Let me start by prefacing that this blog is not intended to be an outlet to vent or express self-pity. I have – and continue to live – a full life. I have traveled extensively, lived abroad and in some of the most interesting cities in the world. I have counseled students in rural Alaska and made chocolate milk on a kibbutz in Israel’s desert. I have baked baklava on a small island in Greece and hiked the Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu. My most satisfying experience is getting married for the first time at the age of 50 to a loving, caring and funny Texan. So life is good. No it’s great!
I was first diagnosed with CFIDS and fibromyalgia nearly 10 years ago though I cannot determine when I first started feeling weak and sickly. Was it after the drama I experienced in my early 30’s after a brief but painfully tumultuous relationship with a married man? Could it have begun a few years later after I had knee surgery resulting from a horse that did not want me to ride him? Or could this “invisible disease” been in my system most of my life? As a child, I was rarely very sick but I do remember not wanting to go to school sometimes because I just didn’t feel good. No fever, no vomiting, no runny nose – just a general yuckiness. Of course, such descriptions rarely got me a day off which may be why even today I feel like I should push myself when I don’t feel up to it.
I decided to begin a blog upon the advice of my acupuncturist in Waco, Texas. I wanted to write a book of my life experiences thus far, not so much as a biography but as a testament to independence. I wanted to write a love story because I never thought I would find someone who accepted me unconditionally and whom I could tolerate for the long term. Even though a fortune teller in New Orleans told me seven years ago that I would find my soul mate and life partner, I was dubious (but still hopeful). I wanted to explain how my affliction has impacted my life and my ongoing efforts to integrate its effect on my day to day life while still living a full and satisfying life.
The main purpose of this blog is for me to let go of some of the thoughts that invade my brain when I should be resting or sleeping. For those of you reading my blog, I plan to share a bit of myself, educate readers about how CFIDS and fibromyalgia has affected my life, and my ongoing struggle in how best to adjust my lifestyle. Most of all, I hope my musings express my love of life and any obstacle can be overcome by keeping options open, assessment and adjustment.
Today is Valentine’s Day and while my husband and I met and started our love affair more than four years ago, this is the first as a married couple and for that very reason, is so much sweeter. I am in the midst of a severe relapse and my energy level is low yet I wanted to do something special. Yesterday afternoon, I baked cinnamon rolls (yes, from scratch). Of course, he couldn’t wait until this morning to taste them! One of the several times that I woke up during the night, I put cards and his gift from the dogs and cat (a coffee mug with a stuffed pup inside) by the coffee pot and cinnamon rolls.
It’s a lovely Texas morning with temps rising into the 60s. I just came back from walking with the dogs down the dirt road which I try to do daily. This is one of my daily joys. Zoe is nearly 13 and while her legs and hips are weakening, she still enjoys strolling by my side. Homer is 5 and Luna just turned 1 year old in January. The youngsters chase each other, wrestle, and jump on their hind legs like two bears going to battle. On a day like today, Homer and Luna scoot under the barbed wire fence and race to the pond to cool down. I used to go with them and throw sticks into the water but a close encounter with a water moccasin last fall keeps me from going near there anymore.
When I feel stronger, I will again walk to the end of the road to our mail box. It’s only ½ mile to the main road but I am trying not to push myself. I have been told for years that exercise is important for CFIDS and fibromyalgia but overdoing it is counterproductive. It is a fine balance that I am still trying to figure out. Last Monday, I felt so good that I walked, spent two hours on my project so someday I can earn my M.Ed. in school counseling, and rode my stationary bike for 30 minutes with level 3 resistance. I realize this doesn’t sound like much for a normal person but I was so satisfied with my full day. Unfortunately, I crashed the next day. I had to go two weeks without acupuncture and I could feel my body back tracking. But I will continue to walk almost daily even if it is only for 10 minutes.
My loving husband just called and is taking me to a new restaurant in Meridian, Texas for all you can eat shrimp tonight. I have so much more to say but will stop for now to rest and gather my energy for our date!