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

Back to Reality . . .

Dear Fibro,

Today was our first day “back to reality” after a long week of Fourth of July festivities, family visiting from out of town, fireworks, site-seeing, and lots of grilling! I am so grateful that you decided to cooperate with me while everyone was here visiting. I had a lot of fun playing with the nephews and catching up with the adults, too! My legs were the most painful, and I wrestled through some¬† heavy exhaustion at times, but overall nothing unmanageable. I’ve been crossing my fingers now — hoping that getting back into my normal weekly routine won’t also bring along a flare as a residual punishment for having a fun stay-cation, but I will continue to hope for the best.

Two things that the clarity of a week out of the office have helped me to remember and re-focus on are my need to express myself creatively to stay encouraged . . . and the importance of family connections. I plan to continue remembering these things even if there are days when you don’t want to go along for the ride.

Back to life.

~Nicole

That Thing You Do

Dear Fibro,

I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that annoying thing you do first thing in the morning. I know it’s protocol to use “I” statements when addressing frustrations, but I’m skipping the formalities for now since we’re on a first-name basis.

I don’t like it when I wake up with that deep aching feeling in my legs. It’s first thing in the morning, and I’m barely awake, semi-comfortable in bed, maybe stirring from a good dream, and it should be a sweet, soft “hello” moment for my day, but right in the middle of my first yawn, I feel that crawling sensation and find that my legs are on fire. I would prefer if you would try to restrain this, but since I suspect that you will probably not heed my preferences, I wanted to at least get this out into the open.

When people talk of “leaping from bed with vigor to start a new day,” I laugh. What a nice fairytale. Instead of leaping, I slide, roll, crawl and hobble. But, despite you, I am choosing to enjoy my days and do whatever I can to keep your antics on the back-burner.

I don’t mind telling you that I plan to air even more of your not-so-nice secrets . . . if you have any defense for yourself, I’m all ears.

– Nicole

The Day that Wasn’t

Dear Fibro,

Okay, I know I didn’t really have plans for today, but did you really have to take THE WHOLE DAY away from me. It’s Saturday, and I would have liked to have gotten some projects done or felt like I had the energy to enjoy going outside.

Instead, you completely zapped ALL of my energy, and I slept and slept and felt pain in between sleeping — deeply aching arms and legs and shoulder blades and sternum and hands and . . . — so much pain — and then I finally woke again with a migraine to endure until eventually I slept again.

I missed the two calls from my Mom and couldn’t catch back up with her schedule, so I spent the day without human connection in a warp of sleepiness. I’m not happy with you at all right now. This has been one of your most demanding (dare I say selfish) days in a while. Why do you do this to me?

I admit it. I’m angry.

And sad.

And still so tired that I know I won’t be able to fight you over this.

Please try to be a little bit more reasonable tomorrow.

-Nicole