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

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Body On Fire

Dear Fibro,

Everything hurts. Every nerve, muscle, skin cell. Headache. Neckache. Backache. My brain hurts. I think this is all your handiwork. I’m exhausted. I missed work today, and the timing was not so great. I don’t know what to think of you, how to feel about this. I am tired. Tired of you. Sometimes I want to learn to live with you, and sometimes I just want you to go away. For today, that’s all I have to say.

~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