Jumping hurdles with Fibro and ME
It’s been a steep learning curve over the past few months. My Fibromyalgia and ME have tried to say hello quite a few times, but like a little Jack Russel after a bone, I have not let them beat me. Regardless, I’ve learnt so much about myself, and about my chronic illness. Also life lessons, which I’ll go into at a later date – it’s pretty scandalous!
Learning to live with a chronic illness is a bitch! I think you have to come at it from a view point that essentially life is never fair. Bad things happen to good people all the damn time. Having a chronic illness just means learning to know how to do things differently. Slower, in my case. I’ve never been very good with slow though.
I was reading this post by my friend Jen earlier this month, and realised that I have chronic illness related guilt. As I’ve mentioned previously my illness appeared overnight. I was fit, active, healthy, climbing Snowdon and feeling invincible!
Tackling Fibromyalgia head on
Fibro means constant pain. But pain is relative. It’s different for everyone and very dependent on your frame of mind and state of mind. If you feel low, then your pain is worse. I put up with shooting pains in my hands and feet, other days I have numbness. Some days I wake up with flu, but it’s not really flu. The first question I ask myself is always, am I going to let this beat me? The answer is always no.
Having elevated stress from work the last month has not helped. But I go through my morning routine. My mantra is always today is going to be amazing. It’s going to have to be amazing because my kids need me to be their mum. I think half my guilt stemmed from not being the mum I was for them. But the truth of this is, they still have an awesome mum.
So three weeks ago I took them to Chester zoo. I woke up with flu. Full blown flu. Every joint in my body ached. So I asked myself, is this going to stop me? No way. We had a lovely day, even though I ended up crashed out on the sofa that night. It was worth it.
The half term week, I tried my best to keep up. Out almost every day and I ended up having to take the final Sunday of the week completely off. I couldn’t move, and was bed bound for a whole day. Jerk move. It’s so vitally important that you lower your hurdles ever so slightly. I over stretched, and ended up saying a big old hello to chronic fatigue and pain. Oh joys!
Knowing your boundaries, and your body are paramount. It’s not about being tired, it’s about being exhausted. You can’t burn all your candles and expect to have a light left. Impossible. Pacing yourself is so, so important!
Another thing I’ll take with me from this week is that my recovery time isn’t as quick as it was. This can mean many things (non-age related), perhaps I need to look again at diet, and exercise, and of course weight, as this is one area I struggle. I’ve been reading this book, The Chimp Paradox by Prof Steve Peters, and it’s helped me understand so much more about the way that I personally act and react to life. If you haven’t read it yet give it a go, it’s incredibly insightful.
Jumping over hurdles
No matter what stress or worry you have, the sun will still come up tomorrow regardless of your worry. So just don’t. Take each day as it comes, address your worry and pain and compartmentalise it. Be mindful that you will have lower limits than previously, but concentrate on what you can do. Even if it’s just getting up and getting dressed. That’s an achievement in itself some days.
I’ve found it to be rather less than jumping hurdles, but working out a better way to handle them as they appear. So far, so good but living and learning as each day passes!
What about you? Hope you’ve all been well and watch out for my comments soon. I’ve missed my blogging community!