I woke up feeling horrible yesterday. My head was pounding, my neck hurt, and of course, my body felt as if someone had snuck in and beat me during the night. I barely felt like moving, and had to give myself a pep talk just to make it to the shower.
We had planned to run some errands, but when my husband saw how bad I felt, he asked if I’d rather stay home and rest. “No,” I said, “I can be miserable out, or I can be miserable here, and I’m hoping moving around might help.” You see, I’ve learned over the past few years that when I’m feeling really bad, if I get up and move around some it helps with the pain. I’m not sure if it’s the distraction from the pain or the increased bloodflow to the muscles and organs that helps, but I suspect it’s a little of both.
In my post You Are What You Think, I talked a little about how our thoughts affect us, and when I’m sitting around doing nothing, it’s easy for my mind to go into overdrive, reminding me how bad I feel, or how much I can no longer do, etc., but when I’m out and about, I’m thinking about putting one foot in front of the other and doing what I came out to do. Although I still hurt, and I’m careful not to overdo it, having that distraction for a while helps me feel better.
Of course, this doesn’t always work. Those of us who live with fibromyalgia have to learn to listen to our bodies and learn to decipher what they’re telling us. By paying attention to the specific sensations we’re feeling, we can tell if it’s a “distraction day” or a “recovery day.” For me, I know it’s a recovery day if my legs feel weak. I don’t know how to explain it, but some days, my legs feel as if they’re going to buckle under me. On those days, I take it easy, and I definitely don’t go anywhere unless I absolutely have to. Some days, I just have to experiment and adjust as needed. Of course, I probably don’t need to tell you that during a full-on flare, I take that recovery day.
Yesterday, the distraction worked, and we even got to go to our favorite ice cream stand for opening day. Now THAT’S what I call living well!