Sunday, March 07, 2010

More and more time

More time passes between blog posts, and it makes me sad. Not Heidi-Klum-looking-at-a-dreary-dress sad, but almost.

As you've probably guessed, I haven't blogged because of what seems to be a fully blown fibro flare up. I have no idea what triggered it; I've been keeping pretty serious records of what I eat, what I do, but all that data is absolutely no help so far.

I was so troubled by this whole return-of-the-painful-fog episode that on Friday Gerry & I saw my rhematologist again. He didn't have much in the way of new suggestions, but he wants me to see a neurologist to check my brain and then with a clean brain-scan I can begin visiting a fibro clinic near my home (I can ride my bike!)

He also suggested "seeing someone" to deal with the stress involved in this whole new [unwanted] chapter of my life, which is not a bad idea.

Much of my current stress comes from the fact that I am not just riding the bus, I'm also the one who is driving it. Unfortunately, many days I'm asleep at the wheel.

Almost as annoying as the pain and my inability to remember words, numbers - so many things - is the constant tinnitus that squeals through my head. Worse when I'm tired, it's so loud by bedtime that I fall asleep with the TV on to drown out the high pitched whine.

[a side note - I do appreciate all the comments and private emails I receive, but please don't email me any more about sleep heath. That's been checked, my sleep is dandy.]

This week I turned down 3 teaching jobs for 2010, I just don't think I can do them. I think many days I can just sit.

Just getting through the appearances I've already set up will be a bit of a push, I don't see how I can add any more. This is the point when I fear falling even farther behind in everything.

Which is when it's good to remember that Gerry went through similar mental difficulties when he was diagnosed 3 years ago. I know I'm not alone.

I've felt guilty about how little physical effect I've had on the family - not able to clean very much, not able to cook meals, not able to talk on the phone. Happily, Atticus has been with me every non-step of the way.

To assuage my guilt I went with Max on his class ski field trip (I drove my own car so I could rest or cut out early if necessary - it wasn't) The day was pretty much just sitting and watching kids come roaring down a hill at breakneck speeds, the slope was a mere 40 minutes from our house - all in all, a wonderful day.

But just driving there, showing my face, then sitting and crocheting for 4 hours absolutely WIPED ME OUT. I couldn't believe how exhausted I was later that day.

This is my new reality.

Slowly - very, very slowly - I did some sewing yesterday that has been crying out for completion for about 3 years. I finished a slipcover for our sofa-bed (the upholstery was ripped and cat-shredded) and a matching foot stool cover. You can see part of the sofa in the photo above, under the dog.

Making a slipcover for this particular sofa is something that I've done twice in the past in 3 hours. Yesterday it took me all day, from morning into the evening, moving very slowly. Don't even get me started on how slowly I'm knitting these days.

But I felt such a drive to finish it - to have SOMETHING concrete to show that I'm still contributing to the comfort of our home - that I'm helping us keep it together. And with every stitch I understood how pathetic that would sound, but it didn't make it any less true.

However, the seeds Hannah and I planted are coming up much faster than we anticipated. Very nice to see. Does anyone know if the Topsy Turvy planter will work for beans?
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posted by Annie at

4 Comments:

OpenID mwknitter said...

You sound so much like me! I retired 5 years sooner than I had intended (fortunately federal employees can retire at 55 with 30 years of service or 60 with 20.) Have you considered the weather? I find that I react very strongly to approaching lows (the degree of pain seems to correlate to how intense the low front is) & a bit to precipitation (although much less so.) And a couple of years ago, I started to notice that my muscles get very tight & I feel really stiff when the temperature drops below freezing (which unfortunately it does much of the winter in Chicago.) This makes exercise much harder. I have done everything I can think of - 40 minutes of stretching after 45 min to an hour on the eliptical trainer followed by 5-10 minutes in the steam room. But nothing seems to work. It's worse if I don't do those things but doing them doesn't make the muscles relax completely the way it used to. Lowering the intensity of my workout is the only thing which seems to have any effect at all (& it only makes the stiffness somewhat less - doesn't obliterate it entirely.) So I guess I will just have to do longer lower intensity workouts from now on. There are so many things that can affect people with FMS & everyone who has it seems to have their own unique set of symptoms that the only thing you can do is to consider what other folks have gone through - it may be a clue to what will help you deal with it.

March 08, 2010 1:33 AM  
Blogger Shawn said...

Yes, the Topsy Turvy will work for beans! We did it with pretty good results.

Keep your chin up!

March 08, 2010 9:23 AM  
Blogger Bluebird49 said...

I want to say "don't give up!", but I am not taking my own advice. Todaym, the one thing I got done was going through some papers that had collected around my chair, and cooking pancakes for supper. And I cried a lot, over nothing in particular. I feel like I wish the rest of my memory would just go, so I wouldn't remember what my life was like before Fibro.

March 08, 2010 8:22 PM  
OpenID mwknitter said...

Annie - My niece is running in the San Diego half marathon on June 6th to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (which also includes MM). Anyone who who like to donate can go to her page: http://pages.teamintraining.org/il/rnr10/mlawrenvsy

March 15, 2010 11:21 PM  

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