Every so often the chronic pain condition I have lived with since my early twenties likes to sneak up on me and whack me on the head . . . and the back . . . and the feet . . . and the elbows . . . and the knees . . . you get the picture. Because I have around 30 years' experience with this particular demon, I have built into my life escape ramps that allow me to pull over to the side of the road and weather the flare ups with minimal damage to my life.
Friends and family who have known me for a long time know that when I am gripped at the throat by my nemesis they cannot expect much from me. My energy stores and number of functional hours per day are limited. Unfortunately, since I have to earn a living, the functional hours generally get used up at work, where I need to get things done and appear to be paying attention (as opposed to being curled up in a ball under my desk). This leaves little energy or patience for hearth and home.
I am in the first real flare since my new guy and I have been involved. I've had 'mini-flares' -- where things clear up within a day or so -- a couple of times. But not one as hard hitting as what I've been experiencing the last few days. The fatigue and body pain are in the forefront. I hold it together at work. . . and even manage to get things done and done well. Once I get home. . . different story altogether. Expectant faces wanting dinner are disappointed. Expectant faces wanting long walks in the bark park are disappointed. But not as disappointed as I am. But I focus on not letting my frustration add another layer of discomfort to my already full plate of blah.
My body is a map of pain . . . my feet feel like they have been crushed in a vise, my back aches, my shoulders are in knots. I have spent the entire day holding it together -- pushing the pain down and focusing on my job. I have cracked jokes and laughed - - to distract myself. By the time the work day ends, my ability to suppress the pain is wearing thin. When I walk through the door my first thought is that I just want to keep walking to my bed and go to sleep.
So now I am doing the things I know will shorten the flare -- I am sleeping - - as much as I can. I am not pushing myself, even when I feel like maybe I can. I know the outcome will be a longer flare. I am waiting patiently for my body to respond positively. It will happen. Things will improve. The important thing is to focus on the movement toward healing and not the place I am now at.