Although I did make a lengthy post on the blog, I did so because I was having technical difficulties with this site. Rather than do it all I again this is just the short version of what I did not get into on the other post. The physical and emotional aspects of the walk that pertain to Fibromyalgia and chronic pain.
You are used to being in pain pretty much all the time. When you decide to take on this 3Day challenge there are a lot of things that run through your mind. You play out an exhausting conversation with yourself daily. It can make the issues you have learned to live with, seem much worse, even if they are not in the form of a full flare.
Can I do it? I hope nothing bad happens. Do I tell anyone about my medical issues or pretend I have none?
Yes I can do it! I really hope nothing happens to cause a flare while Im gone. Will I walk slower? Will I be alone?
I hope I can do it. Will I end up walking with people who don’t understand I may need to make modifications?
Should I try to walk alone so no one can see if I am in pain? What if I am in pain, do I keep going or stop?
Does that mean I failed? It IS the responsible thing to pace myself and stop if I need to but..do I really want to?
Will the food be healthy enough not to cause more pain or flare ups? Will I represent Fibro sufferers in good light?
Will the family be okay while I am gone? What if I forget to pack a med? I have prepared so I will be fine!
Will the car ride down there cripple me before I even walk, if I don’t stop and stretch enough?
Hhhmmm, did I prepare enough? What if I am doing well do I feel bad for the people who are not?
Feeling great when your body is cooperating because you are a rockstar!
Feeling bad for the people you are walking with when you have left them behind. Like a deserter.
Is it showing off ? Are you a traitor? No, I worked hard for this and I deserve to enjoy my accomplishment!!
Will I get enough down time to rest my body and my mind? Will my meds work?
What if I CANNOT move at all? Naaaw, I got this!
Will my knee start to hurt? Will my ankles be okay? Will I make myself worse and flare when I get home?
If I do flare after I am home, can I get the kids on the bus? What if there is none to help? Can I make dinner?
Will my husbands schedule allow him to be home enough to help for a coupe days?
Will there a place for yoga or stretching? Can someone help me if I need it? Will there someone providing massage’s?
How long will it take me to recover? Will anyone help? Do I get a medal?
Wait, what? I don’t get a ticker tape parade?!
Mind blowing, head spinning, non stop thinking, and stressing, and wondering and worrying pale in comparison to the training walks. My head hurts just remembering the mental preoccupation I had with this walk. All these things can be anxiety producing which causes more distraction, tension, and use precious energy we have so little of to begin with. Even when you are excited about something, it drains energy planning and can be stressful. Practically any kind of pain gets worse when there is added stress. Stress has been shown to be one of the main triggers that can set off flare. Overuse or prolonged of muscles, can cause pain not just in a specific are, but in the entire body, whether during or just after activity. (SOME symptoms of a flare). It wiped me out for days after as far as concentration and energy levels. As I stated on the blog post, I felt, for intent and purposes, like a dead person.
Prepare, prepare and prepare some more!
Come up with a plan, stick to it and try not to stress about it in the meantime. Have help if you can. Assign friends or family members with certain tasks so you have less to worry about. Whether it be packing something, buying something, even just making a list for you to check later on, are all one less thing for you to stress over. Find a walking buddy and follow the training schedule. Find yoga or mediation time, or coffee with a friend to decompress and have encouraging thoughts that feed you energy rather than drain it.
“Meditation has been shown to be very effective in reducing the stress levels and symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia syndrome. If you have Fibromyalgia, techniques of meditation can help to improve your sleep patterns and reduce your fatigue. Meditation techniques can also help to reduce your pain levels, as it decreases the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, in your body.”
Eat right for weeks to months before hand so you have the best chance of being healthy and strong from the inside as well. The Arthritis Foundation recommends that you eat a balanced diet to manage your Fibromyalgia and contribute to your overall health. If you know your trigger food stay away before, during, and after even if you are used to having the occasional treat/cheat.
Have help prepping meals for when you return home.
Pre-made meals in freezer bags, easy crock pot recipes or ordering healthy take out (to be delivered of course)!
Babysitters or rides for your kids can be arranged with friends or family.
Don’t slack off on the vitamins and meds you are taking! Hydrate. Dont skip meals.
Dont worry about a clean house and take a day or 2 off work (IF you can!).
Get a massage if you can handle it. Schedule the chiropractor or physical therapy. Have some alone time to decompress. Write a blog post or journal entry to let go of all the thoughts cluttering up your mind, and just look at pictures and think about the positive wonderful things about the experience. Find positive distractions. But most of all….
BE PROUD!!! Don’t beat yourself up for how badly you “think” you “might” have done, or for a goal you did not fully reach. We are our own worst critics. Be happy with what you did do, may it be all of it, of 1/2 of it! You are fighting pain. Pat yourself on the back! You are living life. You are refusing to let your condition dictate every aspect of your life! You are a warrior!