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

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

Yeah, I See.

Dear Fibro,

This is not fun. I know I did a little bit of yard work and ran a few errands yesterday, but that shouldn’t leave me so totally drained and pained. I’ve slept a lot but have so many pains that I wake frequently, uncomfortable. Headache. Random numbness. Aches so deep I wonder if they might at some point implode me.

I know I wrote earlier about trying to ignore you. I guess you’ve got my attention now . . .

Anything on your mind?

– Nicole