One thing you find out quickly with chronic pain or fatigue is that you wear out easily. At least that is the case for me. Since I have developed the symptoms of Fibromyalgia I find that I wear out too easily. Things that used to be just a normal part of life, just my usual tasks, can easily use up all of my daily allotment of energy. It is as if I have a daily energy bank. I can use up that bank and be pretty worn out at the end of the day; but it is tolerable most days. If I go beyond that amount of energy that it is in my bank, well, I am hurtin’ and oh so tired. I find myself needing a nap and feeling groggy and sore. The next day might be a bit slow for me as well, depending on how far into the negative I went. The most frustrating part of this banking system is that I haven’t seem to be able to figure out how to determine exactly what my balance is on any given day. I usually have to guess. My guesswork isn’t always very reliable and as a parent and normal human being I tend to push myself without even knowing it sometimes. It is also quite frustrating when doing something like going grocery shopping completely taps me out.
So what can we do to keep ourselves from getting “tapped out” by the simple things? I don’t have the answer to that, but here is what I have to do as of now. I have to accept the fact that it is okay for this to happen. I can’t get angry at myself. The absolute best thing I can do is plan for these things in my life. I have to plan for the low energy after I expend some. I must admit that this can take me by surprise still. I am not always prepared.
Today I took a pretty big trip to the grocery store. This is something that I used to do at the drop of a hat and I didn’t have to worry about whether or not I will be able to function afterward. By the time I came home I was pretty tired and unloading the groceries wasn’t even really an option. I had to put the items that needed refrigeration away and then leave the rest for later. Then, I crashed. Luckily it worked out well with my toddler’s schedule and he took a nap, too.
Now that I am awake I find myself still feeling drained and sore. I have a headache and I have a family to care for. This is when a person has to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” and just get things done. But I will tell you this, it won’t be easy and I will be glad when bedtime comes.
The best things I can do for myself this evening, since I am feeling zapped, is to take it slow. Maybe I will soak in the bath. Hopefully I will get to bed early. I need to make sure that I eat healthy this evening. I need to drink plenty of water. If I don’t do these things, then I will truly being “feeling it” tomorrow and I will be sorry.
As you can see, it’s so easy to wear out. It’s so easy to take the simple tasks for granted. That is why you must treasure the moments that are joy-filled with your family and friends. That is why it is so important to learn what your own body needs most to feel its best and why you must listen to your body. It can be difficult when others think you should be able to do more, but I am learning that I must stand up for myself and for my limits. I am my only advocate and whether people understand or not, it’s just so easy or not so easy, depending on how you look at it!
written on 7.3.08