reading a book

This week at school the principal came up with a great idea. She had the staff bring in a book or magazine to swap so that everyone could have new reading material for Christmas break.  Pre-Fibro, I would have brought in a good mystery book however I am lucky if I have the energy to read an article in a  magazine or the very least the blog posts my friends write. I chose to bring in copies of my favorite magazine, Pain Pathways.
It is nearing Christmas and the theater is full of great movies. My husband asked me if I wanted to go see several of them in the past few weeks. I knew I wouldn’t be able to sit through the movie without experiencing a lot of pain. In fact, I have not done most of the things I need to do to prepare for Christmas. Instead, when I get home from work I change into my comfy clothes and fall asleep for up to a 3 hour nap.
The inability to have enough energy or mental clarity to read a simple book reminded me of a blog post I did in 2011. I reread the blog post. I was swimming 3-5 times a week. Now, my body is so fatigued that I haven’t been swimming in weeks and when I do it is once a week.
Here is the blog posted on May 4, 2011
During my Aqua gym class the other ladies ask…
                                “Read a good book lately?”   “Seen any movies?”
A non Fibromite (ha – learned that one today – I have a label – I am a Fibromite).
A non Fibromite parent  – who has a child under the age of 13 – maybe able to say – yes to the book – and possibly even a movie (once in a great while) – that is not a Disney made movie. You may find time to read – after the kids are in bed, all of the household chores for the evening are done or even while they keep themselves entertained. You have a better chance of catching a video after they are asleep – it is easy enough to follow a movie – while doing laundry, dishes etc.
It’s okay if you stay up late – the kids will watch cartoons the next morning and while you sleep. I used to be able on a Friday to work a full day, make dinner, do the household cleaning and after my Daughter was asleep stay awake long enough to watch a movie. It was easy – then I would get up by 7 and continue with the busy weekend – might even be so daring as to do another video on Saturday night.
Now – my required bedtime is 8:30 – during the week that is the same time as my Daughter – on the weekends – she gets to stay up longer than I do. If I don’t get my sleep – the cycle begins – less or no sleep = more pain,  more pain = less or no sleep. Any spare time I might have is used towards swimming and sleeping. If I want to see a movie – I have to see it in the Theater in the afternoon. I need to sit towards the back and near the aisle so that I can easily get up and go out to the hallway to move around.  My body won’t allow me to sit for an entire movie.
As for the question – “Read any good books lately?”
Ha… The only reading I am doing is research on Fibro and all other related illnesses, blogs and chat room on the same topic.  This is not just because I am interested in everyone’s experiences or possible treatments but I can not mentally stay focused any longer on a book that would take any amount of concentration. It is amazing how many things in my life has changed since the onset of Fibromyalgia.
Activities that many others do on a daily basis without so much as a second thought requires planning and consideration. How will this affect the rest of my day? Will I be able to do the rest of my scheduled activities?  Will I have time to exercise afterwards?
Fibro has given me a different perspective on life. It has against my will forced me to slow down, to exercise,  eat healthy, to think of myself ahead of others, and to stop saying yes just to avoid conflict.  Funny, how such a debilitating syndrome can cause such a positive lifestyle change.


That was Then…This is Now Life with Fibromyalgia

Alarm rings at 5 a.m. I jump out of bed to start making fresh blueberry muffins and the evening’s crock-pot dinner. Out the door by 6 a.m. for a full day (up to 10 hours) of work followed by whatever after school activity my kiddo had for the night.

The night ends making sure our daughter’s homework is done, bath & bed, leaving me a few hours to pick up the house, play on the computer and watch TV before going to sleep (roughly 10:30 p.m.)

Flash forward 8 years…

Alarm rings at 6 a.m. Slowly, I get out of bed to get my morning medicine. I lie back down in bed hitting snooze until 6:30 a.m. The next 30 minutes I get dressed and apply my makeup. Again, I return to bed until the last alarm goes off at 7:15 a.m. I grab my bag and ease my way down the stairs to head off to a 7 hour work day. After a short drive I am home, changed into my pajamas and laying down on the couch for a nap.

I can’t recall the last time I made blueberry muffins so a week ago I decided I would bake for my family. The blueberry mix packages sat on the kitchen counter for 8 days. I finally had enough energy to make them today. It isn’t as if it takes a lot of energy to open 2 packages, add milk, stir and bake. Unfortunately, that is still more than I can do nowadays.

Then … I would religiously decorate the house the first of each month for whatever holiday was that month.

Now … It happens when it happens. It is November 12th and although my Halloween decorations have been put away, my Thanksgiving decorations have been in a tote sitting at the bottom of my stairs for a week. All I need to do is ask to have it carried upstairs. I hate asking. After all these years, I continue to struggle with asking for assistance.

Then …  I planned ahead. At the beginning of each month I would plan out and go shopping for the entire month of meals. We would seldom run out of grocery items and when we did I did the shopping and the majority of the cooking.

Now … There is no plan. I simply do not have the energy to think or create meals. For the past 4 years I have relied on my husband to do the majority of all cooking. We run out of everything often. Thankfully, our daughter is old enough to drive and will stop and pick up groceries whenever we need them.

I have spent a lot of time looking back at what I used to do and what I am not able to do any longer. My comparison list between then and now could go on and on. Socrates wrote, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on the fighting the old, but on building the new.”

Yes, it is important to be realistic about what you can do but it is equally important to not limit yourself to what you have done in the past. Instead of continuing to look at the past I plan on looking toward the future. Push myself, just a little and give myself credit when credit is do.

After all. I am a Fibro Warrior ~ Living Life!