Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Should Have Been Suspicious

I should have been suspicious when I got swollen glands and a sore throat.  Instead, I optimistically called it a cold.  I should have noticed I was getting a little draggier everyday, but optimist I am, I ignored it, and kept doing what I wanted to do.  Why?  Because inside of me is the normal person wanting to get out:  at least, that is the way it feels.  I have felt steadily better since May.  Of course, I was hoping it would last;  and the longer I felt better, the more I was sure I had learned the magic formula to pacing myself.  So what changed?

All I can do is relate what I think changed without any scientific documentation.  For those of you out there that suffer with chronic illnesses that have or don't have overlapping symptoms with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue, I would love to hear from  you.  Eventually, I might do a survey, but not today.  I cannot deal with learning something new today.  Note:  knowing when to back away from taxing your brain is a good thing, because learning something new can suck that energy right out of you.  

For simplicity's sake, I am not going to give you any cutesy words here.  I am going to make a list of the things that led to my flare-up.  I have had this happen so many times, I cannot believe I didn't see it coming.  But that's the way it is sometimes, and I am thankful for the good, and for the reminder I have to measure out my energy.  And for those of you who have not read it, I want you to read The Spoon Theory.  It is such a good description of what we go through...

Things Are Looking a little barren in these woods,
but I will get through and there will be fruit again
on these fig trees.  I can do this, yes I can!  ~ D. B.
What Do I Think Brings on a Flare-up?

  • Using too much energy -- not leaving at least 1 spoon for emergencies
  • Getting out more can be hard on a weakened immune system
  • Weather changes -- for me, summer to fall can be a trigger
  • Not getting enough sleep -- kind of a difficult one since fibromyalgia affects my sleep
  • Stress -- both good and bad stress 
  • Changes in routine -- that's why it is important to take baby steps
  • The Holidays
  • Getting too busy to care for yourself

What Preceded My Flare-up, Signs I Was Missing...

  • I was not taking enough breaks from writing
  • Went back to choir practice
  • Not taking naps, forcing myself to stay awake
  • Forgetting my medicine and supplements  
  • Not filling my weekly supply of medicine and supplements
  • Not taking time for rinsing out my sinuses with Neil-Med
  • Too tired to fix supper, grabbing a hamburger more
  • Fixing supper out of stubborn self-pride because I'm the woman of the house  (Application for men:  anything your ego whispers in your ear that you will not let someone else do, because you are The Man of the house, The Boss, Too cool to say no, Or too stubborn to say yes to offered help)  This is not a woman's assessment of men, because we have egos too.
  • The laundry started piling up, because I was too tired to take care of it
  • I started dreading doing any cleaning up around the house
  • More moments of brain-fog
  • More lapses in memory
  • I know there must be more, but I am too fatigued to think about any more signs.

Maybe, you can think of some more.  Let me know.  We need to help each other.  And it would be great to come up with helpful solutions too.  I refuse to let this get me to the point of doing nothing:  that is too depressing.  I am going to fix myself a bowl of marbles or spoons (not sure how many that is for this flare-up), and I intend to live.  Also, I am not going to feel sorry for myself:  this is what it is;  and it has happened before.  And a biggie for me is that I am not going to worry what other people think when I say no (at least, I'm going to try not to).  I am not going to worry that someone might think I am a lousy minister's wife or a lazy person.  My husband and I know I am not a lazy person, that I am a sick person, even if I do look well on the outside.  I am the one responsible for my body, and I have to walk in my shoes, regardless of what someone else thinks.

P.S.  I forgot to mention low-thyroid in my list of illnesses yesterday.  And I have been remembering that medicine every morning.  Oh, how many of you get tired of taking meds?  Me too.  Please do me a favor:  if anyone sees a glaring spelling or a grammatical error that is not purposeful, or something that absolutely doesn't make sense, let me know -- I am too tired to obsess over this.
Love you guys and still praying for you,


  1. Hi there Deborah. This article makes total sense to me. I find that I try to behave as I was previously but when I carry on like that for too long, it hits me with a bang.

    thanks for your article. B

  2. Your welcome. Wouldn't it be great if we could just think it away? Ha! Even though I wouldn't wish this disease on my worst enemy, it still is good to know one is not alone. I used to waste so much emotion on asking why I was not getting better? Or why do I feel sick or depressed again? Now, I know that I have to rest and be gentle with myself.

  3. Naps! I need one, but there's too much to do... If I don't get one, those things won't get done. Putting off things I don't want to do makes it harder to finally do them, but eventually I will when I feel better. Low pressure makes me feel worse, and holidays I can't do anymore make me depressed. That's why my husband and I picked our wedding anniversary to celebrate us; birthdays, Christmas and anniversary all on one day is less stressful. And if we don't feel good that day, we can wait til we're ready. Everyone who knows us understands that we don't plan far in advance, since our health varies day-to-day. Having a spouse that understands is so key in our struggles.

    1. Having a spouse that understands is a huge blessing. My spouse is very supportive, and I am so thankful for that.

      I have a question about "low pressure." Are you talking about barometric pressure? That is one thing I forgot to mention. When a storm is coming and that barometer starts dropping, the aches and pains start rising in me. I have talked to other people that happens to.


It's always lovely hearing from you. xoxo, Deborah