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.

Acceptance = Strength

GO TIGERS!!!

     A few weeks ago it was our towns Homecoming week.  Our 7th grader is in the marching band for the first year (and most likely the last). We live in Northern Wisconsin and the weather had turned cold.  The high of the day was 43 degrees.  By the time the game had started the temperature was 32 with high winds making the temperature below zero with the wind chill.

I have never been a winter baby.  I hate the cold.  I have a harder time dealing with it now.

I have not attended a football game in 20+ years.  I dressed for warmth not fashion(which is hard for me to do). I layered with long johns, warm socks, winter coat, gloves, and even a hat. I didn’t realize part of game watching was to bring blankets.  You could tell those parents of the football players. They had blankets to sit on, wrap up in and lay across their legs. Then came the really good news ~ he benches are made of metal.

No matter how many layers I had on – when I sat down I was going to have one cold tush.

I tried very hard to watch the game.  My toes had frozen completely and a few of my fingers as well.  I thought it was going to take forever to get to half-time.

Once it arrived, I thought – Yes, it is almost over.  I suggested to my husband that we walk out of the bleachers and get by the fence where we would have a better view.  Cold, Sore and Stiff from sitting on the bleachers, I made my way down to the fence line.

My luck they had the high school band play first. Standing by the fence line, the wind whipping cold air.  My leg would not stop shaking.  It was uncontrollable and I could not put any weight on it.  The band kept playing…. and still no Middle Schoolers yet.  I got so bad that he said I needed to go to the car.  I needed to warm up.  I refused at first, this was probably going to be the first and last time that we would see her play in the marching band. As the minutes ticked away, I was getting worse.  I finally said I would go to the car.  He walked me back ( I would not have been able to walk back to car by myself).  He said that “you have to start realizing you can’t do everything now”, “some things you can’t do”, I kept telling him over and over again ~ “please, don’t let her know that I missed it”.. repeat, repeat.  Once we got back in the car, he ran back to see her play.  I cried and cried. Then called my Sister.  I told her what happened – she of course agreed with him then calmed me down so my daughter wouldn’t see me such a mess.

After the half time performance, they returned to the car.  My daughter, with an awful attitude because we had not let her stay for the remainder of the game.  She had definitely not dressed for the below zero weather.  My husband had told her that I was in pain and needed to go home.  At that point daughter who 80% of the time is my supporter turned into a lippy teenager.  “have to go home because YOUR in pain”.

The rest of the ride home, the two of them were silent.  I cried more uncontrollably.  Once we were home she was sent to her room.  We set in the car.  I told him I didn’t know if I was so upset because of the pain, the cold, her blunt comment, the realization that there will be things I won’t be able to do, that this is the first time I have missed something because of my health.

This is where I want to stop my feel and scream at the top of my lungs “IT IS JUST NOT FAIR”

I accept that I have Fibro and now 9 of it’s evil sidekicks.  I do my best to be positive and supportive of my fellow Fibromites.  I help others. I always have – It is me.

I follow a strict bedtime.  I watch my nutrition.  I see a Chiropractor, an acupuncturist, swim at a pool.  Do they help?  yes  Does it eliminate the pain? No

If someone were to ask me what is the worst thing about having Fibromyalgia and it’s awful sidekicks.

I would have to say that it is that I at times will have to accept the fact that there will be days that I will need to acknowledge that I have limitations.  I may need to have someone else be the Mom chauffeur,  and I may need days that I am the one that needs support.

Still today, she doesn’t know that I missed the Homecoming performance.  I know someday she will read this entry.  I hope she reads it and understands how much I love her, how much it hurt missing her play on the field and that if she takes anything from this blog – Is that I want her to always try to do her best, to be positive when faced with adversity, and to always know that no one is perfect and everyone has limitations. The true strength is knowing when to accept our limitations.

It  does not take much strength to do things, but it requires great strength to  decide on what to do.Elbert Hubbard