These past few weeks, I have felt myself slipping into the fog. Not of depression, but of this weird and strange thing I deal with - fibromyalgia. I don't understand it; most doctors don't understand it, either. But I know it's real, and I know it's an elusive little annoyance that will pop in unexpectedly for a visit. I never know when it will show, and I never know how long it will stay.
I have really been doing quite well for the past year. No major times of pain and fatigue. But right now, I am really in the thick of it. I first noticed it coming on a few weeks ago - the feeling that I just can't lift my arms, that there is no energy in my limbs, the numbness and weird nerve sensations. The physical symptoms aren't the worst part - it's the endless fatigue. The feeling that I could sleep all day and night and still not feel rested. I think that the weather shifts trigger it to some degree. Stress plays a factor as well. And between those two, my body has become a playground for the symptoms.
I remember when fibromyalgia was first suggested to me by a doctor as the reasoning behind some of the things that had bothered me for a couple of years - shortness of breath, pain in my shoulder region and down my arm, numbness and tingling of the fingers, fatigue unlike any I had felt before. After several blood tests and some neurological tests, it really seemed the only answer. But I thought fibromyalgia was only for crazy people who were sick all the time. As I read about the syndrome, I wept - I had never heard all my symptoms described in such detail. I felt understood, and, oddly, that meant more to me than I ever dreamed possible. Just to know that I'm not crazy made me feel so much better about things.
But where do you go from there? You live with the symptoms. You deal with the fatigue. You keep moving. You appreciate a string of good months. And you are especially thankful that this weird little syndrome, though aggravating as it may be, isn't fatal or causing any damage to your body. It's just an inconvenience.
So, I haven't really been taking care of myself lately, and I think that's why I find myself in this fog right now. I haven't been eating right. I've been drinking too much. And, most importantly, I haven't been getting the exercise I need. Of course, when you're in the middle of this dense fog, it's awfully hard to find the energy to exercise. But I need to do it somehow. I know the benefits are endless. And on the eating front, I am planning on starting the South Beach program next week (after my bestest friend Erika leaves, of course - who can be expected to eat well when their bestie is visiting??). I desperately need to get control over my eating habits again - taper myself away from the sugar and processed foods. I just need to put my body in a healthier physical place - it's not that I am obese or completely unhealthy, but my dependence on carbs and processed foods is ridiculous. I am hoping that the program will curb my cravings. I know things will be difficult, but it's worth a try for me.
Seems like I repeat this cycle in my life all the time. I'll get in a good groove of taking care of myself for a while, and then I pop out of it for one reason or another. I guess that's what most people do. I just need to find an eating program that works for me - no calorie or point counting, just a way of life. So say a prayer for me that I can be strong and eat the way that's best for my body. And not buy any more of those tempting buy one-get one free, heck of a deal on cereal at Publix... I do love Fruit Loops. Ooooohhh... and Apple Jacks. And Captain Crunch. Hope everyone grasps the problem here...