Saturday, May 22, 2010

Ice Cream For the Fibromyalgic Soul

This is the Queen Victoria Day long weekend in Canada. It is the weekend when BBQ's are dusted off and steaks are thrown on the grill. This is the 'official' weekend to plant your pretty annuals as gardening season has begun in earnest. Families pack up their RV's and escape to a quiet lake. Pot-luck suppers abound and if we're very lucky, we might even see a bout of sunshine.

It's not like I had big plans for this weekend. We're not going away. I wanted to meander through the nurseries, buy a few more plants and spruce up the gardens. Maybe go for a stroll with the Diva, rent a movie. Y'know, relaxin' stuff.

My body, however, made other plans for me this morning. With no warning, which is typical of fibromyalgia, I awoke curled-up stiff in the fetal position. These are the mornings I refer to as 'uncurl/unfurl time.' It takes me a long while to unstiffen enough to sit up and put my feet on the floor. I've learned to do it in stages. These are the mornings I do the 'rigor mortis' walk to the bathroom. Remember how you felt when you hadn't been to the gym in a long time? Full of bravado and good intentions, you throw yourself into exercise like a professional athlete. You pat yourself on the back, Weekend Warrior that you are. The next day you hurt in places you didn't even know had muscles. You're stiff, you're sore, your calfs are tight and you try not to walk with a limp. Yeah, that's a little bit like fibromyalgia... multipled by 10 or 20 or worse.

The real bitch is that I didn't put in a health-promoting work-out recently. I had a few wonderful pain-free days and went about life as usual. My rational mind told me I had not over done any activity or been involved in anything unusually strenous. The body begs to differ.

I realize some people suffer far worse than I do. But, my instinct tells me that I should not minimize my own condition as if it were a mere inconvenience. The frustration with having to stay in bed due to overwhelming fatigue and soreness got to me and I let a few tears fall. My ribs feel as though I have volunteered my services as a sparring partner. My fingers are stiff as sticks and I can safely say that every joint in my body is giving me hell. Have you ever been so sore that your skin hurts?

As a rule, I try not to engage in self-pity, but I'm disappointed that I cannot join my family in any kind of physical activity today. At least I made myself get dressed. I've spent the time reading and watching my daughter play with the dog. The pain and tiredness are upsetting on their own. Then, factor in the inevitable (for me, anyway) self-blame and guilt for not being able to follow through with plans and you've got a recipe for a sorry-ass day.

I choose to take the High Road and refuse to put further pressure on myself. This evening I am going to try my very best to do something with my family, whether it be watching a movie or going for a drive. I've heard that ice cream is very effective for soothing what ails you. Forget the chicken soup - I have a better idea for a new series of books: Ice Cream for the (Fibromyalgic) Soul.


  1. Ice Cream at Marble Slab anyone?

  2. You are a gifted writer...I enjoyed reading your blog .. will check in again soon. I'm sorry to hear you're in such pain most of the time. You sure cover it well, with your wit and outgoing personality. Hugs!!

  3. Thanks Kaye. Fortunately, I do have more good days than bad - it's just that the bad ones, when they hit, are really bad.

  4. Oh thank you:) It was like like a story about me and yes when the bad days hit, they hit hard

  5. Yeah, I thought you might be able to relate, Jennifer.