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.

Sick child = Tired Mom

Anyone who is a parent has lived through the sleepless nights of a sick child.  You may go to sleep but there is some special sensor that goes on when from the other room comes the soft cry “mom”.

The week after Thanksgiving weekend our 12 year old daughter came down with a virus.

My husband works third shift so we play tag-team parenting when she is home now that she is older.  He can sleep during the day and if she needs him she will wake him up. He always has a chance to catch up on his sleep once I get home before he goes to work.

My day however begins at 6 a.m. and ends before 9 p.m. ~ if I am lucky.

Her virus included sore throat, uncontrollable cough, high temp, chills and nausea.  She was up off and on all night long for three nights in a row.  Mom sense kicked in and I slept very light; she would either say “mom” or start to come out of her room and I was awake.  It would be time for the next round of medication, cough drops, cool wash cloth for her forehead and laying down with her till she was almost out.  That was a sure sign my pre-teen was sick.  She wanted Mom to stay with her.

I kept thinking this could be one of the last times that she really needs me and I should be completely there for her not wishing how much I was in bed sleeping.

This is where Fibro guilt and Fibro reality sinks in ~ again.

I live every day trying not to let Fibro ruin my parenting.  I still feel so bad about what I was thinking those three nights.  Every time I woke up with her she would apologize. ”I’m sorry mom.. you need sleep”, ”that’s OK hun”, “I love you” and I would remind her “that is what Mommies do for their kids”.  Even as I said it ~ I was thinking ~ I just want to be in bed, I am so tired.

I began to dread the calls from her.  I would sit with her just praying she would be able to sleep.  Hands cupping my face over my eyes. Headache pounding.

I love my daughter more than anything in the world.  I really dislike the fact that she is growing up so fast and doesn’t need me as much any more.

However ~ Reality is my body needs routine.  It is the rare Fibromite that figures out how to sleep thru the night.  I am one of the Lucky ones.  I found the “magic” combination of prescribed meds, sleep hygiene, supplements and over the counter sleep aids to help me sleep if I am lucky every night.  However, even when sleeping thru the night (as much as 9 hours) I am never rested.

By the end of the fourth day; with the exception of the cough she was back to her normal self.

Me?  ~ I came home from work early that day – just to end up lying on the couch.   Completly toast.  I was having problems staying awake.  Yawning all day long at work.  Fog had taken over and concentration was impossible.  The wonderful trigger points were turning into very large balls under my skin. Pain everywhere.

She was a terrible sleeper until she was the age of two.  I never had any sleep.  I wonder how in the heck I would have ever survived had the Fibro taken over my body when she was a baby.

How do mom’s or dad of young children that have Fibro manage?

I think that I am learning lessons every day in my life from others and from myself thanks to Fibro.

What would my lesson be this time?

I am a very busy full time working wife and mom that is barely managing to get through anything in my life.  My to do’s at my job are piling up.  I struggle to get my housework, grocery shopping, girl scouts, support pages, etc. completed.  Guilt always surrounds my thoughts.

So?  My lesson?

I will cherish every sick night I can comfort my daughter.

That no matter how much is or is not getting done or how I feel I am doing my very best.

The reward; Spending time with my daughter.   I have seen how she is with myself and others when they are sick ~ She is a very caring person.  I hope she sees a Mom that tries to do her best at everything without giving up and a Mom that isn’t perfect, that is sick and sometimes has to learn her limits.

I am a Fibro Warrior ~ Living Life