Invisible Illness

Productivity

Everyone defines productivity differently.  Overachievers seem to have a hard time considering themselves productive because they set such high standards for themselves (and everyone around them too).

I used to be an overachiever.  Dealing with my fibromyalgia has changed that.  I’ve had to lower my standards for myself in order to maintain my mental health.  When I first was dealing with the symptoms of fibromyalgia, primarily the fatigue, the brain fog, and the pain, I often found myself unable to complete the simplest of tasks.  And it upset me.  Truly, to the point of frustrated tears, upset me.

So I started changing my idea of being productive.  I started taking baby steps, making lists of big things then making lists of smaller things that led up to the big things.

Big things like fixing up our yard.  A task made even harder because I have a rambunctious almost-3-year-old who I can’t leave unattended for 5 seconds without her causing trouble.  And harder because Hubby has left me practically a single parent for the last several months with his 2-jobs-schedules that left us with barely any mutual days off.  So I broke those things into smaller things.

New yard furniture.  A new yard umbrella to give us shade.  Mowing the lawn.  Pulling weeds from the empty flower beds.  Moving the bird bath (which is solid stone/concrete and takes several people).  Re-planting our crepe myrtle.  Cut back the overgrowth on the side and back of house.  Mark out the deck dimensions.  Purchase supplies for deck.  Build deck.  Build lattice privacy wall.

Smaller things.

Run the dishwasher.  Empty the dishwasher.  Run laundry.  Fold laundry.  Put away laundry.  Vacuum.  Sweep and mop.  Pick up toys.  Dust.

Smaller things.

Read a chapter.  Research.  Write.  Post.

Smaller things.

Text a friend.  Call a doctor’s office.  File paperwork.  Take me-time.  Shower.  Brush my hair.  Brush my teeth.  Eat.

These days I’m excited for accomplishing small things I used to take for granted.

Meeting my step-goal (which is less than the 10,000 recommendation).  Drinking enough water.  Finishing homework on time or even early!  Taking care of laundry.  Loading the dishwasher.

Things I used to be able to do without much effort can now take all I’ve got.  I just don’t have enough spoons to do everything.

So I’m working on adding some spoons.  It’s tough and requires hard work and a lot of effort.  But I also want to make sure I’m as prepared for Disney next year as I can be.

I want to be able to keep up with DD.  I want to be able to be excited with her, not exhausted.  I want to be able to get out of bed every morning with energy, not sore muscles.

I know I have no real control over my illness.  But I can control how I react to it.  And I’m fighting back.


~ML

A Day in the Life, House & Home, Kids, Married Life

Update Rant

I lied.  I said I would probably update tomorrow as part of my 365 Project but I’m gonna do it today instead.

So what’s been happening with us?

Me:  My Lyrica dose was upped.  I’m still on what’s considered a low-dose (100mg) because the dose can go up to 500mg/daily.  I was also advised and placed placed on an ibuprofen regimen, at least one tablet/capsule daily.  Which is not hard considering I still end up taking ibuprofen every other day to begin with.  This just started the week of Christmas so still a bit early to say if it’s helping.  I’m also working more on “me”.  I picked out a new skincare regimen because I was starting to have really consistent breakouts and skin-bumps (those little red irritated bumps that aren’t acne).  So now I’m on a full-blown Philosophy system.  I have the Purity One-Step and Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash, plus a little facial scrubby brush.  I also have the Renewed Hope in a Jar (both for eye and face).  So far my skin is doing much better.  I don’t use the exfoliating wash often since I have sensitive skin, I have used it about once a week (on week 3 now).  But I’ve seen faster healing on blemishes that do appear and blemishes are as big on top of the clearing up faster.  So that’s pretty good.  Plus the esthetician told me to expect a light breakout when I started using the scrubby brush because apparently everyone has one when they switch to the brush.    I also bought all new make-up but I’ll discuss that another time because this has already turned into a ridiculously long paragraph about me.

DD: We started the PEID program right before Christmas.  Our goals are to get her to be more vocally expressive.  She doesn’t talk much and doesn’t have nearly as many words that she uses compared to other kids her age and is no wear close to sentences (which is what she’s supposed to be starting with at 2).  She will grab you and drag you to what she wants.  Or she’ll skip the adults entirely and go do it herself (her problem-solving skills are an outlier for her age, she’s months ahead).  So we’re working on it.  Oh, and she dislocated her elbow again.

Hubby: Here’s the big one.  Back in late October, Hubby had a CT scan because he’s been having severe migraines for most of the year.  We finally got the results back in the first week of December.  They found an arachnoid cyst near his cerebellum.  Now, a lot of researching has yielded that these are usually benign, often are found while being tested for other things, and sometimes are present even from birth.  They usually show no signs or symptoms and are often just left alone.  But!  Hubby has a migraine that he has had since December 17.  Still.  He has been on Imitrex (and finished it in a week), has been to the ER for possible meningitis, and has been basically bed-ridden for the last week.  He has an appointment with a neurologist on January 9th and hopefully we’ll figure something out, maybe putting him on a migraine prevention regimen like I was on years ago for my chronic headaches (prior to fibro diagnosis and prior to pregnancy–the hormones seemed to have assisted with this as the frequency of my migraines/headaches has decreased, although the severity is still up there).  We ended up in the ER when he started having neck stiffness and heaviness/tingling in his limbs.  Added to that was the fever he’d run several days prior and his PCP wanted to rule out the possibility of viral meningitis (don’t get me started on the hospital trip because that was a nightmare!)

So that’s part of what’s been keeping me busy because I’ve been working 40+ hours a week and then coming home to take care of everyone and the animals and the house (all of the house since Hubby usually is no help these days).  I finished my fall session of classes with A’s so a straight 4.0.  Brought my GPA to 3.5 overall so I was very happy about that.  Spring session starts in 2 weeks on the 16th.  Hopefully I can keep this grades thing going.  I was mad that I got my bachelor’s with only a 3.2 considering I’d managed to keep a 3.8 through my AAS and the first year of my BS.  Stupid O. Chem.  The only saving grace is that I wasn’t the only one whose GPA dropped thanks to that class.  Considering that the school came down on the professor and made him curve the second half of the course so that more than 2/3 of the class didn’t fail…yeah.  All four of those classes were ree-donk-u-lous! (Yes four, 2 lectures and 2 labs all taught by the same guy and all 4 pulled my grades down.  It still irks me how weird he graded things like half the material we were tested on wasn’t even covered in class, we were expected to learn it from the textbooks on our own!)

~M