A balancing act & circuit overload

Life has always been a balancing act between responsibilities at home and work.  The months of November & December have always been exceptionally absolutely dreadful.

In addition to my workplace holding it’s physical and fiscal inventory I still have my to do’s at home, being a girl scout leader, mom & wife.  Then as if intense work hours wasn’t enough add the stress of Thanksgiving & Christmas (grocery shopping, decorating the house, Christmas cards, presents, family drama and for several years this included traveling with a baby and 2 dogs).

The two weeks before Christmas and up to New Year’s usually means 10+ hours daily of mentally draining work, this means very long stressful days.

I had all of these responsibilities long before my body decided to take on Fibro and it’s evil sidekicks.

Since Fibro decided to kick in full bore it has been so much more hard to get through those two months.  For starters I always would have all my Christmas shopping done before December 1st.  Now, even though I do all my shopping online I still don’t have my shopping done until days before we travel home.

The severe exhaustion, stress and anxiety will guarantee not only when I will have a severe pain flare up but that it will bring  heavy fog when it arrives.

Fibro Fog can affect word use & recall, short-term memory problems, directional disorientation, multitasking difficulties, confusion, trouble concentrating & Math/number difficulties.

The ideal condition for someone that is responsible for receiving, invoicing, accounts receivables, reports, and major multitasking.

There is only so much a healthy person’s brain can handle ~ consider the Fibromites brain that faces chronic pain, depression, fatigue, and stress contributing to our loss of clarity.

My Mom told me that we have to purge our “Computer” (Brain) so that we can fit new information.  It sure would be nice if it allowed us what memories to delete.

“An overloaded circuit is an electric circuit that is carrying more current than it is designed to handle, creating a danger of fire through overheating.

This often occurs when too many appliances are connected to a circuit at one time.”

Last week I dropped all my balls in the air and had a circuit overload.  It began to show in small ways.  I had gone to print our Christmas cards (spelled Christmas wrong).  I went to the grocery store to pick up things for work, arrived at work went into the building and realized that I left the groceries in my car. Nope, I had left the groceries at the grocery store.  I had received a text message from my neighbor.  He said that they must be extra special because they had received 2 Christmas cards.  Before I continue writing this – if you would usually get a card from us and did not ~ accept my apologies.

After one very long high mental day – I got in my car and cried non-stop for 20 minutes.  It was just too much.  I had fried my brain.

There is a very long list of things that I either did wrong, did twice or flat out forgot about doing it.  Christmas has passed and I just realized that I have to meet 3 people still for our Christmas celebrations and I have not finished their gifts or wrapped them – let alone schedule the get-togethers.

Looking back at it I know many things that I should/could have done to help me during the past few weeks.

1.  Take breaks. Even when there feels like there isn’t enough time – your body needs it. sleep, ribose supplements, exercise, routine, make lists.

2.  Follow a daily routine, be sure to take your meds on time.

3.  Pick the best time of day to accomplish complicated tasks.  Break down tasks into manageable tasks.

4.  Keep a reminder list and use post it notes.

5.  Avoid situations where you may become over stimulated by noise, and light. (use your sunlight)

6.  Learn how to control stress. (deep breathing)

7.  Again, take breaks;  when you are getting “foggy” take a time out, meditate/exercise – take time to regain some energy.

I know that doing the above things would have made getting through it a bit easier.  If I hadn’t been so foggy I might have remembered them.. LOL!

NOTE TO SELF:  Type the above reminders and place at desk.

Who is to say?

This isnt’ my typical blog.  I have had a very emotional day and need to just let the feelings come out through my finger tips.

Today,  I took my 19 year old cat to the vet to be “put down” – euthanized.

It isn’t the first time that I have had to take a family pet when “it was time”.  I wish I could say I have never had to make this decision.

Cassidy had always been my baby. We were married for 6 months and couldn’t take being in an apartment where we couldn’t have animals.  One week after getting our house we called every shelter around – no kittens.  We were determined or more like desperate to have kittens that I even started to contact pet stores.  I had always said that I would never purchase an animal from a pet store or what I thought was like a “puppy mill”.  But then again, I said we wanted pets.  We finally found a store that had kittens and off we went.  We had only lived in the area a year.  We really didn’t know our way around.  It was before we had cell phones or gps in our car.  The store was closing soon and we called them for directions from a pay phone.  We finally found the store and they had closed but they took pity on us and let us come in.

My husband has always been a orange cat lover.  Of course, there was an orange kitten that caught his eye.  I knew he was coming home with us.

In the corner was a small grey tabby tiger kitten being bullied by that orange kitten.

I have always been a sucker for anyone that needs to be taken care of ~ who needs a Mom & this kitten needed me.

I picked him up and he immediately started to nuzzle my hair and I was hooked ~ he was coming home.

and that made 2.

A week later ~ a co-worker of my husbands had told him about his litter of kittens ~ yep ~ you guessed it ~ and then there were 3.

Cassidy, Sundance & Kid Meow.

Almost 19 years have gone by ~ we have had 2 dogs, 6 cats, a horse, 2 hamsters, and numerous fish. Cassidy watched and accepted as we adopted each new animal.

Cassidy outlived them all.

Cassidy grew up my baby – always sleeping with me – snuggling my hair ~ hiding from most.  Even in the past year when he was stone deaf as soon as he saw me walk in the room, he would meow and then jump up on the foot stool waiting for me to sit down in my chair.

He had been going down hill the past 2 years ~ he no longer was the big massive Tom. He looked his age.  He had become an old man. Skinny, bony, stone deaf, loss of balance, difficulty with his bladder control, and then this past year he started to have kidney failure.  I prayed that one night when he went to sleep he would just not wake up.

Why couldn’t one of my animals pass away peacefully in their sleep without me having to make the life ending decision.

I kept fighting the decision.  I made an appointment a month ago and cancelled it.  I wasn’t ready to let go.

A week ago – I saw him walking across the living room, jumped up to the sofa and walked to the back of the couch to lie down.

He was having trouble lying down. I had been kidding myself.  I kept saying that when I saw that he was suffering I would take him.

It finally hit me.  He was walking and trying to get comfortable lying down.

He looked like he had Fibromyalgia.

I couldn’t kid myself any longer.  I knew how he felt.  I felt every ounce of pain that he had walking, loss of balance, trying to lie down, to  find a way that would give rest and not more pain.

I have had several conversations with others about taking him – there comments, “it was time”, “he is suffering” , “he is in pain”, “it is the right thing to do”.

Even that how “we treat animals better than humans by giving them a peaceful “out” of the pain”.

I don’t want to get into a religious debate as to whether suicide or “euthanizing” is a Sin or a humane way to end suffering.  I am just thinking through my fingers.   I don’t want to debate taking one’s life.  Everyone has the right to their own opinion.  I just want to wonder out loud.  Writing is my way of getting out my pain.

In the same respect I have a Fibromite friend that is suffering.  Her life is HELL.  She is in more pain than anyone should ever have to endure. Her body is failing her and She has given up.

She has even tried to end things, which has landed her in a special “hospital”.  Everyone wants to keep her from doing anything.  Why?  For her? For them?

I dont’ want to see her end her life and in the same breath – I don’t want her to live in this pain.

If we have a pet whom we love and there is nothing more we can do for the pain and suffering, we decide for them that it is “time” for them to die.  We are making that decision. Not some higher power or whatever you believe in.

What gives us the right to decide to end their life?

If we have a family member that has zero quality of life left, that is in pain and suffering ~ We continue to find ways to keep them living. If fact, it is against the law to do anything but make them live.

Why is that?  It is humane to “kill” our animals.  It is considered suicide, murder, a sin when considering a human.

Cassidy and I were in the vet office waiting for the doctor.  He just laid down on the table leaning up against me. Calm.  He has never been so relaxed.

Whether you believe it or not ~  It was almost like he was relieved.  It was humane, just a few seconds and my Cassidy was gone.

I am a Fighter and have many reasons in life to keep fighting.

However, when I am 90 years old and am tired fighting Fibro ~ it might be nice to be with my loved one ~ and fall asleep peacefully.

I am a Fibromyalgia Warrior – Living Life.