A few days ago I had a pretty serious flare-up. UGH!
One thing that bothers me about flare-ups is how quickly they come at you. For several days you feel great, you start to make plans and then WHAM! (not the 80s band) you get kicked down by pain and sleepiness without the sleep. (Even my hair has been freaking out! The ends looked like I stuck my finger in a live socket.)
However! During the flare-up, there were a lot of things I had to do. Labor Day weekend and my daughter's youth called to me. "Gin...you must move your posterior up from the bed and walk many miles." To which my Fibro self laughed.
We were supposed to go to the Renaissance Festival here in Michigan as well as the Peach Festival. Of course, I also heard from my literary agent who asked for more chapters on my Young Adult book...by Tuesday.
Needless to say, I was panicking about the Flare-up and allowing myself to get worked up over the "need-to-do" pile building up around my weekend.
It wasn't easy, My Friends, but pain and all I rolled myself out of bed, took a shower (much to the appreciation of the general public I'm sure), and pushed through the pain.
By the time I reached my car after the Ren Fest, I was in so much pain I couldn't sit still, and I live a good hour and a half from the Festival. When I pulled over to fill up on gas, I had to relinquish the driver's seat and just curl up in a ball.
I napped when I got home and felt better but woke up sore even this morning. Too bad I didn't have time for pain. I had a Peach Festival to attend with my daughter and my dad, half sister, "real" sister, and my dad's new wife.
My neck hurt like hell, my calves ached, but the biggest problem was when my half sister laid the guilt trip on me about not having anyone to ride rides with.
"My Fibro," I whispered to my dad. "I have no idea what it will do to me on these rides."
My dad smiled and then nodded as if he could totally understand even though I suspected he didn't. But eventually, when everyone else around me refused to go on a damned ride with her...I caved.
Of course the craziest ride at the carnival was the one she wanted and so, guilting my real sister into going with me and the step sister by admitting I was afraid I'd get sick or dizzy and pass-out... I rode a carnival ride.
By the time it was my turn to board the crazy ride, I had worked myself up so hard I felt my heart pounding in my throat, and all because I couldn't stop thinking of what *might* happen.
Before the shoulder harness locked in place I kept thinking, you don't have to go on this thing. You can get off with just a small pride smear and at least know that you'll feel fine by the end of the night. Why take the risk of feeling like crap?
But I kept thinking about all the things I've given up in the name of Fibro. All of the things I'm told I shouldn't do or might not be able to do anymore. The constant nagging fear in my head over every little trip I make.
When I go to Las Vegas and my Beau wants to take me up in the mountains, I worry about having an IBS attack that would drown me in embarrassment. When I get on a plane I worry about having a panic episode. When I want to go for a walk every day I worry that once I'm far from my house...my knee will give out or my back will cramp up or my legs will get that *damned* "lack-of-use" itch that really makes no sense considering I walk ALL THE TIME.
I thought about all of this as I stood in line for "Freak Out" the carnival ride. (Fitting name isn't it?) I always try to be as prepared as possible for all of my fears. For the mountain hikes I bring pain pills, wet t.p. wipes and a plastic bag. For the planes I bring a folding hand fan which reminds me just to feel the air and breathe, for the walks I always have a cell phone and I only go if Dan is home just in case I need him to drive around the subdivision to pick me up.
In other words, I try to plan for everything. Well not tonight! I made myself get on that stupid ride and as I sat there thinking I was about to have a panic attack...I made myself dance to the music in the background. When in doubt...wiggle your butt and pretend you're having a great time! The panic ebbed and though the ride was a bit much for me, I was so glad I rode it that I rode seven other rides. I spun, I dipped, I twirled, I scrambled and in the end I finally had to concede once I felt the nausea tap me on the shoulder but I was proud!
Such a silly accomplishment, no? And yet one so very vital to Fibro.
Planning for possible problems, like packing wet wipes and hand fans is a great idea, but we, as FibroMates have to learn that every once in a while, taking a risk on the unknown reminds us that WE ARE ALIVE and able to at least pretend to live normally.
Take small steps to feeling good about yourself again!
Coming Soon: I received a letter about men and Fibro. I also received another about future pain fears. I've done more research on LDN for those of you who have asked me why I haven't posted about it. I feel a bit more confident about posting it on the blog.
I'll try to get to these topics soon but as I stated earlier in this post, I'm a bit swamped. I'll do my best though! And hey, keep the questions coming. Even the ones you think aren't important enough to ask!
All my best, My Friends!
Here's hoping you all are working for those 98% painfree days,