Week Six–Seven Walks, Seven Days

My big goal for the week was to do seven walks in seven days.


Well, the truth is I do not want to be a pained up mess in Mexico and I have fibromyalgia.

Not following?

Okay.  Let me explain.  Your fibro body (or your otherwise chronic body because this does apply to all manner of chronic illness) cannot go from whatever your normal routine is to a vacation routine without a horrible crash into a wall of pain.

Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection

Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection

It’s like being in a car accident.  I have been in a couple of accidents in my life and it is the closest sensation I can come up with to help you understand what is going on in your body.  The trauma of going from your home to any vacation locale is the same as being in a moderate speed crash.

That is what fibromyalgia is and that is what it does.

Too many fibros think this means there’s no vacation, no joy left in life.

And I’m saying you are absolutely wrong…IF…you’re willing to work for a better result.

It is said Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing repeatedly while expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.  Therefore it is insane for any person with fibromyalgia to go from her or his normal life to a vacation without significant preparations.

It’s not fibro’s fault you were miserable on your vacation.  It’s yours.  And yes, I know I take a huge risk saying that to you.  But, it is also one of the tough-love truths of fibromyalgia.

You cannot bounce from your normal to anything else without pain.  Hello, this is fibro!  So stop trying.

No, I’m not saying stop trying to go have fun because I’m all about THRIVING with fibro and you should know that.

Found on Pinterest, used without permission.

Found on Pinterest, used without permission.

What I am insisting is that you learn to prepare your body, your fibromyalgia to have a pleasant experience.  Does pleasant mean pain-free?  No.  Pleasant means not so thoroughly miserable you cannot have a good time WITH fibromyalgia.

So seven walks in seven days is part of my months-long preparation for vacation.

How did I do?

It was ROUGH!

Monday I needed to go shopping for clothes and since I went to the mall, a thrift store, and a big box store plus grocery shopping at the big box I counted it.  I found some cute clothes and the memory of just how physical and emotional the dressing room is.  It didn’t help that the mall department store dressing room was equipped with a 360 mirror.  The mental work!  Oy!

Tuesday’s walk was at a new place with a steep grade I did not know about.  I probably should have turned away.  In fact, it was my first instinct.  However as I stood there contemplating I realized that no matter how well I think I am preparing for Mexico there is going to come a moment when I am going to be faced with a situation I think my body cannot handle.  I may even be in a situation where I cannot turn back.  So.  I.  Walked.  Down and then back up that steep grade.  And.  I’ve.  Been.  Paying. For. It.  All.  Week.  However, if it would happen in Mexico and I intend on having a decent time I do need to recreate as much of what I think I’ll experience there in my here and now on the chance that maybe my body will not see my south of the border experience as such a threat.

Yeah, that's my ANKLE!!!

Yeah, that’s my ANKLE!!!

Wednesday.  Holy crap…where did I walk on Wednesday?  I know I did but for the life of me it’s blank.  Which by the way is very typical because Thursday was an exercise in pain.  When I have a huge pain event, I lose memory or have a hard time stitching the day or so before, the day or days of the flare, and the day or so after the flare together.  Right now, I would say I didn’t have a Wednesday but that’s slightly impossible, right?  I actually had to go look at my Fibromyalgia Five Minute Fitness Challenge Facebook page to remember….oh yeah massive ankle edema cancelled all of my plans.

Thursday the ‘general malaise’ of fibro set joined the pain.  I was queasy, weak, and dizzy…and amazingly thankful I was here at home feeling it instead of being in another world and feeling it.  I prayed a lot asking for today’s pain and general unwellness to be temporary and something I will handle well aboard the ship.  Sometimes praying is all you can do.

Friday I still felt woozy but my pain levels jumped down a couple of pegs so of course I went for a walk.  I finally made it to the nature center.  It was worth the wait!  Ducks, bees, and glorious signs of spring.  I finally remembered to turn on my walking app so I know I went just over half a mile and it worried me that it felt like more.  I took a deep breath and reminded myself it always feels like more.

Saturday my hubs and I planned to go bald eagle watching but the viewing station eluded us.  We were near Parowan Gap, a beautiful ancient site full of petroglyphs, so since I’d never been we walked the 1/8th or so mile path up one side and down the other.  It was amazing!  A mile or so down the road a sign said, “Dinosaur Tracks” and I couldn’t dive off the highway fast enough.  Out me and my camera went for more sights.  The site is entirely unimproved so I wasn’t sure what I supposed to be looking for but I managed to find some evidence of the beasts anyway.  I snapped exactly 67 pictures…and quite possibly my ribs and spine, or at least it feels that way this morning.

I actually put my hand in the center of this one.  I felt the energy.  I felt was the right magic for this week.

I actually put my hand in the center of this one. I felt the energy. I felt was the right magic for this week.

Here I am at day seven.  I have completed five walks, had a bout of massive edema that worried me enough I almost went to instacare, survived the ‘fibro flu,’ and felt the sunshine and fresh air on my shoulders while I dreamed of experiencing the sun in Mexico.

“I wonder if the sun feels different in Mexico,” I dreamily asked my husband as we walked together.

Sunday is nearly half over.  My morning has been immersed in words.  My back is screaming.  The blue sky and abundant sunshine is beckoning.  And one of the local DJ’s turned me on to a new park after she posted her Valentine’s Day walk with her husband.  It is calling me.

Six walks in seven days.

I hurt.

I have over 100 new photos.

I have fibromyalgia.

I have also lost 1.4 pounds this week.

I was also accountable to my goal and to my body.  While I did earn some pain I would have rather avoided, I embraced my fibro body for all her infirmities and decided to live anyway…I like to call it THRIVING.

No magic.  Only accountability to my body, my disease, my health.

This is me on Valentine’s Day 2015: XL denim jacket that finally buttons all the way up, 16/18 top, almost too big 22 camo cargo pants, and a smile with fibromyalgia…life is to short to never live like you mean it.

THRIVER!!!  I do not smile to hide my pain from you.  I smile because it is good for me.

THRIVER!!! I do not smile to hide my pain from you. I smile because it is good for me.

4 thoughts on “Week Six–Seven Walks, Seven Days

  1. I love this post. Holding ourselves accountable is the only way that we will spot our patterns and learn to thrive. Sometimes we need tough love.
    This week has been a fibro nightmare for me, first with losing my truck to a doe and then with my 32 hour kitty drama that sent my stress levels through the roof. All of it combined with this winter storm to bring on one of the worst flares I have had in over a year BUT I keep moving. Keep hydrating and keep reminding myself that everything passes. Breath.
    I hope your trip is filled with wonder. You have more than earned it.

    • Aww thanks! But, I submit you’ve also “earned” your pain this week. It’s been wretched! I don’t know anyone who could manage to not flare through any of that much less have all of it at once. It’s a testament to your strength. I’m so glad your kitty is home. Everything passes…Yes!!!

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