Monday, March 24, 2014

WAIT…Is This What Normal Feels Like?

Today has been a day like no other day in the last few years.

I woke up refreshed, which took me off guard.  I'm so use to waking up to the gentle alarm and slowly increasing simulated sunlight and feeling as though I was running a marathon in the dream state.  Today, I opened my eyes and immediately noticed that it was five minutes before my alarm.  My eye lids were not sticking to my eyeballs.  They were unusually moist.  I turned the alarm off before it went off to avoid waking my husband.  The process of getting my legs off the bed and sitting up is typically at a snail's pace.  I started the process taking it slower than molasses, but felt some energy and strength in my legs.  I swung my legs to the floor, sat up and stood…all within seconds.  Any other day, if I had tried that, it would have either been excruciatingly painful or I'd be on the floor.  Not today!  Up and at-um.  I think my hair may have even been floating in the wind with the swift movement.

I reached the floor at the bottom of the steps and paused.  I looked back up the staircase and realized that I alternated legs and didn't hold the handrail all the way down.  I was tempted to try it again, but I didn't want to push my luck.

On most days, I throw a long winter coat over my PJ's to drive the kids to school, but not today.  Today, I got dressed!  I can hardly believe it.  A nice fleece top, jeans and sneakers.  Not that anyone would notice the difference with the long coat, but I could.  Once the kids have been dropped off, I head back home and slowly crawl back into bed with a heating pad.  I'll get up for lunch, dinner and the bathroom but my body aches so deeply when I move that it's hard to get anything done.

I got home from the school run and cleaned the living room, put the laundry away, planned dinner and set up a list of things I could do for the rest of the day.  At noon I left for a day of errands, driving in the sun and visiting the great coast of Maine (about 40 minutes from my home).  I returned home at dinner time with much accomplished.  There was some pain in my neck and torso, but nothing strong enough to knock me down.  Since I've been home, I've done about two hours of paperwork and a Skyped tarot card reading.  Oh, and I'm writing my blog.

This day looks a lot like what I observe from most of society.  Putting daytime clothes on and physically moving and being productive for most of the sunlit hours.  Who knew I'd see this kind of a day again?!  What an incredible blessing!

Now I'm shooting for two 'Normal' days in a row.  Whoo Hoo!  Three cheers for good days!!!

Thank you for reading, forwarding and following!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

How Do We Keep Hope Alive?

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2002.  My triplets were two years old and the pain in my shoulders prevented me from holding my babies as much as they/ I wanted.  Although I've observed my Mom fighting and struggling with Fibro for many years before my diagnosis, I decided that I'd never give up on the possibility of overcoming this illness.  I had goals, dreams and babies to raise and support.

I discovered that yoga was a great way for me to manage the pain of Fibro and exercise helped with the Fog.  My determination lead me to becoming a certified yoga instructor and eventually opening my own studio.  After a few years of teaching, the yoga began to trigger flares of full body pain.  I pushed through; trying different methods of rest, epsom salt baths, heating pads, massage, etc… The pain only got worse.  Eventually, the exhaustion took over and I could no longer handle even the slightest amount of stress.  A good day would dangle glimmers of hope and a good month would convince me that my efforts were paying off and I was overcoming this illusive illness…until waking up and feeling as though a truck ran over me.

Each time this cycle of hope and disappointment would make it's rounds, I'd think about ways to stop the emotional roller coaster.  An easy way would be to shut down the feelings of hope, in order to avoid the disappointment on the other end.  This just doesn't feel as though it would enhance my quality of life.  It sounds more like giving up and that's not a concept that works well for me.

Maybe, just maybe, I'm hoping for the wrong things.  My mind has been set on overcoming Fibromyalgia so that I can get back to my life.  That life was many years ago.  There is a chance that my old life just doesn't fit for me anymore.  Come to think of it, the high stress and loads of responsibility that comes with owning and managing my own business don't seem to fit for me anymore.

I refuse to believe that I no longer have a place for hopes and dreams in my life!  I just need to allow them to be realistic to my abilities.  I can cook a wonderful dinner for my husband and kids, when I'm feeling up to it.  I can enjoy an amazing book as long as I let go of the expectation that I'll remember the last chapter I read.  I can be funny, joyful and caring.  I can trust my true friends will support and love me for who I am, not what I can or can't do.

I hope for a day when Fibromyalgia is understood and can be managed and eventually eliminated.  It may not be in my lifetime, so until then, I'm keeping hope alive for all who have and will be affected by this illness.

When I can, I will and when I do, I do with all my heart and soul!

Thank you for reading, forwarding and following!!!