Thursday, August 29, 2013

Where Does the Time Go with Fibromyalgia?

I have some things I want to shop for, like clothing and shoes. I also long to just browse at shops for ideas or for pleasure, like I used to. My to-do list has plenty of things on it and it keeps getting longer, it seems. These are tasks I seem never to be able to get to. I keep leaving it for another day, when I'm feeling up to it, but those days seldom seem to arrive. When I'm busy, I'm at work. When I need a break, I rest. My responsible pacing is at odds with my need for effective productivity.

I remember, once upon a time, when I could get up early, do a full day's work, exercise, do errands at lunch, and even do some shopping here and there, after work, or do some chores or enjoy some hobbies, make and eat dinner or go out with friends, relax, go to bed, get a good night's sleep and do it all over again the next day.  I could do it all and enjoy it!

These days, I drag myself out of bed much later, force myself to stretch a little, get to work later, grab lunch and eat at my desk, go home later in the evenings, collapse when I get home or make some sort of dinner, eat, look at Facebook for a few minutes, then head for bed and sleep as long as I can.  I definitely need more sleep now than I used to before FMS.  It also takes me longer to do everything, especially in the morning, because my body is so stiff and in pain.  I strive to keep up with the old me - the "normal" me, yet it seems I have a lot less time to get it all done.  Where does the time go?

My conclusion is that Fibromyalgia is sucking up the time and energy.

What the hell is he smiling about?Yes, I blame the Fibrobeast.

It makes me move more slowly, think more slowly, and requires me to sleep more.

Plus, with pain and fatigue following me around with everything I do, I am not fully able to focus on what I do.  As a result, I have the additional burden of feeling crappy when I don't remember something or have to ask others to repeat what they said, or can't follow a story.  I try, I'm just at a distinct disadvantage here.  If you're a "normal", try to imagine focusing on a verbal explanation or story while a dog bites you in the leg.  Suddenly the story is not a priority, right?

I'm constantly trying to override the pain hierarchy while living my life.  It's not easy.  I'm actually surprised I can still hold down a job.  It's a pretty technical and abstract one, at that.  I definitely use a lot of energy keeping up with the workload and trying to ignore the physical hurdles every day.

Getting plenty of sleep is important for everyone, but especially for those with Fibromyalgia, because our brains don't let us reach all the deepest, rejuvenating stages of sleep.  The best we can do is hope for quantity and accept the poor quality of our sleep.  I have spent many a long night wide awake for several hours at a time while waiting for my brain to retire and let me sleep.  I've also had a few nights when sleep never came at all, and I was awake all night because I could not sleep, despite my exhaustion.

These days, I'm glad to report that I do sleep on most nights and sleep for most of the night.  The medicine I take also keeps me asleep longer, which is good, but takes more time from my day.  I guess I just wish I didn't feel like I'm always dragging myself through mud and pulling a huge boulder to get where I need to go and do what I need to do.

The lesson learned here is to lower my own expectations of what I can accomplish.  My daily "spoon" allotment has been lowered and I need to be more realistic about how many "spoons" it really takes for me to get through a day, and for each of my personal tasks to get done.