I knew there was something going on with me, but had no clue there really honestly was something that could be diagnosed. I felt like I was imagining things and tried my best to overcome the aches and pains I kept having. I have family and friends who have been diagnosed and luckily they are able to help me through the things I’ve been experiencing and have been more than a huge help in pointing me in the right direction for care.
My biggest hurdle has been to own up and admit there is something wrong. Telling myself I’m OK and ignoring the pain just makes it worse. Pushing myself beyond my limits just causes me to need an extra day under the blankets and away from my family. Consistently borrowing spoons from tomorrow just makes the next day all the more difficult. I’m learning … slowly… and if I can keep from getting in my own way, I’ll be that much better off and not only know how to deal with Fibro, but be able to find the me in all the chaos.
And Kush is my best friend …