“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend." - Sarah Ban Breathnach

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I feel like I'm on a roller coaster these days. Last week, I had one day where I felt absolutely fantastic! I woke up in less than agony, I felt bright and almost refreshed. I could barely contain my energy long enough to get my obligatory rests. I never felt that heaviness that haunts my eyelids most hours of the day. The sun was shining and warm. Everything felt so good.

The very next day, I was feeling kinda icky. Not crashed, not wiped out, just not quite there. My body welcomed my rests, my eyelids begged for more. It was annoying!

So I've vacillated back and forth, sometimes feeling pretty darn good, sometimes feeling not quite right. Go figure.

At least, the roller coaster feels more like this:

than like this:

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What? Me a Sugar Doll?

I woke up this morning to find out that Sue has nominated me for the Sugar Doll award! I am to tell you ten things about myself, and then nominate some other deserving bloggers. I have to admit, I'm going to cheat a little -- here are the ten things I told Kerry over at Lemon-Aide.

1. I once licked a snail because my big sister told me they taste like bubble gum.
2. I hiked to the top of Squaw Peak in Utah my freshman year of college. I didn’t know they had a trail.
3. I think chocolate makes the world go around.
4. My husband gets a pedicure with me every month.
5. I went skinny dipping with my best friend at a public beach in the middle of winter.
6. I once caught a baby octopus.
7. I served a Mormon mission in France for 18 months when I was 21.
8. I have a bachelor’s degree in zoology.
9. I have six kids, which is the closest I’ve ever come to using my degree in zoology.
10. I’m working on writing a novel.

I'm nominating:

Forgetful Girl
Lyme Is Crazy
Alyson at Alysons CFIDS Blog

Monday, February 15, 2010

Inch by Inch

I think ... do I dare say it aloud? ... that I may be getting better! It's that ephemeral something that I can't quite put my finger on. I wouldn't say that my capacity has increased. It's just that, during the day I feel a little lighter, a little clearer, a little more present. My body is making more sense. When I've exerted myself, I feel worn out, and my rests are a little longer than usual. If I've had a quiet day, I don't feel like resting at all (see my last post!), and I have to force myself to stay in bed for half an hour. A few moments of activity aren't weighing me down for days; I actually feel like I'm bouncing back quicker.

Now, when I say bounce back, I mean back to my new normal. I'm still nowhere near where I was before the summer. However, I no longer feel like one of those rock climbers stuck on a cliff with nowhere to go, fearful that if I move I'll slide further down or even plummet to my death. I'm reaching, and I can see tiny handholds, and there is a slow, steady path ahead of me.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Determined to Do Nothing

I think I'm a smart girl.

I've had CFS for over three years. I know how to manage it, more or less. I know that I have to pace my activity; I know I need to incorporate rest every day.

Most days, I do pretty well. I have two scheduled rests during the day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I allow my body to determine the length of each rest period. It typically ranges from half an hour to two hours. It feels good, and I know it is good for me.

But ... there are simply some days when I become as rebellious as a two year old! I know I'm tired. I feel my eyes starting to itch. Maybe my eyelids are even drooping, and I'm fighting to keep them open. But I'm having so much fun! I am enjoying this day and don't want to miss a minute of it, let alone 30 to 120 minutes at a time. I'm an adult, for crying out loud! I want to stay up like a big girl.

Yes, I am an adult, and so I make the adult decision. I take my nap.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Past Fear and Frustration

I'm not happy with my many negative posts lately, but I understand where they are coming from.

You see, I thought CFS and I had an understanding. I play by the rules most of the time. Then, if something big or important comes along, I cheat! There is a mild punishment afterward, where I am immediately contrite and rest up for a day or two. CFS forgives me, and I'm back to "normal" within the confines of the rules.

And then CFS betrayed me. Or, perhaps it was the last straw. In any case, it stopped forgiving me, and left me sitting in the corner for a very, very long time. No amount of crying or whining has softened its heart and made it relent.

Thanks to Renee's recent post, I am now coming to terms with the fact that I am in a relapse, not a crash. I don't know how long it is going to last. I just know that this is my new "normal," and it's time to adjust my life accordingly.

If I look at it objectively, I can see what happened. Stress is the trigger for my disease. I can see how the unrelenting stress over the summer caused me to fall further down the slope. It terrified me, because I thought, what if I have another episode? What if I fall further? There isn't that much further to go. The next bout will send me to bed with severe CFS for sure.

Well, if that happens, there will be people to take care of me and my family. It is what it is, right? But I can't let fear rob me of hope. I need to continue to tackle this disease the same way I always have, and trust that I will eventually see improvement. Inch by bloody inch, that is.

So, I'm going to change my attitude! I will wake in the morning and force myself to physically smile. They say the physical act of smiling triggers endorphins. I could use some endorphins. I'm going to focus on gratitude, because I have so, so much to be grateful for! Of all the things that CFS has stripped me of, it has taken nothing from me of any real importance. I am loved. I am happy.

Some good news: I don't have to work at all the next three weeks! That should allow me to stick to a routine and consistently stay within my energy envelope. It this experiment is successful, I may not have to go back to work at all. :)