So I’ve done something that I think has even startled the heck out of my hubby: slowed down. Being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, being put on Cymbalta, what really is some serious medication for it (when you’re taking a medicine they strongly recommend you don’t quit cold turkey, you know it’s serious), and doing a lot (a lot…a LOT) of reading and research on this condition, has forced me to readjust not just my thinking but my way of life.
It’s forced me to admit something I have not wanted to admit: I have a chronic illness.
I am not a person used to saying, “I can’t do that.” I hate that I have to now obsessively make lists because I risk totally forgetting stuff. I hate having to pace myself. I’m the kind of person used to pushing myself, literally, until I drop into bed, ready to start all over again as soon as my feet hit the floor the next morning, pain or not.
In the plus column, it’s also forcing me to dedicate myself to staying on the Flylady.net system, because I can see it’s working. I use my calendar organizer on my iPad, because it has a built-in task list. I can check stuff off every day as I do it. I can schedule stuff to repeat every week or month or whatever time I specify instead of daily. That takes having to think first thing in the morning when I’m struggling to get started off the table. And that’s a relief. Especially on cold mornings like we’ve had for the last few days.
I’m also learning to just do things in small chunks. Where before I would have ripped my living room apart and got it all painted in a weekend (and spent two weeks cleaning up the resulting mess), now I literally do just fifteen minutes, or small manageable chunks of time where I know not only can I do the job, but clean up behind myself when I’m finished. And that’s been a huge step forward for me too. It means my home improvement isn’t progressing nearly as fast as I’d like, but it’s finally progressing at least.
I’m trying to learn not to beat myself up for what I can’t do. That’s damn hard. I’m used to mental self-flagellation as a way to keep myself going.
I can’t do that anymore. My body can’t keep up. Changing that is…well, it’s been frustrating. I feel in some ways like I’m babying myself and there’s still part of me that’s like, “You puss. Why are you wimping out like this? There are people out there far worse off than you who are doing more. What the hell is wrong with you?” And some days, it really is a struggle not to push harder despite knowing the result will be at least the next day in bed trying to recover.
So one thing I’m doing, which has been like a detox program in and of itself *LOL* is I’m shutting down my laptop in the early evening instead of right before bedtime. I’m writing this blog post in bed on my iPad. I know, in a way I’m still “working” but at least I’m taking things easy and I’m resting. It forces me to not focus on hard-core work and take some time off. I’m also going to bed earlier than I used to.
I feel frakking guilty as hell, too. I’m self-employed. Yes, I’m a writer, but if I’m not “working” I’m not earning.
Hubby has been fantastically supportive and in some ways a little hard-assed, but in a good way. He’s getting on me when I try to do too much. I’ve compromised by telling him I promise to ask for help if I need it so he can stop worrying about me so much. *LOL*
I did pick up a recipe book for people with fibro, and I’m going to try some of the dishes this week. Some yummy looking things. At least I’m slowly starting to lose a little weight since my appetite is reduced because of the medication (yay, for ONCE something goes in my favor *LOL*), and my doctor recommended some herbal supplements for me to take to help boost my metabolism. Yes, I’m DAMN lucky to have a good doctor who not only is the one who told me he thought I had fibro when I wasn’t even sure what the hell it was, but he doesn’t hesitate to recommend supplementing “medicine” with herbals. And so far, knock on wood, it’s helping. I know losing weight (ideally I need to drop about 30 pounds to get to a healthy weight for my frame) will help my symptoms improve too. That extra weight is like a bag of friggin dog food I’m carting around on my hips and thighs. LOL