I read online a lot. When my pain is mostly in my hands and wrists, that's about all I can do when I want to relax-Lord knows Sky King doesn't give up the remote freely very often. (Why should he? I only want to watch stupid shows about desserts that I can't have, or people that sing. Ick.)
I also belong to a few groups dealing with fibro and chronic fatigue. What I have been most intrigued by, as has my husband, is the complete lack of support some people get that struggle with an invisible illness.
I have thought about it for quite some time. I have pondered, mused and ruminated. I think I may have came up with the answer. And knowing this scares the ever-loving crap out of me.
Many people have been struggling with their health issues for a VERY LONG TIME. They were first experiencing symptoms way before modern medicine even validated their illnesses, much less believed that any of their complaints had validity-most of the people diagnosed are women, being cared for by male doctors, which has not helped the cause, lemme tell ya.
Add to this many of these people were just normal people BEFORE they got sick. Normal jobs, normal energy levels, normal occasional bouts of dont-feel-like-its and that-mess-will-be-there-tomorrows and my favorite, I-just-don't-fucking-wanna. You know, that stuff you all experience once in a while.
But. BIG BUTT. Like, creepy-fat-chick-fetish-porno-butt. Then they get/come down with/start to feel shitty/get diagnosed with some crap: fibro, chronic fatigue, lupus, Sjorgen's, take your pick. There's more, but I don't feel like Googling them all. You know what I mean, you know how Google works, do it your damn self.....sorry. Got carried away AND off track. So not like me.
They are told by their doc that STRESS is the thing they need to reduce to experience a bit of relief, along with pounds of pills jammed down their throats all day long.
Do you know how hard it is to make a conscious effort to avoid stress? Well, it is about as easy as sending your child outside for several hours right after a big rain storm with the words, "Now, don't get dirty!". Not very possible, my friends.
Why does this all scare me?
Well, you may remember that I have a teensy little problem with control. That's why I write this damn blog, so I can control your opinion of me, even if that means your opinion gets weirder, or drops like a lead weight. At least it was on purpose.
Now, I have to reduce stress, which involves a lot of saying NO, not planning so much, not going in to work so much, not driving so much, not spending so much time on the computer, blah blah blah. I guess I am supposed to sit in a quiet clean room in a comfy chair, sipping chamomile tea whilst staring outside into the beautiful woods, adoring the twittering wildlife.
NOT screaming that my son is acting like a complete jackass while he shrugs and walks away, in the middle of helping Princess understand alphabetical order, while texting my sis-in-law about dinner plans in a few days while listening to Monday Night Football in the background and Adele in the kitchen, while the smoke detector goes off because the frozen pizza that might make it into the mouths of my children drips cheese into an already filthy oven. Check.
Oh, and I have to continue to bring my kids to school-a wonderful Montessori charter school-where it is mandatory that we (meaning I) do 70 hours of parent participation (read: show up for field trips, conferences, classroom events, etc.) all within the midst of other moms (and some dads, don't get all pissy just yet) doing the same thing. Which means I will over-commit, overschedule and run myself ragged.
Here's the big catch: Almost everyone I currently know knew me "when". They knew the overachiever that was there for everything, seemed totally together, was on every field trip and every sign-up, was there at work early, leaving late. Was seen cruising in the Swagger Wagon running errands at an enviable pace, couldn't seem to sit still long enough to breathe. They all love me and accept me, and surely notice a huge difference in the past year.
Now though, I am meeting people in my life: the gym, yoga class, Support Group, Kids' school, new families at work, that DIDN'T know me before. To them, I may be seen as a flaky forgetful chubby mama that seems to be chasing her tail on a regular basis. And each year, more and more people will join the ranks of the "Never knew Type-A Aimee". This scares the absolute shit out of me.
There goes just a little bit more control.
Maybe I need a warning label?