This is a very wordy post with few pictures, so if you don't want to read on, I'd click off right now. I tried to find some good clip art, but couldn't find quite the right depiction of the message i'm trying to get across. Anyway, if that doesn't bother you (that there are a lot of words without pictures), you are more than welcome to read on.......
Quite often, I will think about writing a blog post on a subject then by the time I've actually remembered I was going to do it - the moment has gone. I also feel like I need a reason or a card to blog - not sure if that bothered me when I first started blogging as I was uber-excited about talking which brought many new followers.
When I started to write this post, it was way before Christmas - in fact it was at the end of November, and for a few days prior, I'd been on a bit of bedrest - exhaustion had been and still is a bit of a problem - and the most frustrating part is, I've not exactly done anything that might tire me out - apart from sleeping lol.. well that's what it feels like. You know, if I'd run a marathon or taken the dogs for a nice long walk (I wish), I wouldn't mind it so much, but when it's just a regular part of your everyday - then it can be frustrating. Also - I could understand it if I just sat there for hours on end doing absolutely nothing, being all moronic, but that's not the case either - I try and do as much as my body will physically let me before the pains start.
If I gave you a couple of examples, it might set the scene a little better. At the beginning of November I went to the NEC Hobbycrafts show with my husband and sister (another post started and not finished). We spent a good few hours there (as you do) walking round. We went for lunch out in the main concourse to Wetherspoons, and the sit down was heavenly. I found that I could barely get up let alone walk when I got back up. By the time we had finished near to the end, I could barely put one foot in front of the other. I was dragging my right leg almost because when in a lot of stress or pain, I get a real bad pain in my right groin/top of my leg in the inner joint. As happens often, I find myself having to literally lift my leg into the car to get in. Thankfully I had taken my walking stick with me and used it from the offset. By the time we were making our way back to the car - I could have done with a walking frame. My lower back had also gone - something that can happen by just standing still for a short length of time - or even if I have to bend. Bending over the bath to bathe the dog is leaves me with excruciating pains across my lower back (straight across the back of my pelvis (or so it feels) and then I have to walk around the house with my stick (sorry, I digress)...
Anyway, after dragging myself back to the car - which was parked in the blue badge area (and not nearly near enough to the event), I knew it had been the right decision not to have driven myself there - even though I had to put up with my OH rolling his eyes when random people told him he looked fed up (which he could have tried to hide), I knew I couldn't have done it without him. My sister took her trolley on wheels for all our goodies - which was also another plus because I couldn't have carried a thing. Anyway, once we were on the road home, I think about 10 minutes into the journey, I fell to sleep and slept almost all the way home. I was then 'out of it' and in my bed asleep for the following 5 days. That was one example - and while it sounds extreme, it is a very typical scenario for me - although walking around something like the NEC is definately not a regular occurance and one I know that, unfortunately, I won't be able to repeat until everything is under control.
Another example is when i've been out to lunch with a friend - It's taken so much out of me that I've ended up dropping to sleep when I return which might also affect the next day too.
The feeling of 'exhaustion' can even be present when I've just woken up - which might be early - in that I really didn't get a decent sleep so I get up anyway or it might be late, in which case my OH might leave me there to sleep - after all, he figures that my body needs it if I'm still sleeping. Either way, I feel like I could go straight back and sleep right through to the next day and find myself dropping off all the time. One of the worse things I can do is read - 2 lines and I'm gone... my OH says if he didn't know better, he'd say I had sleep apnea because he can be talking to me one minute and the next, I'll have dropped of. And no, he's not really that boring, it's just that he's the one that's there when it happens.
I appreciate that the amount of medication I am currently taking, along with the pain patches, may have a big part to play in all this, but I am informed that the Fibromyalgia itself has a very big part too and is often associated with other chronic fatigue syndromes or disorders. In the New Year I will be starting on a programme through the hospitals Health Psychology department which is called 'building blocks' (I think) - the programme is supposed to help me come to terms and help me to manage my 'long term chronic health condition'... It's run by other sufferers who have been on the programme too, so I'm looking forward to that because I want to learn about 'pacing' myself so that it's not all or nothing each day. With the pains and exhaustion, I calculate to have only one to two good days per month - maybe three. There is always something that sets it off, or its just there when I get up (if I get up).
So, what do I do when I'm on bed rest (and not asleep)? Well, the laptop of course is almost a constant companion and I have a plethora of magazines by my side. I read for a bit, fall to sleep, wake up, have a look round the net, have a look on Facebook - see what is happening in the world of craft looking at all those pages that I 'Like'! Follow a couple of links and end up in a maze of blogs and websites I didn't know existed as a regular card maker. I SKYPE my sister a lot while she shows me what she's been up to on her Craft Artist and Silhouette Cameo, then drop to sleep again.
This pattern repeats itself - often.
At the moment, as well as getting re-acquainted with blogger dashboard and google reader (both of which I am still pants at keeping up with - bad blogger (me that is, not blogger.com)! No. I've been trying to catch up with everyone but I don't seem to make it very far from the top! Google reader recons I've got 1000+ posts to read.... I don't think so. I apologise to all those mutual followers that will be reading this - all I can say is that I will try harder at reading stuff from hereon in.
Also, added to that - at this precise moment in time (at the time of typing that is) - I have 277 emails to sift through... That's one of the reasons I'm pretty slow at getting back to my lovely crafting friends who often send me lovely emails. Thing is, I like to sift through the rubbish first (you know, the stuff I thought I'd quite like to read so subscribed to the newsletter - times by too many)!!! Once I feel that I have nothing to distract me, I can sit and reply to said emails - and if you know me by now - they never stop at a couple of paragraphs!!! (another NY resolution perhaps?)!!!
On that note, I've deleted everything hereafter that I'd written so that I can make further and hopefully shorter posts. No point in telling all my news in one go, then not blogging for a while and then doing a massive one again! That seems to be the cycle I'm in, so we're on to perhaps NY resolution number 2 then????!!!
Before I 'sign-off' this post, I've decided it's time I had a little candy give away - afterall, it will be 2 years since the PaperPlayground was 'born'. On 4th January to be precise... 4 days before my tumour was discovered and I shared the rest with blogworld! Anyhow, i'm not at all sure what it will be yet but I know that I want to do it because it's important to me to give something back. I am so grateful for every single one of my followers but not sure who actually reads my posts out of them all - so it would be great if you are reading this and just say 'hi' so I know you're still around. I'll be back with another post later and more news of my bloggaversary giveaway in due course...
Crafty hugs to all.
Paula x x x