Life has taken a new shape for everyone. There’s a hole in many lives that used to be filled with work, friends, sporting events, summer vacations, taking your kids to swim in a pool crowded with splashing, hollering kids, etc.
Personally, after leaving my job due to prior lung damage, I thought I’d rest up and then be the kind of homemaker I have not managed to be consistently over the years. The scenes in my mind included vacuuming and cleaning bathrooms on a weekly basis, fixing dinner five out of seven evenings, taking care of the laundry, and spending hours outside caring for my beautiful plants and flowers.
Unfortunately, turns out it wasn’t full shifts standing on concrete that was causing me to feel crappy. It’s the nature of the beast, fibromyalgia. Any of the symptoms I hadn’t experienced in the decade since my diagnoses have revealed themselves to me, regularly and, sometimes, intensely. I had attributed many things I’d been experiencing to long work days on top of fibromyalgia.
Now, four months off work, the aches and pains persist, on the move daily, sometimes hourly. The fatigue and leg weakness occur more days than not; I’m so relieved that I’m no longer getting 12,000 steps in a day. The newer symptoms include nausea most days, dizziness, loss of balance, muscle tics all over but not all the time, and “fibro fog.” I’m attaching a list of symptoms below; I experience almost all of them, frequency ever changing.
The summer days I looked forward to look a whole lot different than the imagined meals and a house so clean I’d never be embarrassed to have unexpected company. It took a few weeks for me to figure out that being off work would not be the solution to all my problems. First diagnosed in 2009, I just recently had to go through the process of accepting that I do have fibromyalgia. I do have a chronic illness. I am chronically ill.
These days are slow, some more productive than others. I try always to clean the kitchen and then putter about as able. I get outside most days, but don’t always make it. I feel so blessed that I can be home, listen to my body and respond as needed. I’m learning a lot and trying some new ideas.
To-do lists are no more; when I’m not able to complete the things I wanted to get done on a particular day, I disappoint myself. I get totally overwhelmed if I look out over the coming decades of pain along with all the rest. It is apparent, also, that feeling bad about feeling bad and the prospect of continued difficulties, makes everyone sad. This is the only day I’ve got. I’m doing the best I can today. When I wake up tomorrow, I’ll see how I feel and then decide how I will fill my day.