the Trigger-happy housewife

Bringing the constantly fantastic and painfully insane together daily!

I choose to smile.

on November 26, 2013

Fibromyalgia – it’s sad, and hard, and very – very real. There are days when I hurt like a full body bruise, and I feel as if i have rusted into place. I am tired after making coffee, I have to sit every few moments, all I want to do it go back to bed and wait for it to pass. (Though going to bed can often cause it to get worse and to linger as not moving helps you rust more…) There are days when my mind seems just lost, I can feel the right word just out of reach and I can’t seem to keep any thought from sliding away.

Migraines – are scary, and intense, and very – very unpredictable. I never know when they are going to hit, and when they do it can be incredibly frightening. My migraines come on with blurred vision, doubled and tunneled and blacking out. My stomach twist and nausea sweeps over me. Dizzy and often breathless I get to the closes couch, bed, chair and many times when it hit in the shower I simple balled up right in the floor of the shower. They steal my days, having to hide from light and noise. Migraines made it impossible to work, when the flair up I can have them for days. Driving the thirty minute drive was dangerous, how can you drive home when one hits – and worse, what about when they hit in traffic.

“But, you run.”

Yep, I am a runner. I am a mother, a wife, a teacher. Thankfully I am on my own schedule, so when I need to take extra Advil and nap in the middle of the day I can. Still, this house has to run. Kids need feeding and teaching, my wife deserves a hot dinner when she gets home. The dogs must go out and I must hold classes. Fitness is also a must. There is a new kind of balancing act you have to learn if you have Fibromyalgia. Too little and you are hurting yourself, giving into the pain allows the depression. It’s hard to stay happy when you can’t be a part of the world. Too much and you will burn yourself out, hurting and crumbling. It’s all about finding that place – just outside of comfortable – just before too hard. On this road of learning I have over done it, having a great day of workouts and runs and then BAM the wall is hit and I am like a zombie with the flu for a week just trying to get back to livable.

With the migraines, thankfully, I can feel them coming and I do not work out on the street (no running, or biking, or walking far from the house.) When they get so bad I can’t even deal I usually set the kids up on school projects they can handle and then lay on the couch in the next room with the lights dim and a compress on my head. I am available if they need me. I still cook for them and check their work. I keep them on pace and check in, but stay as vertical as possible.

I try not to talk about these things, they are not my life – my life is God, family, fitness and art. Still, on occasion I feel like it is important to bring this up. Why? Lately, if I have been feeling inappropriately happy. Bills are still scary, my wife still works too many hours, my teeth need a lot of work, my kids need new clothes, life is happening to me and on top of it I am constantly balancing my health – STILL – all I feel is JOY! I am thankful, and constantly being given more reasons to be happy and thankful. I am so satisfied with my relationships and the work I am doing here in our family and my life.

I bring it up because I know that people seem to be surprised that I can relate to them when they say they have Fibro or arthritis. They seem to think I am different, but I am not. I choose to smile, it makes me happy and my children happy. I choose to smile, it changes my day and the day of people around me. I choose to smile, it is the first step in living a better life. A life free from the constrictions of “being sick.” It may hurt to do the things someone else does with no effort, it may take longer for me to clean my house or wash my dogs, it may be hard for me to make plans and I may not be as reliable as someone who doesn’t deal with a chronic illness – but I can. I may have to take a day in a dimly lit room, but I will not let that day turn into a month.

The choice to smile is a small one, but it is the first one in a line of happy choices. Smile, find thankfulness, get moving, live out loud.

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