I woke up yesterday with a dull ache at my right temple. I could feel the migraine coming, and I would have taken my onset migraine medication right then except if I take my migraine medication at the same time as my fibromyalgia medication, I’m destined for a day on the couch or in bed. Yesterday was not supposed to be a day on the couch. I made my choice and waited to relieve the pain.
One of my friends who is a blogger writes posts about yearly and monthly goals, and I think I may just emulate her. My happiness project, though it had a great start, has fallen a little more by the wayside over the last two months. I think taking more actionable and measurable goals might help me make more progress on tackling the things that I’d like to accomplish. I can almost hear Jane Austen in my head declaring with some irony about how accomplished a woman I am.
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?
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.
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.
As part of my happiness project, I’ve been trying to think of reliable ways to give back to the community and the world. My fibromyalgia and need for few standing commitments on my calendar makes volunteering on a regular and predictable basis somewhat difficult. So, I combined two loves: giving back and crafting. I began knitting hats for Knots of Love, an organization that donates hats to chemotherapy patients and blankets to infants in the NICU.
I quit walking my dog Alke over two years ago because I could not get him to stop pulling, which was excruciating on my arms and on my lower back. The flare in my lower back pain is what ultimately precipitated my fibromyalgia (thanks, nerves!), and I just could not manage walking him as I also tried to manage my pain. Now that I’ve reached what is hopefully my therapeutic level of medications and work/life accommodations, I’ve begun trying to walk him regularly again.