Fibromyalgia and the Perils of Working from a Home Under Construction

 

Stress is one of the larger triggers to flares in my fibromyalgia fatigue and pain symptoms. My fibromyalgia (and that roguish fledermausen) is the reason that I work from home. Working from home has really been a godsend for me. The flexibility has allowed me to unwind and unknot some of the kinks that have made my life difficult over the last two years. I’ve had a soothing place to work, and the best office mates ever who offer excellent stress relief on a regular basis. Who doesn’t like a cat snuggle or a five minute break to throw a Frisbee for an overzealous aficionado of fetch?

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A Jelly Day of a Sunday

I’m participating in the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge, and the March skill is jelly or shrubs. I’ve never made jelly (I typically prefer jams), and I had to google what a shrub is (a sugary fruit-vinegar combination used in cocktails or tonic water). I have a tendency to go a little overboard when it comes to challenges; for example, I made three marmalades in January over the long Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. With the chaos of foundation repairs, new flooring, a wood stove, seven yards of dirt in the driveway, and taking in a new foster kiddo, I managed to carve out time on Sunday to make two jellies and a shrub. Yep, I’m a touch crazy and surprisingly not too tired.

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A Love Letter to my Body on Valentine’s Day

 

Dear body,

I know today was hard for you. In fact, the last several days have been hard for you. You’ve been achier than normal and so fuzzy around the edges you’ve wondered if you’ve become rather like a kiwi, a layer of fuzz and a thin skin with ideas like the scattered small seeds inside. You’ve struggled to track conversations and to remember the ingredients you’re looking for moments after you read the list. You’ve been so, so tired that each task seems to require a wellspring of strength and focus that you’re not sure you have. Fibromyalgia is awful thing, and some days the struggle is worse than others. Valentine’s Day was particularly hard for you.

And yet you overcame.

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Trail Talk: When Pain Becomes a Flying Mouse

My husband and I often talk about zany things when we’re hiking a trail even if we’re more likely to hike in silence, admiring the general splendor of the outdoor world. Our hike up to the South Rim in Big Bend National Park started as a zany day.

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Exercising with Fibromyalgia

The need to exercise to improve fatigue and pain symptoms for fibromyalgia seems counterintuitive, but for me, exercise has made a dramatic difference in my energy and emotional well-being since I began trying to reincorporate exercise into my life. A year ago, I was probably lying on the couch, feeling lethargic and overwhelmed by how much pain I was in. I had been on part-time FMLA leave for a few months and mostly working from home. Going into the office was a draining, exhausting mess. I was struggling to increase my workload back to 32 hours a week and to manage general life demands. I had not yet been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, though I was certainly beginning to suspect it. At the time, I was more worried whether I could endure vacuuming, making dinner, eight hours of work, or sleeping through the night—never mind exercise! At this point last year, I was only just beginning to find some relief with medication. Exercise? Ha! No way!

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My Happiness Project: Brainstorming on the First Splendid Truth

My work on gratitude this month may seem like a 30-day short-term project, but I am laying the foundations for a lifetime of grateful happiness, not a month of it. I may not always begin my day by jotting down a few things that I’m grateful for right alongside my to-do list as I have the previous two weeks, but I can envision myself continuing to cultivate a more grateful and loving attitude daily.

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Moving from Grief to Gratitude

The first two years of our marriage have been trials in grief and upheaval, not exactly the frolicking honeymoon either of us had envisioned. Still, these (almost) first two years have shown me how giving, compassionate, and dedicated my own husband is. When he married me, he meant it that my journey would be his, in sickness and in health. Alas, sickness has won out, and I have grieved that victory and my new limitations. My husband has supported me all the way.

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