Thursday, June 09, 2011

Fibromyalgia and the Perils of Not Listening to My Body.

But there were sales, and the opportunity to go shopping with a friend at the outlets. And then there was my trainer the next day. So I didn't listen when I should have.

Shopping and training and pain, Oh My.

You see, in Fibromyalgia, the body talks. Much earlier than they used to, the muscles yell "ACK! NO MORE!" But I must be listening.

Nothing about me looks different to remind myself or others that something is different. No cast, no limp, no wheelchair. Just the same Julie that walked the earth 20 years ago, give or take a pound or 40.

A person with a back injury may walk with a cane. I've known one of those. A person with a broken bone wears a cast. I've done that. Even a person with a cold probably has a red nose. But with Fibro, we just look like our same old selves, because the working of it is inside us, in our central nervous system, where our bodies tell us that a gentle wave of pain is actually A TSUNAMI RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!

The funny bit (well, not at the time maybe) is that when I am in a flare, having overdone and caused a tsunami, even my brain gets scrambled. Those days my brain is a shaken snow globe, and the flakes of snow are pieces of words and thoughts and scribbles that just can't quite connect to make a whole ANYthing. I once saw a movie where a confused woman wore her bra on the outside of her shirt to work. When I started experiencing the "brainfog" of Fibro, I thought, "Oh no!! That could be me!"

Honestly at those times I fear for myself and my decisions. Should I be trusted with a car, or trusted out of the house at all?

I was there for all of last week and into this week, in FibroFlareLand. Hadn't really visited there for more than a day at a time in several months. Got a little cocky about that. Felt a little powerful. Thought I was strong.

And again I was humbled--I was reminded that I have this thing, this interloper and interrupter. But since this is my life right now, I'm trying to learn to muddle through--trying to show up for the gym, show up in my family's life, show up for myself.

These times of weakness remind me that in myself I'm not really all that strong. I'm at the mercy of this thing that lives in my body. I want to be all spiritual and be able to calmly say, "God's strength is shown in my weakness," but in all honesty, I don't know whether I'm doing that for Him. I'm still not sure what that looks like in this case.

The flares bring me down, but not as far as they used to, so I must be learning. Maybe that's where His strength comes in. I'll keep you posted if I ever figure it out.

What's your place of weakness?

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