Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Will I Ever Learn?

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia six years ago. Six long years of pain, fatigue, brain fog, flare-ups, good days and bad days. Six long years to learn that I don't have that much energy anymore. You'd think in that six years I would have learned the all-important lesson to not overdo it, to listen to my body when it says it's tired. But have I? Apparently not.

I think my fibromyalgia is on the mild side now. I've come a long way since I was exhausted and stressed with a new baby/difficult toddler. So I have some days where I feel pretty good. Sunday was one of those days and I decided to give my yard some much-needed attention. Kneeling down pulling weeds and pruning bushes didn't seem like that much work at the time. Still, by the time I finished the backyard, I was feeling tired. But I hadn't touched the front yard yet, so I kept going. I pushed myself to the point of being utterly exhausted. And two days later, I'm still exhausted. I have no energy. My arms and legs feel like they're made out of lead. I just want to curl up in the cozy cocoon of my bed and sleep for the week.

But when does life ever work like that? Not often, in my experience! Nope, I have a busy week. Baseball games, lunch dates, massage appointments and a cleaning job to do. And on top of that, I scheduled a doctor's appointment, even though I knew I should wait until next week when I wasn't so busy and/or exhausted. For me, the one extra thing per day rule only works if I schedule one extra thing for three days or less for the week. Schedule four extra things in a week, and by Thursday I'm so tired I just want to cry. Sometimes, I do cry, just out of sheer exhaustion.

I hate being this way. I feel so weak. So pathetic. At thirty-eight years old, I'm fairly young. I'm healthy (aside from fibro). I feel like I should be able to do more. Maybe that's where the refusing to accept my limits comes in. But for six years, I've experienced the backlash from pushing past my limits. I'm experiencing the backlash of fatigue now and I'm wondering; will I ever learn?


Teresa said...

Trisha, I've been dx'd about 8 years now and I have to say that I haven't learned any better than you have. I still over do and push myself beyond my limits. And then end up paying for it the rest of the week. But I think part of what causes us to do this, is also what keeps us from giving in to the illness completely. There's a fight inbred in us that just keeps us going. So often I just feel like giving in to the illness and quitting any kind of simblance of life, but there's just something ingrained in me that won't let me give up.
I too push too hard on days when I feel a little bit of relief and then end up paying the price for several more days. For instance, this Saturday was spent in a neighboring state taking care of family and going to a wedding. I've been in bed basically ever since I got back home on Saturday night. I'm so exhausted, all I want to do is sleep. Yet, I'm so tired that I CAN'T sleep. But I would do this weekend all over just the same because it was worth it. I know every time isn't exactly the same as this one was. Sometimes I over exert for no good reason and for me those times are just the fight in me not wanting to give in to this terrible illness called fibromyalgia. Perhaps with time I will learn to weigh the difference, but for now, I'm just trying to survive!

VickNYC said...

Some studies have "proven" that people with CFS/FMS have Type A personalities. Sound familiar? I was diagnosed 18 years ago and first got sick 24 years ago...but I kept going. Had a small baby and thought I need to go to work also. Didn't listen to my mother. What did she know? Now I know, she did know.

I cleaned the kitchen floor this week. It was nasty. It started with me falling (once again) with a glass of watered down Sprite and I didn't clean it up until the next day. So I mopped it three times. Thank goodness for Swiffer mops. Then I decided my bathroom was nasty also.

Woke up today feeling awful and had a doctor appointment with my pain doctor. Just saw the PA and I told him I've been in a relapse since January. He thinks I should see my primary care doctor to make sure there isn't any under-lying infection going on. These particular doctors just run the ordinary tests which show were are perfectly healthy! Ok, I realize I'm off the subject.

We've been invited to my husband's cousin's home on Saturday since his sister is visiting from NY and they haven't seen each other in several years. And Sunday is with my dad and my family and he also invites other people. It gets to be much and I feel obligated to help wash dishes. Some of the women there don't realize I can't always help, and there are very healthy people there who can help.

VickNYC said...

I tried to preview what I wrote and couldn't figure out how to get back to my original post. OHhhh this drives me insane.

So I have a pain in my neck from degenerated discs and the pain goes into my eye. Sounds like it could be a migraine starting. My face was completely red today because of the pain. I guess with the upcoming busy weekend, I will stay home the next couple of days.

On the light side, last weekend a friend of my son since childhood got married and Robbie, Cara, Frank and I along with Cara's parents and another couple ate at the same table. We had a good time and I only danced crazy to "Thriller" with my son. It's another song we share from his childhood memories. I love him dearly and he makes me laugh.

Well, must rest my head as I am tired from just today's activities. Good-night!

Trisha Pearson said...

There are so many demands. It's so hard to have to say no to everything. Sometimes I want to move out of state from my family. (which sounds terrible, I know, and I don't mean my husband or kids!). Today my dad showed up during the little time I had to relax today. Ugh! And then there is Easter with all its work and expectations. I'm tired and beyond crabby. Tonight my husband told me I sounded "snappy" and I said "I feel snappy!" I just don't have it in me to be pleasant right now. Why can't they all just leave me alone?

VickNYC said...

I know what you mean, Trisha. We had a bit of a small "encounter" this week. My step-son, girlfriend and two little ones have moved into a wonderful house, and while they were out last week, they received a phone call that the garage caught fire. Thank goodness they were out of the house and no one was hurt. So while the house is being cleaned and repaired, Laura and the two little ones are staying with her parents and Frankie is staying at the house they left. Her mom's health is not that great either and has Fibro, but she is able to work fulltime, but manages her time home as rest time. Having a 4 year old and a 21 month old is exhausting.

I feel bad because I was upfront with Laura that I couldn't handle the kids being around as that loud noises really stress me if on a consistent basis (like two hours). I did tell Frankie he can stay in the downstairs bedroom on the airmattress. There is plenty of room for all, and although I feel bad, I don't think my husband would appreciate me being sicker than I have been these past three months. If they didn't have another option, I would, of course, have them here and deal with it. If it got too bad, I'd pack a bag and take my dog to stay with my dad!

My husband doesn't tolerate any type of "snappiness" from me either. I guess we are supposed to be cheerful all the time even with your whole body on fire!

I've thought often of where I'd like to go, by myself and Atticus, for a month. I'm sure I'd miss my husband, but how much???? Hmmmmmm