Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mack Truck Collides in Fibrofog

Today I woke up with such a stiff and painful neck that I couldn't even imagine moving, as I told my husband Don this morning as he kissed me good-by and headed off to work. It even hurt to lay still, but somewhat less than when I moved or even tried to move. I remember I turned my head about half a degree to the right to see him from the bed while he was talking to me, and it was some of the "loudest" pain I've ever known - screaming! Despite being all out of sick days for the year, I notified my boss that I needed to stay home and repair myself. That means rest and extra meds today. Extra meds likely means more fibrofog, too, and I'd already been having a bad bout of that.

Writing of fibrofog... I heard myself turning into an apparent idiot yesterday, while the damned fibro-monster stole my vocabulary from me as I watched in utter horror. Okay, maybe that's a bit dramatic, but it was definitely noticeable and I sure didn't like it.

I was in a meeting at work yesterday. I
t was my meeting; I was there to gather requirements for a new project. My current boss and another manager at the company (my old boss) were the two other attendees in this meeting. The pauses I was taking to find the words to express myself were embarrassingly long, especially in comparison with the cadence of the conversation that was going on between the other two people in the room. I started to say something, then I just watched their eyes as they both waited with anticipation of what I might finally say. And I couldn't wait to find out what I'd say, either. What I settled for, eventually, was somewhat acceptable, but not optimal. I continued through the meeting, aware of this handicap, as best as I could and got the information I needed, fumbling along with lesser words and phrases than I intended to use. It's like my language skills are just limping along, crippled and deformed. If I had waited until I'd found the words I really wanted to use, it would take too long and I would lose my turn to speak. It's so frustrating, especially during situations like this, when my income is on the line.

Later that evening, I went out to get some tacos for dinner with Don at our favorite local taco place for "Taco Tuesday". I usually do the ordering when we go, so this experience was nothing new for me. Thanks to the fibrofog, though, I felt like I was going through the usual motions, but needed more time to think about what I was doing and saying to make sure it was correct. The poor kid taking my order must've wondered if I was retarded or something. I sure felt like it. Actually, I take that back. I have heard retarded people speak and they seem to do just fine. I don't know how to compare myself when I'm so foggy. "Der... um.. I'd like....two....tacos....." Ugh! What have I become?

While we ate our delicious tacos, I mentioned my recent struggles with language to Don. I seem mostly fine when I converse with him. There are times when I need to pause or whatever, but the casual conversation probably helps make it less noticeable. He asked me (a kind of "oh no" asking) if FM affects my brain, too. I explained, briefly, that yes, unfortunately, FM affects the central nervous system, which affects EVERYTHING, including my brain. It's a bitch of a disease. I forget that he isn't as in tune with all the subtleties of FM as I am. I am constantly reading up about research and other people's experiences with this condition - mostly to help me understand and cope with it all. I know how complex and all-encompassing it is.
Fibromyalgia really is a life-changing condition, despite any outward appearances of "normalcy" among its victims.

At any rate, I am here at home, trying to relax, but letting all the nagging responsibilities of everyday life interrupt my sanctity. I am sweating a lot now, so I replaced my hot tea for a cold beer - a delicious Goose Island India Pale Ale. I figure I'd enjoy the flavor as well as the pain-masking benefits of the beverage at the same time. Maybe it will help me relax, too.