Friday, May 11, 2012

The Chart

I made a chart. I got the inspiration on Wednesday when I was feeling good, make a quick run to the store to get about three items, and while I was in there started feeling like utter doo doo (pain, exhaustion, feeling flu-ish). I thought to myself: what if I charted my energy and pain levels?

So here it is.

Red-pain and utter fatigue, body aches...really can't do anything but sit or lie down (preferably lie down) when I'm red.
Orange-insomnia. When I should be sleeping or getting sleepy but I'm. just. not. It is NOT a productive insomnia. Note the similarity between the colors red and orange.
Pink-also related to red but not as dark. This is fatigue, but I can force myself to get up and "DO"...but I don't want to. But I can and do.

Green-feeling good and getting stuff done.

Most of my life is lived in the pink range. Green is a bonus. I can go from Green to red, or pink, really quickly. Climbing out of red takes sleep and effort and usually some time feeling pink.

May is Fibromyalgia Awareness Month. This is what Fibromyalgia, Chronic Epstein Barr that I can't get rid of, and Hashimoto's looks like.

Yesterday was a fairly good day. I got a lot done. Wednesday was hard. Most of it was red. Today I'm starting in the pink/red and I've been sitting here all morning watching TV and being on the computer.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Breaking it Down

OK, what components go into health and this elusive thing called "wellness"?

Relationships-family and friends
Movement: stretching/ strength building/ aerobic

I've been working SO HARD ya'll, on getting all of these areas in my life at a better place using baby steps. The spiritual part...well, been doing that for years. I won't go into that for now, but the other stuff...of course I've been blogging about it, so this is nothing new.

Of course I've been working a lot on trying to figure out all that is going on and why I feel sick every day, and I think I've finally arrived at some knowledge and acceptance: Fibro, Epstein Barr, and Hashimoto's (autoimmune) --henceforth to be referred to as the trifecta of badness.

I'm at last, as of this morning, taking a medication to help me cope with my fibro symptoms, which will hopefully also lift a bit of the depression I struggle with. It's called Savella.

On the food thing...the latest thing I cut out of my life was coffee, switched to black tea, then down to green tea, then decaf green tea...and today it was ice water in the morning... and with each subsequent change I have started sleeping better and better and better. Who knew? (Well, lots of people, actually).

And the sleep is helping my energy levels a little bit. I knew it would. The last three times I've been into the doctor I've talked about my inability to sleep. Too bad she did not say "cut out the coffee". Oh well. Better late than never.

So the sleep thing is improving.

And because of the GAPS diet I feel like the food thing is in a good place. I don't over eat. I promise. Yes, it is possible for someone to be obese and NOT overeat. Just like I refuse now (new year's resolution) to put a known poison into my body, I also refuse to NOT nourish myself adequately).

So the next big glaring weak spot for me to tackle in my wellness journey, as the trifecta of badness allows, is movement. No, see, I'm not even gonna call it "fitness" or "getting in shape". That's too ambitious. I'm just gonna call it "movement". As in: "I'm gonna take my cane and my fat trifecta self and shuffle around the block for 30 minutes if I can." or "I'm gonna fall on the floor and while I'm down here maybe I can do some stretching exercises." Awesome. I gotta add some gentle movement in, and I do mean gentle.

My habit, heretofore, is to always go at exercise with all guns blaring and then I die about two weeks later and lay around in a fibro flare for the next six months. And since the definition of crazy is to do the same thing over and over and expect different results (he joining weight watchers for the umpteenth time...not gonna happen, or watching Biggest Loser to try and inspire my inner Jillian with more self loathing than I already possess to whip my rear into shape when that's just going to bring on a flare of mono AND fibro...anywhoo...) I'm not going to do the guns blazing exercise thing anymore. No ma'am.

I have to figure out how to exercise WHILE I FEEL LIKE DOO DOO. So it's gonna have to be small and simple and do-able. Doo-doo-able. whatever.

Today I did some pilates for, like, ten minutes. Yesterday I dragged myself to the fitness room and walked on the treadmill at an excruciatingly slow speed (well, excruciating for my pride. My legs thanked me) for 25 minutes. And no, I couldn't keep going that extra five to make it a half an hour. The trifecta is to blame.

I have never been this pathetic out of shape in my life except when I had just had a c-section, and even then my overall fitness was better.

Today I did the intro "core basics" (ten minutes of easy stuff and how to breathe) of a pilates video. It was do-able but I could feel it.

So, that is the one big hole in my mental pie chart of wellness: Exercise. And I can't go all out. But slow and steady, as the proverb goes, wins the race.