We were finally going to take our day trip to celebrate our anniversary. We had delayed by a couple of weeks, mainly due to my pain levels, but I was finally feeling well enough to take our little trip. We were going somewhere we haven’t been before and were really looking forward to it.
We got into the car, my husband pressed the start button…..and nothing but some chimes and a low battery message on the display….
My hubby managed to use the jumper cables and his truck to start the car, but we didn’t dare go anywhere without getting the battery checked. It turned out our battery had gone bad, but it was under warranty so they replaced it for us and we were back on the road in no time.
As we dealt with this whole battery situation it reminded me of how often my ‘battery’ gets depleted. The overwhelming fatigue that accompanies Fibromyalgia is difficult, partly because, like that car battery that went bad out of nowhere, it’s unpredictable.
You can be going along feeling okay and the next thing you know, you feel as if you’ve hit a wall and can’t possibly take another step. On top of that, often your legs feel as if they’re just going to give way underneath you. It’s an unsettling feeling, to say the least.
The good new is that although we can’t avoid this completely – Fibromyalgia is a quirky little bugger and it’s just going to do what it’s going to do sometimes – we can do some things to help avoid these ‘hitting the wall’ experiences or lessen the impacts after we deal with them.
There are three things that I’ve found particularly helpful for this:
Pacing. Pacing out our activities and not trying to do too much at once can be one of our biggest ‘battery-conserving’ tools. As I talked about in Just Do One Thing, doing a little at a time can help us get things done without the fibromyalgia flaring up and stopping us completely.
Eating well. Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help us keep our energy levels more steady and may prevent those times of utter energy depletion. Stretching out our eating opportunities over several times during the day rather than eating heavy meals a couple of times a day is usually helpful as well. This keeps our blood sugar levels in more of a steady state and reduces those sharp spikes and drops in energy.
Pre-planning recovery days if there’s a lot going on. As I mentioned in Pre-Planned Recovery Days, taking these pre-planned days of rest can help us find a balance between caring for ourselves and being able to do the things that are important to us. We all have those times that we just have to ‘push through’ the fatigue and pain, and knowing that we can take the next day to rest can give us that little push we need to keep going. If I have those times where I just have to push through and get things done, I always plan a day after the event when I can just rest and recover. This helps replenish energy and reduce pain.
These three little things have made a huge difference for me. There were a couple of years where I was afraid to go anywhere by myself because I was afraid I’d run out of energy to the point that I wouldn’t be able to make it back home. That’s not really a worry for me anymore, and I can’t tell you how freeing that is!
Of course, as with anything else, what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. We each have to experiment a little to find those things most helpful for us; after all we’re really the experts on our own bodies.
What helps you keep your energy levels steady and prevent your ‘battery’ from dying on you? Please share!