Friday, March 4, 2011

Taking the 'T Out of Can't

Can't, I've been hearing that a lot lately and it usually has to do with Fibro pain.  I've heard it all, but the saying usually goes something like this...

I can't do A because I'll come down with symptom B.Yes, that could happen, but have you ever thought of C? 

I was never that great in math.  And science always had me confused, but in general, C is the outcome that happens when you ignore A and B.  I found this out recently while testing my limits during a Girl Scout sleep over at a local aquarium.

Now, you may be thinking I'm off my rocker because limits are the first thing that I tell everyone to set when they are newly diagnosed.  I've written about this time and time again in blog entries, articles, and even my books.  So how could testing them be such a good idea when limits are good to have for Fibro sufferers?

Any mother will tell you that kids and commitments tend to stretch these limits, and sometimes, they even break them.  Let's face it, certain things in life will throw a monkey wrench into your Fibro journal of do's and don'ts.  You can't always keep yourself in a shell, you sometimes have to come out.

I recently went with my oldest daughter to Mystic Aquarium for her Girl Scout Troop Over Night Outing.  The experience was wonderful and I would have missed it if I kept to my Don'ts list.  Why?  Because sleeping on a cement floor-- even if it's next to creatures of the sea (I love aquariums)-- is not exactly a comfortable place to sleep for someone with Fibromyalgia.

I honestly fretted for the whole month of February because I was worried that I'd be tired for several days later, or worse, in a ton of pain.  The day came and Brittanny and I had fun dissecting a squid, as well as, touching starfish. 

Once night hit, we got ready for bed as usual, or as close to usual as possible since 11pm is WAY passed either of our bedtimes, and we tucked ourselves into our respective sleeping bags.  I'm not going to say that I slept right through the night, nor am I going to say that I felt completely refreshed after a long night on the floor.  But I will say that I felt pretty descent during the day after and I was also okay on day two and three. 
My pains were pretty minimal and I really wasn't anymore exhausted than usually.

The moral I learned here is not to be so rigid about my list by taking out the T in CAN'T when I can.  Stretching your limits can be done anytime you'd like but here's a few pointers if this will be your first time doing so...

  1. Pick a day for your activity during a time where you have little going on for the week.  My activity was on a weekend, Friday and Saturday, that gave me Sunday to recoup before my dreaded Monday morning hit.
  2. Go easy on yourself.  If things don't exactly turn out the way you thought they would, relax.  The worst thing you can do is stress over the details of where you should park for your concert outing or whether or not your choice in dining out will make you late for your movie.  Stress can lead to a flare and that won't bode well for the Fibro sufferer.
  3. Be with the ones you love.  This one sounds like a no-brainer but there are always times when you wind up going out with that acquaintance that tends to be a Negative Nellie.  Those Nellies can suck the life out of you and killing the evening.  This in turn could possibly cause you to have a flare.  If you surround yourself with Positive Paulas you won't feel the Nellie Negativity as much.

These are just some of the things you can do to make sure your stretched limits go a little further.  Hope you test them out one day soon.

Stay Fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley
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