Welcome to Autumn

Dear Fibro,

Tomorrow is the first day of Autumn, and I can already feel your slight protests against the chill that’s creeping into the air.

That is why I’m writing you this note in advance–to ask if you would please cooperate with me as we transition over the next few weeks? The daylight hours are already shorter, which can be difficult for my mood and energy levels, so it would be extremely helpful if you would refrain from flaring.

I love Autumn — the crisp air, pumpkins, apples, hay rides, warm cider, time with friends and family. I’ve already planned some getaways and seasonal fun. Let’s enjoy together with no shenanigans from you.

~Nicole

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Observing You

Dear Fibro,

Today, I feel like you are hovering all around me, like you’ve fashioned yourself into a suit of scouring pads, hugging me tightly at every turn. I can’t remove you while you scrub into me. Abrasive to my peace of mind. Bruising me with invisible bruises. 

I feel the weight of you with each move I try to make. Whether I sit, stand or lie down, each position brings its own individual challenges — stabs, jabs, or prickles of pain. Shooting pain or radiating pain. A never-ending menu of surprises.

I stare at you in the mirror sometimes, and it’s like staring at myself but more elusive.

This week, I noticed that I have worn a hole in my sheet with restless legs in pain at night.

I have no questions for you now — just making these observations so that I can remember these days.

~Nicole

Maybe I Can

Dear Fibro,

As I anticipated in my last post, you took your chance today to take me down for the count. I woke up this morning feeling exhausted, ate some breakfast, mowed the lawn and then . . . napped for almost the whole day. I didn’t intend to sleep for so long, but you had me pressed heavily into the bed, each cell of my body feeling drained, nerves groggily firing with pain and discomfort. I slept, then stirred, then slept again.

Tonight, I feel that surreal buzz  that comes with evening hours that feel like daytime. I called my Mom, then went back out to do a bit more yard work, made some dinner (delicious yellow summer squash sauteed with onion and garlic, fresh blueberries, sharp cheddar), and put away some laundry. There is more that I should do to catch up on some housework tonight . . . but before I do, I wanted to take a few minutes to write to you . . .

Are you glad that I pushed you the past couple of days? Glad we saw the comedy show and MacBeth and caught up with some friends? It’s nice that getting out of the house a bit more helped me to feel a little bit more human . . . but I guess I’m wondering if my attitude of pushing you isn’t correct. I tend to sometimes see things as too much all or nothing. Sometimes I feel like I either need to act like you’re not with me at all or just allow you to fully take over, but maybe there’s a better balance.

I know I look at this as me against you a lot of the time, but tonight I’m wondering if I need to stop looking at the long (and potentially frustrating) sleep today as you ‘getting me back’ or as revenge for the week’s activities but just as a natural piece of the reality of your needs. This is not easy for me to understand or accept, but maybe I can.

This blog and these letters are about me learning to live with you.

Maybe I can.

~Nicole

Fibro & This Body

Dear Fibro,

You know I’m at a bit of a loss for what to do to lose weight with you around. I’ve gained weight because of the meds I take to try to keep you happy, and I am at an all-time high weight-wise. It’s discouraging. It’s not that I think I need to be a specific size or look a certain artificial way, but I want to feel comfortable in my own skin, and it’s been a while since I’ve felt that. Working out is difficult and painful (not surprising, since even simple tasks like showering and doing laundry are difficult and painful), but I am determined to find a way, to blaze a path somehow to step back from this precipice and take responsibility for the numbers and my difficulty with myself on this issue. Will you help me, please?

– Nicole