That thought…

I’ve never had that thought before… I’ve always been able to rise above, to consider that “this too shall pass” and, yet,  it came, unbidden, as I was sitting at the dining room table one day not long ago – “I don’t think I can live like this.”

That thought hasn’t appeared again. It never occurred to me before. What has changed? Maybe it’s perimenopause. Maybe it’s something else. Maybe it’s true?  No, I don’t think so… at least not today.

I’ve lived with diagnoses of fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis (and a few other things) for more than 10 years. I’ve worked 40+ hours per week. I haven’t asked for or really considered disability. So why did I have that thought? My marriage is basically happy. My life is pretty good. And yet, on that day, in that moment, I considered another option.

And then I felt guilty. I am not dying of an incurable disease like ALS or cancer. I do not have a progressively worsening diagnosis such as MS. And yet the pain can be so debilitating that in a moment of weakness that thought occurred to me.

The strange weather this season has taken a toll on everyone I know with chronic pain such as  migraines or arthritis or anything else. Here in tropical Minnesota  it was 80 degrees F (or maybe it’s 80 F* degrees?) on March 15th!!  Not normal weather for this part of the country.  Of course, within two weeks there were severe frosts that took out a lot of budding fruit trees.  On April 19, 2011, I documented a snowfall on my digital camera. And the weather has bounced around from Summer to Winter then briefly to Spring. Those kinds of atmospheric changes wreak havoc on anyone with chronic pain.

And the thunderstorms these last few nights kept me awake… which adds to the cycle – lack of sleep, increase in stress, increase in pain.

One of my favorite speakers, Dr Edward Creagan of Mayo Clinic, gave a presentation this week and said the basics to reduce stress  include: walk 30 minutes a day; strength training; restorative sleep (and he added “which most of us never get”); plant-based diet.  When a woman asked him about insomnia, he suggested winding down for 30-45 minutes before bed.  I wanted to ask him “What about when the hot flashes wake me up?”  “What about when the pain wakes me up?” “What about when the I-just-can’t-get-comfortable rotisserizing starts?” And I know the answer is “Go back to the basics.”

It’s that simple — if only it were that easy…

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4 thoughts on “That thought…

    • Thank you, ButterSugarFlowers 🙂
      This post reminds me of something Neil Gaimon said recently about “walking down the street naked” – that’s how I feel about this post.

  1. I am so glad you found my blog Lady Barefoot Baroness,.so that I may find yours.
    We share a lot in common which you may have noticed and is why you have opted to floow my blog.
    I have found in my 28 years of dealing with c/pain that to communicate with those in know from living the good fight we are superb support for another. No matter what kind of great relationshps we may be blessed with there is none other like that with a another chronic painer. I will not waste this space, or yours and my own energy, in repeating here what is on my blog, but suffice it say that along with being being diagnosed in 1991 with Fibro, after 5 years of diasterous experiences with another chronic pain condotion and the surgical intervention that went way wrong and I beleive triggered the Fibro.
    It has been a long road but one I can actually say I am grateful for- without I would not meet interesting and great people like you.

    I hope to see more of one another soon. Please forgive me if I am absent for the next week off and on. I just had a procedure on my neck that very well could spike my pain symptoms. I only tell you because I would loathe to have you think I am ignoring you. Not!

    • Many thanks for your comment and your follow. We are in agreement 🙂 There are many of us and we need each other.
      I send you my thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery from your procedure – like a warm homemade quilt around your shoulders 🙂

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