Thursday, April 2, 2009

My week with Fibro

I wanted to get on here and write something wonderful & witty and helpful, but it just ain't happening!! To tell the truth, this has been a horrible week for me. Well let me tell you about it......
Living with fibromyalgia, well, it's just not easy. It changes your life and some days it just gets the best of you. I live in Georgia and in my area, it has rained almost every day this week. Now don't get me wrong.....I know we need the rain, but my body just doesn't agree! Any major changes in the weather cause me great pain with the fibromyalgia and usually with a migraine to boot. But the rainy weather is sometimes the worst. I used to love rainy days. They always seemed so peaceful. I could snuggle up with a cozy blanket, a cup of tea and a good book. Well these days I'm snuggled beneath my electric blanket , because it's still chilly here with the rain, and my mind is too foggy to concentrate enough to read anything more than a label on a can of soup! The rain and cold just seem to seep deep into your bones. (Did I mention that I have osteoarthritis also?) It feels like the worst toothache you could ever imagine except it's all over your body. My arms and legs are the worst. But then the muscles and connective tissue also flair, and it kind of feels like everything is inflammed and cramping all at the same time. My joints hurt from the osteoarthritis so it makes it hard to even move the slightest bit. Don't even think about going outside in the rain. That would be insane! But sometimes you just have to. For example, my nephew is getting married this Saturday night. The wedding is being conducted 2 hours away from where I live. So I had to do a lot of foot work this week. Such as finding a dress that would still fit me and take it to the cleaners. Finding shoes that matched. And don't forget the all important WEDDING GIFT. With the amount of pain that I'm in and the combined fatigue, I knew I would only be able to accomplish one task per day. So I've been "busy" every day this week preparing for my nephews' wedding on Saturday. I know it sounds crazy that this could take an entire week to get ready for, but with the fibromyalgia, it's as if you're only alloted so much energy for each day. It takes, usually, the entire amount of energy just to get through the day without crashing. But when you add additional tasks to the day, something else has to go. So I haven't cooked supper the last few nights. We've gotten take out. And while it was a great help to me in order to get through the week, it's just not healthy. As Trisha stated in a previous post, people with fibromyalgia have to watch what they eat because it can be toxic to us. Things that other people take for granted. But I digress.......
When you've expended all your energy, there is no more! Sometimes you can psych yourself up and generate enough energy to do special things, but other times no matter what you do, you just aren't going to be able to avoid the crash.
To this already complicated scenario, let's throw in a dash of stress. Stress that my husband hasn't worked in almost a year. Stress that my child has been sick with a cold all week. Stress that my youngest brother has just been given the news that he either has leukemia or a brain tumor..........but the plan of action isn't prepared yet because they haven't finished running all their tests yet. Stress is like a poison. It can do things to your body that doctors haven't even realized yet. For a fibro patient it can zap your energy, tighten your muscles causing pain, give you migraine headaches, activate your irritible bowel syndrome. Not to mention other health concerns like high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke..........Oh, and what it does to you emotionally is 10 times worse than your body. Stress is probably the #1 cause of depression. And it's all a vicious cycle. The more stress you feel, the more pain you feel, the sicker you are, the more depressed you are, which generates more stress, and over and over again.
Tomorrow was supposed to be my "free" day, but now I have to cut my husband's hair for the wedding. Plus I've been given the news that we are leaving at 7 am Saturday because we have to go by and do my mother in law's monthly grocery shopping, cleaning, etc... The wedding isn't until 7 pm, with reception to follow so we will likely be spending the night there. At least I hope so, because a 4 hour car trip just isn't possible for my body after this week. But that means that tomorrow, I have to pack for the trip.
In all honesty, if it were someone else, I probably would just mail a gift and not even go to the wedding. But I love this kid, his family has been good to me and he is the son of the brother who's just been diagnosed with leukemia/brain tumor. I want to see my brother. I need to see my brother. This has been very hard news for me to hear. I love him so much. I know how much I suffer with my illnesses, but I know that his diagnosis is much worse. Fibromyalgia may make you feel like you're going to die or that you wish you could die, but it's not lethal. Cancer is!
I know my writing here is just a jumbled mess, but some days that's all that you can be. All I can do is give it my best and that's what I have done. Maybe you'll identify with what I've said, or maybe you know someone who has fibro who says NO a lot, or cancels a lot and now you know why. I hope it helped you. It did me.


Trisha Pearson said...

I think you've described life with fibro very, very well, Teresa. I know some people think I'm are crazy or whiny or whatever when I say I'm busy by having one extra thing to do in a day, but it's the truth. Everything takes so long when you are hurting and have no energy.

stipeygirl75 said...

Teresa, I totally understand the energy thing. I can usually only schedule one "special" thing per day, or my body will protest. The following day is my catch-up day for my body to recover itself. So I can see you will be really tired after all this, but as you say, it's worth it :) The other strange thing I was talking to my mom about is how it "hits" us later. For example on a "good day" we can be doing all kinds of things, cleaning the house, washing the car, going on a car ride, and feel totally fine and having fun. The pain and fatigue hit us later. A couple hours later or even not until the next day. So we have to be kind of conservative with how much we do in one day, even if we feel fine while we are doing it.

VickNYC said...

I wasn't going to write just after I read Teresa's post, but I will make a comment. I live about an hour from Teresa, and ever since we found she was moving back to about an hour from me, we were excited to meet each other since we clicked so well together on Facebook. Not just the Fibromyalgia, but our overall personality and interests that make-up for a good friendship.

Well, I think it's been 4 months, maybe more, and we still have not been able to meet and we only live an hour from each other, which is the norm for Georgia. I'm sitting here in the afternoon with a long sleeved shirt under my sweatshirt and sweatpants and soft warm slippers. I am having difficulty typing, my fingers are weak and it's as if I have dyslexic! I am going to a wedding also on Saturday of a childhood friend of my son who I love just like a son. The past two days have been pretty good for me. I was able to do my banking, which is inside the Publix Grocery Store, so I bought some things I needed and when I went to check out, I was asked if I was ok. I get asked that comment now when I go out. I think I get flustered when I'm out alone. To top it off, I was using a new purse and alot of things spilled onto the floor and grocery counter! Everyone was helpful. The "bagger" was going to help me wheel the shopping cart out. So she also asked me if I was ok, since I have a balance problem and had to hold onto the cart and I walk with a limp. I too have OA, and it's in many joints including my spinal chord.

The next day I had to buy a bra, slip and hose along with a gift for the wedding. I was doing ok again, and bought them towels and had them gift wrapped! So easy right? I went to Kohl's department store which is popular for their fantastic sales and I got the other items needed to complete my outfit. I was thankful my dress from the wedding in November fit. I tend to swell alot from one day to the next.

So now we are at the beginning of this post, Friday, the day before the wedding. I am glad it's in the evening. I woke up early, had something to eat, paid some bills (online) and went back to bed around 10am. I woke up at 3pm feeling just like Teresa. My pain meds are kicking in, but I feel like the inside of my body is having a dance party, using my body as the dance hall. My wonderful companion, Atticus, a Border Collie has been patient. He knows with me, he has to wait to go out and to eat. So he stays by my bed and sleeps also. No wonder he gets excited when my husband gets home.

This little post turned out to be long, but this is the "Day in the Life with Fibromyalgia". We are having leftovers. What did our mothers do without microwave ovens?