About Me

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I'm a mom, a wife, a best friend. Sick with CFIDS/ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia since 1975 as a result of a nasty flu while still in grad school, it wasn't until the late '80's that I received a diagnosis. Until that flu I'd never really been ill before. With each year I get progressively worse and add to the bucket load of symptoms I'm living with. I've been blessed with an incredible family and best friend who've stayed with me through my struggles as we continue to find a way out of this monstrous illness and its complications. We've tried seemingly every approach to find my way back to health. Often I think our best weapon in this undesirable and unasked-for adventure has been laughter.

Monday, March 19, 2012

About Fibro Brain...

Our first batch of hyacinths is making an appearance! 
Since we've had no winter this year, it seems that the beautiful bulbs my hubby and I planted will start coming up soon.  I've noticed others post lovely pictures of their flowers on their Facebook wall/albums, or on their blogs.  I thought I should give it a try because....

Well, first, let me back up here for a moment for the backstory.

I had ordered bulbs back in June/July for fall planting.  By ordering before a certain date you receive a huge discount (50%!) and I'm always up for that. My last massive planting was back in 1996, quite some time ago, I'd say.  Those bulbs lasted quite a while, though granted, each year we had fewer and fewer flowers coming up in the spring.  

Understand, our house needs some serious curb appeal since a contractor who took down our falling-apart front porch failed to ask me if I wanted to save any of some pretty wonderful landscaping I had. Oh, we needed some serious overhauling, and every one of the bushes was meant to be moved, but away, not forever.  I especially miss my white oak leaf hydrangeas which I'd planted as little more than twigs, well over fifteen years ago. Again I digress, but you get the idea. 

This year we had to do extensive remodeling (thankfully by another contractor) and since the work was and is still on-going, I thought bulbs would at least cheer up the front of the house - not to mention that they would delight our poor neighbors, I'm sure.

When I ordered the bulbs, however, I didn't take into account that my "gardening son," my "assistant," may very well be out of the country come bulb-planting season.  The bulbs were delivered to our doorstep by UPS in mid-September, but I put off planting them seemingly forever - thanks to the DD (code word for "Dreaded Disease," etc., if you recall).  But one day I bit the bullet, took up my gardening equipment which hubby had kindly put aside for me in a convenient spot, grabbed the bulbs and made my way to the front porch.  I wasn't exactly bouncing along, but at least I was up.  On the new porch, protected from the sun, I proceeded to line up the bulbs by color, type, height, growing time, color combinations.  It was truly a magnificent sight, all that coordination and organizing.  I was quite pleased with myself, I must admit.  I even took out a sketching pad and pencil and marked the places I'd put groups into and how many for each group, which would be in the front, which in circles, which scattered and naturalized - again, you get the picture.

That day, after about fifty bulbs, all my plans went kapooy!  Hubby came along and I snapped at him that I knew exactly what I was doing, thank you very much.  I noticed him grabbing a glimpse of me every thirty minutes or so, sure I was going to pass out before too long, or worse, fall and hurt myself and need a run to the ER for an X-ray....it's happened more than a few times before.  By nightfall, despite the many cold glasses of water I gulped down (to keep my blood pressure up), I was running out of steam and welcomed hubby's carefully worded offer to help clean up.  He looked at the bulbs still to planted and then at me and asked, "HOW many bulbs did you order?" Very matter-of-factly I answered, "oh, about a hundred and fifty."  Good thing I couldn't seen the eye roll because of the dark, otherwise, the MAN might've needed the ER.  (OK, I'm kidding about him and possibly needing an ER...somewhat!)

Well, the expected happened.  I paid for all my efforts the next day and the next and the next....  Can we all say, "post-exertional fatigue!", one of the hallmarks of this DD?  I could manage the pain this time, but the fatigue was now the real killer.  Hubby kept asking if he could help.  Through gritted teeth I kept informing him that I'd get out there and do it myself, thank you very much.

To make a long story short, a few weeks later hubby ended up planting the rest of the bulbs himself.  He planted another hundred and didn't make a dent.  Each day he'd rush home from work to plant as many as he could before the sun went down.  For the first time in my life, winter hours were my enemy and I wanted Daylight Savings Time with its extra hour of light - a definite sign of my desperation.  We kept trying to figure out new areas to plant the bulbs because the darned bulbs seemed to be mysteriously mutating and procreating.  Hubby started to use flashlights strategically placed around himself and any particular flowerbed he was working on.  We got to the point where it didn't even matter WHERE those bulbs would go.  We just wanted those suckers in the ground!  Eventually we tallied up each bag and how many were in each one.  It turned out that there were over five hundred bulbs, all for a lot not much bigger than a postage stamp.

The moral of the story: CFIDers and those with Fibro can't count nor should they be believed that they can overcome all obstacles.  We may think we can, even truly believe so, but nothing is further from the truth...we are all too often in serious denial, thinking we can do what we did before we became ill.

People, please take note.  I'll be discussing this further once I can get my wording correct, but there's a point I'd like to bring up at this point.

There IS a difference between depression and fibromyalgia, with depression on the one hand and CFIDS and Fibro on the other, contrary to what all too many doctors, as well as crazy psychiatrists and psychologists, seem to believe.  With depression people feel as if they can't do anything, they can't even begin anything, all because of the feelings of desperation, uselessness, and being overwhelmed. With CFIDS/CFS/ME and Fibro, on the other hand, we  all too often think we can do, as I said before, whatever we could do before we became ill.  When we can't do something despite every effort, we get angry, we cry, and/or become upset, a normal reaction. 

Now that's a HUGE difference, one to explore for another time.

In the meanwhile, I can't wait to see what kind of mishmash comes up this year in our garden.  Should be interesting!