Prickly Pear, Prickly Me
by Hannah the Zebra
This is what my body feels like today:
It seems like it’s been a long time since I’ve written about living with chronic health conditions. That’s not because they have magically disappeared, but because I am actually healthier up here in Northern California. (I’ve mentioned this before but…. cleaner air, virtually no extreme heat, the ability to get more exercise, living in a community of people where I can both give and receive support, being 5 minutes from from medical care instead of 45 minutes – 2 hours away, having family nearby………)
But that doesn’t mean that the health conditions aren’t still there. They most definitely are. They just don’t flare as often.
And right now, well……… my fibromyalgia has definitely flared. I’ve been in increasing pain for several days and today my body just has been screaming at me. I don’t think I’ve used that description before, but it’s pretty accurate. My soft tissue aches and every nerve ending in my body feels like it’s on fire. Or that a malevolent force has been sending a high voltage of electricity through my entire nervous system.
So. I canceled my obligations, and have been taking some Tylenol. And using a heating pad.
But the first thing I did after breakfast may sound counter intuitive.
I took a two mile walk with my dog and a friend. (Someone else took our friend’s dog).
Yes, you read that correctly. I took a 2 mile walk.
Easy? No. Useful? Yes.
And beautiful. We walked part way around the lake, and then walked through the botanical gardens in the park. The flowers were in full bloom and were absolutely gorgeous. (Some pictures of that tomorrow.)
Please understand that a 2 mile walk is not a marathon for me. I usually walk less than that, but not by much. Typically, I and the dogs walk 1-1.5 miles, so I’m not suggesting that if you normally only walk 0.25 miles you all of a sudden boost it up to 2 miles. That would definitely not be good for you. But my dog has had several bouts with a sore infected paw lately, and she hasn’t been able to walk very far for the past few weeks. I figured that that was probably part of why I had a fibro flare – I hadn’t been getting my usual amount of exercise. Or my usual amount of sleep, for that matter.( She is now back to her healthy and happy self, I’m happy to report.)
After that I came home, ate lunch, lay down on a heating pad and had a good solid nap. I’m not completely better – fibro doesn’t work that way. But I’m not worse, either. And that’s at least something.