Stocking up Your Spoons

Wow, where have I been??? Well back in mid-November I started PT. Having Fibromyalgia means paying close attention to your body. When life gets hectic, you can often forget that. So I have spent the last couple of months focusing on the important things.

There is a wonderful article written by Christine Meserandino “The Spoon Theory”.  Anyone who has health issues like Fibromyalgia or Lupus should share this with the people in their life. Christine was able to describe a day in her life with Lupus to an old dear friend in a way that can resonate with anyone who lives with it. The premise is that every day we wake up with the ability to do a limited amount of things. When you are healthy it is more limitless, but when you aren’t you have to pace yourself. You are allocated a certain amount of spoons each day, and you have to use them wisely. You don’t ever want to run out. I wholeheartedly encourage everyone to read about it.

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The reason I brought The Spoon Theory up is that these days I start out with many more spoons than I used to. My mother called the other day asking me what medications I take to control pain. I told her just Tylenol for the arthritis in my thumb, nothing for Fibromyalgia. I control it totally with spoons. Listening to my body, and making right choices. Sometimes it can be very hard. Like having to let a relationship go that is very important to me. Someone I hold very close to my heart is in a very bad place. I spent many years working on it, but it finally came to blows about 18 months ago. I backed away, and since then my health has improved tremendously. The best way to love them is to not have them in my life right now. Someday I hope and pray that they will get where they need to be, because I do very much miss that person in my life.

But onto more positive things. In the last year I have made wonderful strides. The biggest being the unforgettable trip I took last summer with my youngest. Having the nerve, let alone the ability to go to Iceland, somewhere I have never been before, and knew no one. Then a month in England, traveling around and exploring new things. But also being able to share places and people I know with my youngest daughter.

I returned feeling so good about myself, and my body. I wanted to keep it that way. But our lifestyle in the States is much more sedentary than in Europe. I tried to keep it up, having the Fitbit to help me keep track. But it just didn’t work. I went for a physical and I am not in bad shape, blood pressure, cholesterol and such are all great. But physically, not so good. So started PT and discovered that my biggest problem was unequal muscle strength. After 2 months of work I am doing terrific, and working on my own to keep it up. I am driven be remembering how bad it was, to how good it is now.

I told my PT that doctors need to change their spiel when you go for your 50 year old physical. I got the standard you need to exercise X amount so many days a week etc. At the time I was working a stressful job, and was lucky to get a 20 minute walk in my 30 minute lunch break. What the doctors need to tell you is that after 50 your body is wearing out, and before you know it you will wake up one morning and realize it. What you need to be told is to keep moving, keep your muscles strong, and flexible. You don’t have to go to the gym 3 times a week, or workout until you are sweaty and sore. Just keep moving so you can keep moving as years go by. I now do my stretching exercises every day, and 3 times a week I add something more. A ramble with the youngest and our cameras, getting on the exercise bike for 20 minutes, or just taking a 45 minute walk with Hubby. Heck, running the vacuum can count too. Just get up off your butt and do something.