Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Having fibro keeps you busy

Often when I tell people I don't have time to do something, I can sense their skepticism. I'm pretty sure they're thinking things like, "but you're home all day" or "but you never do anything, how can you not have time?" It's true, I am home all day most every day and I don't go out to do a lot. But that does not mean I have a lot of free time, because I really don't.

I have all the same duties as most people. I have kids to feed, clean up after and spend time with. I have a home, with all the endless duties that come with that and I have a dog to walk. AND I have me to take care of and, with fibro, that is no small task.

A person with fibro has to spend a lot of time taking care of themselves if they want to be able to function at all. Here is a list of extra things I have to do, in addition to all the normal daily things:

*Exercise - For me, exercising in the morning keeps my muscles from getting too stiff and achy. I also think it helps clear up the fibrofog a little bit.

*Stretching - I have to stretch my hip and glutes every day to keep the trigger points in my hip from getting too tight. I have to stretch at least 2X per day but 3 would be better.

*Meditation - I'm not always faithful about doing this, but it is best if I do a short meditation to release stress and tension. A progressive relaxation meditation also does wonders for loosening up the tight muscles. I'm trying really hard to fit this into every day. 2X a day would be ideal.

*Rest - Often, by the time I shower and dry my hair and all that, my back hurts and I need to sit down for awhile. Also, after going out of the house for anything, I need to rest or veg-out for awhile before I can do anything else. AND, I can't just go out in the evening and come home and go to bed. I have to veg-out for at least two hours before I can sleep.

*Trigger point release therapy - My chiropractor sold me this foam cylinder thing that I have to place under my trigger points and roll back and forth on it. This takes a little while because I have trigger points in both hips and my shoulders. I'm supposed to do this 3X per day but I usually just get in two sessions.

*Massage - If my back is really tight, I need to use my shiatsu massage pillow for 20 minutes while I wait for my Tramadol to kick in. I use the massage pillow 2-3X times per day. Sometimes I have to use the pillow on my back during or after making dinner too.

*Hot baths - I've read many recommendations that people with fibro should take at least three hot baths in Epsom salts per week. (I'm trying! It's not easy in the summer when it's so hot).

I guess people (people without fibro) don't understand how time consuming all these things are, or that often people with fibro are moving in super slow motion because of their fatigue and fibrofog. Sometimes, it takes me a really long time to get going in the morning and I feel like I'm moving in slow motion all day long.  Everything I do takes me longer than it would most people. And I guess "normal" people don't understand that people with fibro can't just keep going and rest up or take care of themselves later. It doesn't work that way for people with fibro. And I don't think they understand how behind we always are on everything because we have so many days that we are completely out of commission.

I don't want anyone's pity, just their understanding that, when I say I don't have the time, I really don't. I may not be doing anything productive, but I'm still pretty busy.


Tricia said...

Stretching and strength training help me. Long walk do too, we need excercise.

Denise @ Sunflowers, Chocolate and Little Boys said...

I understand..but thats because I have it too. Everyday is a struggle just to get the basics done. And most people dont understand AND dont WANT to understand. It is so frustrating. But this was a very informative post.... I hope it reaches many many people.

Trisha Pearson said...

Tricia, strength training does help me a lot too. Long walks used to, now they just seem to exhaust me. I hope I can get back to enjoying walking my dog because she insists on it, whether I want to do it or not!

Denise, it is frustrating that others don't understand how much of a struggle it is to get the basics done. It really frustrates me when it's people who have had children. They should know how much work is involved with that. I guess they just don't remember or, like you said, they just don't want to understand.

Teresa said...

Tricia, great post. I've never really stopped to take the time to realize all the things I have to do in a day, just to get thru it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. No wonder I'm always so exhausted!!! ha ha


Trisha Pearson said...

Teresa, I'm sorry! Thinking about everything we have to do in a day is overwhelming. If you never thought about before, forget it now! Please! I don't want you feeling overwhelmed the way I do.