Tag Archives: Arthritis

What it is like

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Social media can truly be a miracle sometimes. When asked a question you have time to think without your facial expression giving it away or making it awkward. It is a small thing but one I find very helpful. Recently I was talking with someone who had just gotten diagnosed with a chronic pain illness. It would be a matter of constantly managing it. She asked me, “What is it like? How do you do it? I just can’t imagine ever being okay with this. It is so distracting and I absolutely hate it.”  I agreed. I still feel all of that. It hasn’t gone away, more like it is just simmering.
Simmering, yeah that is a good description. Let’s go with that. It is a lot like cooking a meal that will never ever be done but you know it will be worth it.  It is a labor intensive meal like Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. It is like you have four pots on the stove and something in the oven.
One pot is emotional/mental health. One pot is physical health. One pot is spiritual. One pot is work and in the oven is the family. Just like in cooking you have to keep adding ingredients and it can simmer on its own for a bit but it needs a stir now and then. Every so often, and often when you feel you have it the most under control, all the pots start boiling over. Sometimes some smoke even starts coming from the oven.  Normally though the boiling over happens one at a time and you can handle it and move on. You take a taste every once in a while to check on it as a means to see how it is coming along. Sometimes tasting can tell you if there is a problem. Sometimes it tastes good but really something has started to go bad you just can’t taste it yet.
Then there is the other problem. Suddenly an ingredient is no longer working. It is no longer bonding with everything in the pot to make it one solid thing. It could be that self-care has fallen off your radar. It could be that you cut back on exercise. It could be that you thought it was self-care by sleeping in on Sunday, but really you hadn’t done anything else for spiritual health so it really wasn’t self-care. It could be that you cut back on exercise–physical health–for good reason, yet it negatively affected another part of physical health, vitamin D.  Sometimes you find an ingredient you thought would work well actually doesn’t and you have to take it back out of the pot.  Sometimes while you are disposing of that ingredient another pot starts to boil over. Don’t forget you changed the dynamics of that one pot you took the ingredient out of so you will need to adjust the temperature!
Yes, but that is essentially life isn’t it? You have to add the chronic pain as well. You are right about that, we are handling that as well. Hopefully each of the pots and the oven are helping that. Chronic pain though, that is the tricky element. That is the part that makes the ingredients suddenly stop working so well. That is the part that says, “that worked for a while, but now, not so much.”
On the really good days the chronic pain is like the background noise of the dishwasher going. You hear it, you know it’s going on. You just try not to pay too much attention to it until it dings. When it dings that is when you find out that suddenly the soap you were using didn’t work or something got gummed up in the hose and the rinse cycle didn’t go off. Sometimes there is not even running water to wash the dishes by hand while all the other stuff is happening. Chronic pain does that. You find something and your brain says, “hey, thanks this is really working,” so it starts focusing on something else more pressing.
So essential pain management just becomes part of your routine. I can’t tell you when it happens, just that it does. I can tell you that I am never okay with it. Chronic pain just adds to depression and anxiety because you are constantly longing for what you cannot have. Things you used to do are no longer an option. It took quite a bit of looking around trying to figure out what I wanted to do. It took even longer for me to realize that what I want to do will always be in flux. Some days I am overwhelmed that my health issues are only going to get worse as I age  because they are degenerative. Degeneration is already an issue as you get older. It is just sped up in my case.
Some days though, I don’t care. I am enjoying the moment for all that it is. Those are the days that make all the above worth it. They balance out all the bad days where all the pots are boiling over there is smoke coming from the oven and the dishwasher just plain won’t work.
It takes a lot of self-analysis to make those good days happen. In the beginning, I fought that. Don’t look too closely. Don’t fix what isn’t broken. If it is hanging on by a thread and still working, it isn’t broken. There comes a time though that it just doesn’t work any more. Nothing about it works and self-analysis is forced on you. You have to sit down and look at it. You have to acknowledge the problem.
Slowly you realize that sometimes you could be a bit more proactive. For a time that is all it is. A thought. You don’t act on it. Then one day you do something proactive and you see it pan out that it fixed a problem you didn’t even realize was coming. I am not saying that before you know it you are doing this all the time. I am not. I know I am not. I know there is always room for improvement.
At the end of the day, that is what I tell myself. I think about the things I handled proactively and the things I didn’t respond to that I should have. Tomorrow. Tomorrow I tell myself, we will try again. We are not going to try harder because we are already trying our hardest. We will just simply try again. I can tell you that if you keep telling yourself this each night you will believe it. I can’t tell you how long that will take. It could take months. It’s harsh to think that, Months! I can’t take months! I need a fix now! So take a deep breath and remind yourself that slow and steady cooks the meal.

 

 

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Clawing my way back up;Ten things of Thankful #10thankful

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I don’t even know where to start. I haven’t written all week not because I didn’t have anything to say or to get out. I did. I just couldn’t make any of  it make sense. It wasn’t even that I couldn’t focus long enough to put it in order, it just plain didn’t make sense. It all seemed so pointless. The sneaky thing about battling depression is it starts rising so quietly some times. I was taking my meds, I was taking time for self care. I was doing the right things. It was rising though and I didn’t see it. That is the other tricky part about depression. It is not always about being sad. I still don’t even know how to describe it, but probably best would be a total lack of motivation. A general feeling of not wanting to do anything at all. It didn’t help that it had started before I went off melatonin for a week. I do this so that I don’t build up a tolerance. I know its going to be a crappy week of sleep but it does honestly help. Add on top of that a building infection, still unsure if it was teeth or sinus. Once I realized that it was all kind of attacking at once, I started attacking back. That is the thing though, you have to realize it is rising. I couldn’t organize my thoughts but my thoughts were enough to make me realize what was going on. I can only be THANKFUL for Cognitive Behavior Therapy that I have done in the past that helped me realize what was going on. The frustration of my lack of motivation is what spurred me to really stop and do some CBT. I know others may be frustrated with my lack of desire to do anything but it pales in comparrison to the frustration I have for myself. I am working on that. I am a work in progress.

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First, I tackled the infection. I juiced some fresh turmeric, garlic, ginger, lemon, basil and cucumber and red onion. Just imagine swallowing fire and brimstone and you won’t be far off. It was painful to get 2.5 oz of it down three times a day but I did it. I started feeling the difference. The fatigue was lifting. The body aches subsiding back to their normal dull roar. I prefer to do things this way. It doesn’t interrupt my birth control like an antibiotic can and honestly I think it works a lot faster. Plus I don’t have to re-battle my candida issue.  THANKFUL for all I have learned about juicing and its benefits.

After eight days of no melatonin and one day of no benedryl either, I started having dreams I was in a boat. The boat was great, I was enjoying being out on the water. Then suddenly the boat was sinking. I could never find a hole. I could never find a reason. I found myself in this dream over and over. I would inspect the boat carefully, still it would sink. I even got down to a Johnny boat where I could inspect it out of the water. It still sank. I woke so congested that I think some of that sinking was signifying that I couldn’t breathe , not just the depression. Last night I took both and slept so so so so very good. Thankful!

Thankful that I had two interviews this week and several more respsonse to my applications. It seems most people have their summer nanny and are now looking for mid to late august. Not ideal but I will take it.

THankful I have friends who can and do help watch my daughter so that I can go on these interviews and even take some time for myself afterwards.

Thankful that Harp camp starts next week. We have definetely reached the part of the summer where we are both sick of each other, the kid and me.

Thankful for instagram. Yes I know it seems trite but it is true. I truly enjoy the photos and especially cherrish the #bereal ones. The ones that let me know that I am not the only one battling theses issues. I am not the only mother whith a kid who thinks she ruins everything one second and thinks she is the best mom ever the next. Lately I have also found some very helpful and inspirational quotes as well.

Thankful for my husband. He works tirelessly for our family and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that. Not only does it allow me to be here for our daughter who won’t always need me quite so much but it has also allowed me to work on my own health and recover from the damage medicating to work did to my body.

Thankful for my readers. I didn’t write this week. I honestly didn’t think anyone would notice. I so appreciate the people who took the time to email me or message me and ask if they missed a post.  Just know that I am completely dedicated to Ten Things of Thankful so even if I hit another rough patch, I will always do a Ten Things of Thankful post. even if it is just to post one thing and use the SGV (seven guard virgins)dance to get out of the others or the SBOR(secret book of rules).

Some funny title goes here

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I had this whole post planned out in my head. I planned to write it on Sunday. Fibromyalgia and arthritis just laughed and laughed and laughed and said “No”. So the post that I have in my head will stay there a bit longer.

Here is this instead, how to shut Fibromyalgia and Arthritis up in three oz. It is not necessarily tasty.Think of it as taking a shot of alcohol. Some really nasty alcohol but the idea remains the same.

What you will need: A juicer

1 lemon- use 1/4

some ginger root – 1/4 inch

four to five pieces of Turmeric root

About an inch slice of cucumber

About two inches of celery(not pictured because I added it last minute)

three cloves of garlic

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With in twenty minutes my pain levels were noticeably less. I don’t think an hour ago I could have even typed this much.

update on product review of ultracur

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I have a habit that when I find something that works, I am not always picky on the brand. This one I am. I can honestly say it works better than anything I have tried before.

Nature’s Made and Sundown being my normal go to brands. I ran out of Ultracur and I had some sundown on back up. My daughter actually takes it to boost her immune system in the winter. It wasn’t like from one dose to the next I noticed the difference. It was more once I reached the 24 hour mark without Ultracur. I started noticing aches, pains that had quieted. Could I have really pin pointed when they quieted. Probably not. It was like. oh hey, that was gone. Don’t worry there were other areas that were yelling. When it kicks in, it tends to be just as subtle. I know for me when I am not functioning my brain is constantly checking my body. NOW? Can we go do something now? Can we at least sit up? Can we stand? Once I am up and moving I tend to think less about my pain issues.

My routine has become I get up and take two. About thirty minutes later, my morning stiffness is noticeably less. I should note I also use Ginger,either in juiced form or in my Chai. Often two to three times a week I take a four mile walk. When I return from my walk. Two capsules and ginger. Most of the time thirty minutes later I can function again. Sometimes if I have really pushed myself it takes an hour.

At this point a little over a month after starting it, I have completely stopped taking aspirin. I only take Tylenol at night to help me sleep. For whatever reason Tylenol knocks me out. It is worth mentioning there is some minor risk taking aspirin and curcumin together. I never took them at the same time it was either one or the other. Until I tried this one, I had not found anything that would work at bedtime where I could stop using so much aspirin to help the muscle pain and the Tylenol to take the edge off the joint pain.

There have been some nights I have begun to question if I even need to take Ultracur at bedtime. I have skipped it several times and surprisingly had decent sleep.

If you missed the original product review you can read it here.

Please still contact Casey if you are interested. We continue to work together.

Wait,What week are we on? TTOT 77

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Um. It some how got to be Wednesday before I even thought of starting this post. Oh well.

I didn’t even publish anything Wednesday either. Maybe Friday I will get my Starbucks time and really crank some stuff out. I do have a few people waiting on stuff.

This was the first week of working part time as Squish’s Nanny. For such a little guy and for as much as I came over to adjust. He is kicking my butt. Its a good thing he is so gosh darn cute.

Monday was not quite as chaotic as I expected.  Weekly lunch date with friend was super timely. We also splurged and had chocolate cake. Sometimes Mondays need a little pick me up. This thing is super decadent and we split it!

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Tuesday brought the first day of working. I am super thankful to have a job to go to, even a part time job, even if it is for a friend. We got a great walk in. We kept our pace pretty close to what it is when I am not carrying a baby. We even went .7 miles further than we normally do. It really was a fantastic walk. I managed to have enough energy to make dinner and get the kid to bed. Of course doing so much more my pain levels were much higher. It made it both harder and better for sleep. When I did finally get to sleep, I slept good.

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Wednesday as much as I really did not want to, I got up and got going. We even went on a walk. I was more interested in just moving and not pace. Never know what you will see on the inter-coastal. It was so interesting to see a coast guard boat. I looked it up and learned this is a bouy tender.  I watched them repairing one of the buoys but didn’t know there was a specific boat for it or that it was also a specific job. Grateful that I can learn something new everyday.

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The good news is we both survived the walk. I hate how walking both helps and doesn’t. Once I was warmed up the walk was fine. Afterwards the recovery was a bit rough. Squish actually cooperated and took a two hour nap. I took some ultracur and relaxed. Definitely pushing my limits but you know, I am not giving up.

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Then there was this sunset Thursday night.

Friday I took an impromptu hike because I saw the bald eagles that are nesting flying over, so I parked.  Even though the walks I take are outside, there is just something restoring about hiking in the woods.  I can’t even tell you how renewed I felt after. It is like a part of me is off and I didn’t even know it until it was back. Taking time to notice the small things, the way the light falls in the woods. It is just magical. I can not wait until the winter solstice ritual celebration!

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Trust me that middle picture is a bald eagle.  I must have been wearing Eagle Repellent because as soon as I parked they disappeared. Anyways afterwards I had a second shot of ginger. The first one happened before leaving the house Friday morning because muscles refused to work.  Ginger and Ultracur are the only reasons I survived this week.

There must be Ten things in there. I didn’t count. I don’t feel like going back and counting. It was a good week even if it was busy and my body told me how much it hates me. There must be something in the BoSR/SBOR (secret book of rules)about this. I am sure I read it. I am thinking I am probably the only one who has read to rule 729, that was where it was.  Rule 729 subsection b2 line three.

Happiness/contentment/rage/thankful/happiness :TTOT 71

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”Ten

Saturday

1. Pridefest, we helped our church run the booth there. It was so rewarding and my daughter had a great time. We had a great discussion on the way to the festival. Although the whole conversation about people should be able to marry who they love, regardless of gender, went a way I didn’t expect.
“So I can marry Joey Kenzie and Hayden?”

“What about a parent marrying their kid.”

Yeah wasn’t really ready to talk about THAT!

However, we did have a good talk and she really enjoyed herself as well.

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Sunday

2. We had a great time at my friends birthday party. Even though we were the only ones able to make it. The kid had fun playing with Princess P. We roasted Marshmellows over the fire and had pizza. It was simple and very enjoyable.

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Monday

3. New feast place, vegetarian organic and reasonably priced for a friend of mine and I to go to on our weekly lunch date. It will do much to keep us on track eating healthy.

Plus I just have to add: I bought the rainbow t the farmers market. This lasted us four days. Well , we do still have a few eggs left.  And I think a kiwi.  Oh wait. I forgot about the broccoli but that is for lunch today so gone in Five days.

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Tuesday

4. Rainbow juice in the morning and saved the pulp for a delicious dinner as well. If that is not multipurpose I don’t know what is.  The rainbow juice did not layer like the website said.. Spinach kale cucumber celery Apple pineapple carrots beets purple sweet potato  ginger and lemon. It was however very delicious!  Then for dinner I took the kale and spinach pulp that I had put aside and mixed it in with brown rice and Pearl Barley. Then took the beet and sweet potato pulp added olive oil and salt.  Baked chicken in lemon juice.

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5. I could say a comment by a family member rubbed me wrong. I could focus on that. That however would not be productive. Instead I am focusing on the fact that I banged out a new blog post and it was very very very well received.  I know a lot of people follow my blog and facebook page. Internet friends are real and some of the comments were just the balm my soul needed.  Read my rant here. 

Wednesday

What happened Wednesday? I am actually not sure. It is totally besides the point that I am writing this on Thursday and I am honestly having trouble recalling the past twenty four hours. Lets look at the pictures in my phone…….

6.  Ah yes. I took a walk babywearing my friends eight week old and managed to do three miles and only a few minutes behind what I normally do. Carrying  twelve to fourteen pound baby easily ups those calories by 100.

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Thursday
7. Grateful for a friend who pulled me out of my funk after my four mile walk. I was ready for it. The rest of my day I had planned out, didn’t go that way. Sometimes my ocd/anxiety really gets the best of me.

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This was me right before we went for my walk. I had to drop off my daughter at school first. Rocking the eighties workout look. Just needed leg warmers and a headband. I also weighed in on Thursday and lost another pound. Was finishing my juice on the way to meet my walking partner.

8. Grateful for friends who understand my need to help whenever I can, and take care of my kid. Went with  my other friend to Tampa to take her Eight week old to the doctor for a follow up from lip and tongue tie. I have lived in Florida all my life but these scenes never get old.

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Friday.

9. A beautifully perfect morning not even seventy degrees with a nice breeze for a walk with friends.

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Although my pedometer did not work due to lack of signal, I am sure this counts as todays exercise. Yes we climbed the stairs to the top. 76.1 feet.

10. We got an unexpected payment from Workmen’s comp from hubby’s thumb injury in July.

okay well.. Before I got the mail and saw the check I was going to list my corn intolerant problem as a thankful for weird reasons people with gastrointestinal issues will really understand. I couldn’t bring myself to delete it. So think of it as a bonus.

 We ran to the store this morning. I got some juice. The brand I normally get was not on sale. I grabbed the one for sale. Luckily I had only drank two oz or there abouts before realizing it had 91 kernels of corn in it. Corn intolerant.  It might be an odd thing to be thankful for. However, it has cleaned out my intestinal tract.  You never realize how much those suckers can hold until they are letting loose. HOWEVER, I don’t feel nearly as bloated anymore. Also grateful I can just rest and relax and recover from that.

Summer break week one(June 1 to 7th) -preview

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So this is technically the first week of summer break. June first through June seventh. I will post on June eighth what actually happened. If you follow me already , you know there will be lots of pictures. This may seem like a trivial thing but when you have chronic illnesses that deter you from functioning , a plan goes a long way. This is just what is PLANNED. We all know how arthritis and Fibro like to mess with plans. I will report back on how they interfered as well. I hope this can and does inspire other mothers , fathers, care takers who have chronic illness to enjoy the summer without feeling guilty and without too many flares. There will be plenty of time for the kid to have free time.  She does however thrive better if she has some structure. She has been doing well on her reading and I plan on challenging her to read an hour at least three times a week if not more. She is currently reading thirty minutes so this will be an increase.  We are also planning on reading at different places. I am hoping this will help her filter a little better and increase her focus.

This first week starts off slow. Monday is a half day of school. Technically they have school but they are watching movies and playing all day. There are also not a lot of kids planning on going. Since I have to clean in the morning she is going for the morning.

Monday: Drop kid off at school at eight thirty. Go to cleaning job. Go to Farmers market.Pick up kid after lunch. Come home. read outside with the dogs for an hour.

Tuesday : Sleep in. Read for an hour. Clean the house day. including the kid’s room

Wednesday: Take kid on four mile walk round trip. Take her scooter so she doesn’t complain too much. let her cool off in the lake. pack a snack. come home. Read for an hour.

Thursday: Nine am Math tutoring lesson.  Pack up and go to the beach. Set alarm for every seventy minutes to reapply sunscreen.Read for an hour at the beach.  Picnic lunch at the beach. Come home. Hopefully not too sunburned.

Friday we have a movie at the library. They are watching Planes. Then we will probably have a picnic lunch. We will then drive about twenty minutes south and arrive at another library for a two pm Archaeology class. This is the description of the class:

Description:
 Look under a microscope with USF Archaeologist Rebecca and discover artifacts from the past you never knew existed. See how these scientists solve historical mysteries. Ages 6-13.
Saturday: Dragonfly nature walk….a guided walk in a park we visit often.
I can’t wait to see if it lives up to the description! I am also hoping to be able to sit in. I adore this kind of science!
Well that is the first week. We will see what all gets done!

Nature’s Gift

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Today I turned a year older. I didn’t really want presents. I have no room for anything and really don’t need anything. Instead I wanted to go on a hike at a new place with friends. I had seen pictures of a place that was a bit of a drive but still near by that intrigued me. Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve. I just can’t even begin to tell you how perfect it was.

There are quotes on plaques at certain spots along this boardwalked path. Between the sighs and sounds of the preserve, and the quotes. Nature was talking to me. Letting me know that I am on the right path and to keep it up. It was nourishing in a way I didn’t even realize I needed.

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“You learn that if you sit down in the woods and wait something happens” Henry David Thoreau.

The soft sunlight, the smell of cypress and the chatter of birds in the trees. It was all just so perfect.

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“Falling in love with the Earth is one of lives great adventures. ” Steve Van Matre

Its true. It was like falling in love with the Earth all over again. Every step. Every new discovery. Every new enjoyment from the kids.It doesn’t matter that we have lizards and squirrels. These were here now! We saw them! It was right there! Watching their delight was truly a gift. Using our imaginations and just taking our time walking. We even saw a tree looking at us!

 

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It was truly an enjoyable walk. It was exactly what I wanted. It was gorgeous weather. The humidity and barometric pressure were steady, important tidbits when dealing with arthritis.  We lost track of time watching the turtle weave around the pond. We delighted in watching them eat the algae.  It was a secure enough trail that we felt confident enough to let the kids wander ahead of us.  Letting them explore and make their own discoveries.

 

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Its camouflaged  very well but I promise you there is an alligator in this picture. We watched him rather lazily swimming around for a bit.

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I can’t even imagine what it was like here even just fifty years ago. These trees are relatively small for cypress. There were some bigger ones. I just love the cypress knees sticking up.

 

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I think one of my favorite things was how many Yellow crown night heron’s we saw. It was like once we saw one we kept seeing them. We even got to watch one eating a fish.

 

It was the perfect escape and the perfect way to turn a year older.

 

We followed this with a visit to Tropical Smoothie Cafe. The kids were super excited for smoothies.  It was all very delicious and the food came fast enough that the kids didn’t get too delirious and were so well behaved. Enough so that they even got cookies.

 

Friday verbal diarrhea

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I had it in my mind I was going to get a really good walk in. I had it set in my mind a four miles walk. There was somewhat of a change of plans with our friends. Instead of walking we were going to take a bike ride to the park with the kids. Four kids, two adults. The weather cooperated and we took the kids for a bike ride. The kids rode their bikes. I walked behind to bring up the rear. The first three quarters of a mile were really good. It was a pretty good pace to keep up with.

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Then we got to the park. There was some resting then we walked some more. Mostly it was aimless wandering. We ended up at the fitness trail. When we were done with the trail our friend was there was the van. The kids were done. There was no riding back or even walking back for them. All told it was three miles.  The only problem I had with it was it was not at a consistent pace.  It was good enough for now.

We went back to their house and had lunch. I ran to Target to get Easter Basket stuff and the kid watched a movie with the other girls.

We came back to the house and both the kid and I crashed for two hours. We mainly just laid down and watched tv. We both needed the down time. 

So then it was off to pick up my husband from work. It was of course now raining. We had some errands to run but while my husband did his errands the kid and I walked around Ross. Then we swung by McDonalds for dinner for the husband, I got a carmel Frappe. We dropped him off. There was still an hour and half before I could take the kid to movie night at Tae Kwon Do. It was pointless to go all the way across town back to the house only to come back to where we were for movie night. We wandered around Books A Million. Really what could be more perfect to kill an hour and half on a rainy day? Nothing that’s what.

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Finally it was time. I could drop her off. They would feed her dinner and a movie, I could pick her up and then it would be bedtime. So Now I had three hours on my hands with no husband and no kid. What to do what to do. Almost on auto pilot I was driving home. I didn’t really want to go home though. Not really. I had pent up anxiety left to walk out. I knew I did. I decided I was going to get that walk in after all. I started the runkeeper app and my audible book. I was just going to walk until I was ready to turn around. Not look at how far I have gone. Yeah right. I don’t even know who this competitive person is anymore. Now a good walk is at least two miles. If you have been following me since the beginning you know this has been a slow and steady process. One that has taken me almost a year and half to get to where I am in walking. Half a mile in and I was just hitting my stride. I couldn’t turn around now. I made it to 1.15 miles. Turned around and started back. I was making excellent time. I have now programmed the runkeeper app that my target range is 1 mile in twenty minutes. There is a glitch in the system and before I have even been walking twenty minutes it starts telling me I am behind my Target pace. It irritates me but I have noticed I keep a better pace so for the time being it is staying that way.  

Stopped at the little bridge to tie my shoe…almost screamed.

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Then realized he was just a baby still. 

Afterwards. I am almost done with my audible book.I got in a two and half mile walk. I felt satisfied and there was no pent up anxiety left. Of course my joints in my hips knees ankles even my feet joints are all incredibly pissed off with me. Thats okay. They can be pissed off at me. The less I walk the more I hurt. So I walk. I walk even when I don’t want to walk. 

 

Now that the verbal diarreaha is out of my head I feel maybe I can actually relax the last hour I have by myself! 

Adjusting to the new normal

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I was diagnosed in 2007. It’s not really the new normal for me and yet it is.

I am still pushing myself past my limits. I even know most of the time when I am doing it.

So how do I accept what I can do now as opposed to what I used to be able to do?

Simple. I don’t.

I get pouty about it. I don’t want to accept that I can’t just jump up and hike the Appalachian trail like I did in 1995.  I totally can! Now whether or not I can function the next day? That is an entirely different question.

Its hard to suddenly have to start pacing yourself out on simple housework tasks. I want to get laundry done ,dishes washed and the floors vacuumed all in the same day. Oh and still be able to function the rest of the day.

How do I adjust to what my new normal is? Very slowly and very stubbornly. Often digging my heels in all the way.

The thing about fibromyalgia and even the arthritis is that often what you can do changes day to day.

Some days I can walk and walk and walk and come home and deal with homework and dinner and be fine.

Some days I can’t even make my normal walk, let alone go home and function.

Truthfully I don’t think I really made any progress with acceptance until I stopped working.  It still took me about six months or so to even make any attempt towards acceptance.

I still struggle with it.

Getting to acceptance takes a lot of self reflection, self analysis, and sometimes even therapy.  I know I have used all three.

Because often our symptoms and abilities change daily it requires us to do a lot of self analysis.

I can’t tell you what will work for you.  I can’t even tell you what will work for me six months from now.  Right now walking is often my time for self reflection. It used to be driving, before that I buried myself in books and things just kinda fell into place. Before even that I scrapbooked.

I don’t like to say I can’t do something because of physical limitations.

Sometimes I plan rest days the day before and the day after something that will test my physical limitations. Sometimes that works. Sometimes its two days later before I feel the stress from the physical exertion. I have to trudge on I may get the kid to school and let the dogs out but that is probably all I am going to do.

I used to use medications to help get through a lot of it.  Anything from Soma to Lortab to Ambien. What ever works to get me through the day or the night.

I can’t say I don’t use medications now but I use considerably less. I don’t feel bad about that. I did what I had to then. Just like now I do what I have to. A lot of things I discover by trial and error. Its really frustrating because I think I have come so far. I adjusted to the difference in changing medications. I adjusted to the drop in medications.  Just when I think I have a new symptom or issue figured out. It disappears. Then when I am least expecting it there it is again.

The problem is  illnesses change, evolve , get worse….so we are constantly adjusting to our new normal.

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