A Saturday with Fibromyalgia

Dave (my fiance) woke me up around 10. I was grateful to be woken up, as I was in the middle of a bizarre nightmare. Since I’ve been unemployed, I’ve discovered that my body really does need at least 10 hours of sleep. It’s absurd, really. It’s not anything I chose, but on days when I sleep less, I feel like I’m swimming through a thick fog all day. It was a surprising realization that lack of sleep was seriously affecting my quality of life.

We hung out in our pjs for several hours, watching old Simpsons episodes and knitting. Eventually, around 3, I decided to go out driving for Uber/Lyft. I didn’t expect to be especially busy, but I figured I’d get some rides at least.

In about 2 hours, I got 5 rides. That’s not that great. Before Christmas, when there were visitors in town and people going to the airport, I would be incredibly busy. Regardless, it was nice to get out and earn some money.

I drove a young guy who had recently moved here from Mississippi, from a hipster laundromat (I guess that’s a thing) back to his apartment. He had the thickest southern accent I’ve ever heard. Very deep voice, too. I kept him talking to hear it.

I had several couples visiting Portland for the first time. I drove all the way up to Pittock Mansion to pick up a couple who wanted to go to the Portland Saturday Market. I didn’t know that their specific destination was the market, I only knew that they wanted to go down to Waterfront Park. We got down there, and they were suddenly very disappointed. The Saturday Market only runs through Christmas Eve. I parked for a minute, then drove them to a brewery instead.

A typical, uninteresting few hours of driving. On my way out of downtown, I had decided that I’d drive up SE Hawthorne Street, which is a fun shopping/eating neighborhood, before heading home. However, just as I was about to cross the Willamette River at the Broadway Bridge, the drawbridge went up. I sat there for about 20 minutes as a huge freighter was tugged under the bridge.

I gave up on the idea of driving anyone else. I stopped at the market, then came home. I tidied up the kitchen and started dinner. While the meat was marinating (you’ve got to use this marinade on flank steaks or flatirons, it’s the best), I walked back into the living room and basically collapsed. I was done. My shoulders felt heavy. My feet hurt, my hips ached. I feel like I had slammed into a brick wall. The fatigue slapped me upside the head.

And that’s the thing. I really didn’t do anything. It was a mellow day, plenty of sleep, I ate well, a bit of chill driving, and dinner. And I was so utterly exhausted, the right words wouldn’t come out of my mouth when I tried to speak.

I feel like my body betrays me. As if my body doesn’t actually belong to me. It’s its own entity, with a mind and gas tank all it’s own. And man, it runs out of gas so quickly! It’s the most frustrating thing about having fibromyalgia. I can’t rely on my body. I can’t go to a museum or to wander around town, and assume that I’ll be ok walking around for a few hours. I have to take a cane, and expect to stop and rest, or to give up altogether. And if it’s not the fatigue that gets me, it’s the pain. My flat feet can’t keep me up, my hips try to dislocate, my back aches. Even if I have the energy to do something active, my body gives up, and exhausts me into pain.

I’m not writing all of this to complain. It’s simply that I often get questions from people about what fibromyalgia is, what it does to me, how I react. It’s shit. That’s really what it is. It saps my energy, my attention, my ability to function. I spend way more time in my little corner of the couch than just about anywhere else, other than my bed.

I’m done. Yesterday, in a fit of energy, I made a double batch of cookie dough (light chocolate chips and raisins for Dave, tons of chocolate chips for me). I’ll get Dave to cook up a handful of cookies in a bit and call it a night.

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3 thoughts on “A Saturday with Fibromyalgia”

  1. Good description of what your body was going through. But I don’t think you were not doing anything, as you said. You spent time driving strange people around, in Portland weather and traffic, and you were at work doing it. Stress, stress, and stress. Definitely doing something. Make up for it with triple chocolate chips, and save some for future visitors.

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  2. It’s bad for you, but the blog is good for us, the general public. I had no idea what fibromyalgia was or what it did. Thanks for the education and keep on keeping on. You are doing great! Thank you!

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  3. I know it was the shits being canned but I look at your pictures now and think you look so much healthier. The stress at work was killing you. Please keep blogging as I miss you.

    PS. I hope you are enjoying the piggy.

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