Just a quick one for a Monday morning. Anyone else feel like the weekends just aren’t long enough? 🙋🏻♀️ My to-do list is overflowing lately and there just isn’t enough time to get it all done AND relax a bit on the weekends. Sigh….
Perhaps it’s the exhaustion and pain (fibro flare) that I am still suffering. But this describes my Monday mood…. More coffee, please. Extra shot.
Nonetheless, I hope you all have a wonderful week! Do something wonderful for yourself!! Self-care is selfless, not selfish. (More on that later.) I am taking Friday off to knock off some things from that list. 😉 But first, coffee.
May is Fibromyalgia Awareness Month and May 12th is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, so this post is meant to do just that. Raise awareness. Give readers a little glimpse into what it is like to have this daily companion in your life.
While some may not understand what it is when you explain it, they can probably relate to the occasional sleepless nights or aches and pains. Fibrowarriors have these symptoms on most days.
One recent, restless night when I was experiencing a lot of pain and couldn’t sleep, so I jotted a few things down to describe Fibromyalgia. I couldn’t stand the sheets to touch me. My mind was racing. Sleep was evading me. I tried essential oils and pain relievers. After maybe 2 hours of sleep, I got up and went to work the next morning.
This is my life with fibromyalgia.
Never easy. Never predictable. Never fun.
F Fatigue, flare, forgetfulness
B Brain fog, brain won’t stop racing
R Restlessness, Radiating pains
O Overactive, firing nerves
M Myofascial pain, Morning stiffness
Y Yearning to be pain-free and be my old self
L Leg cramps, restlessness, and pain
G Gastro problems – IBS, nausea, diarrhea, constipation
A Aching everywhere – bones, joints, and muscles
They say you never really understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. So if you encounter someone with Fibromyalgia and you think they don’t look sick… Think back to the last time you had the flu and your body ached all over, or the last time you couldn’t sleep but still had to go to work the next day, or perhaps even when you forgot where you left your keys. And then imagine what it would be like to experience that some days, most days, or even every day.
Now you’re starting to get a glimpse of Fibromyalgia.
P.S. I don’t often like to take pictures of myself. These days I am usually tired and don’t feel “picture ready.” But since it’s also Mother’s Day today, I wanted to share some pictures of me with my mom and my kids. This is the face of Fibromyalgia.
Lately I have had a difficult time writing new blog posts. I am feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, had a flare-up of my fibromyalgia, and am just lacking the creative inspiration and desire to research and write a post. And that’s OK by me.
We all face times of uncertainty in our lives. We all need to take a step back at times and do less. For this month, I am giving you 10 ways to unplug and recharge. And the great thing is this list applies to those with or without a chronic illness, so I hope this gives you some ideas to find time for YOU.
I would prefer my “F” words include Fabulous, Fearless, and Fun.
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2000 and have said/thought many a curse word since that time. Fibromyalgia. Fibro. Fibro-flare. Flare. FMS. Fatigue. Fog. Frustration. Failure. All of these have become the other “F” words to me. I try to live by the power of positive thinking (hence, the name of my blog), but until you live a day in my shoes it may be hard to understand why even sometimes it is easier to smile and put on a happy face rather than truly answer the question of “How are you?” Because trust me, you don’t want to hear about how I am tired, hurt all over, didn’t sleep last night, and oftentimes feel like a failure because I can’t do the things I want to do.
“Doctors don’t know what causes fibromyalgia, but it most likely involves a variety of factors working together.”
Here are some ugly truths: Women and men experience pain differently. Doctors are less likely to treat women’s pain. Health issues that disproportionately affect women are not studied as much as those affecting men. It can take women multiple visits and sometimes years to diagnose their medical issues and chronic illnesses. And when painful conditions like Endometriosis and Fibromyalgia don’t have a simple test for diagnosing, those visits and months and years can prove both emotionally and physically draining when you’re already in pain and still having to fight for a diagnosis.
Chronic stress can cause extreme duress on the fibro body and your adrenal system.
Managing my fibromyalgia is a careful balancing act of self-care. This involves eating healthy, getting adequate sleep, working out, and taking time for me. Living with fibromyalgia means that normal, every day stressors can place an additional hardship on the fibro body. So when you are faced with an extended period of stress – bad flare or other health crisis, work deadlines, family emergencies, or simply just getting through the holidays – you can place an extreme amount of duress on your body and your adrenal system.
“Adrenaline is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, especially in conditions of stress, increasing rates of blood circulation, breathing, and carbohydrate metabolism and preparing muscles for exertion.”
You can feel this when your heart starts to race or your hands or body sweats. Adrenaline is also responsible for that fight-or-flight mechanism that can give people extraordinary strength in times of crisis. And an over-exposure to the stress hormones can tamper with your overall well-being.
On those days when your energy, or spoon supply, is limited, it takes incredible strength to persevere.
A few weeks back I found myself with no more spoons to give, and have been working on replenishing my health, energy, and soul. This is the reason I have been taking a step back lately from blogging, and trying to reprioritize some other things in my life. Our vacation was just the break and self-care I needed to break my pain and flare cycle. I am just now starting to feel human and like myself again.