A couple weeks ago I had to travel for work, and I worked pretty hard (and put in some long hours to boot) on this trip. I'm sure it doesn't surprise my fellow Spoonies to hear that when I got back, I promptly got sick. It started with a sore throat the morning after I got back, and before 24 hours had elapsed, I had a full-on Summer cold. Boo!
It's unfortunate that most Spoonies tend to have a higher chance of getting sick when they push themselves too hard, but the fact that getting sick makes our other symptoms worse seems just downright rude. Being inhibited by the limitations my Fibromyalgia symptoms place on me is bad enough (I'd much rather be able to work and have adventures without worrying about getting sick and/or a possible flare), and let me tell you, being a sick exhausted mess is NOT how I wanted to spend the last two weeks!
Luckily, my Fibro-symptoms didn't go through an all-out flare, but the increase of pain and fatigue along with my new cold symptoms really took it out of me and I'm still not back to normal- which is becoming it's own problem. You can only be patient with being sick for so long before it starts driving you crazy, you know? Especially considering I have a hard enough time being patient with myself when my Fibro symptoms get bad- add a cold (and the fact that patience just isn't one of my virtues to begin with) and I've just about had it! Now, I can't just go out anyway, because outside or inside I'm a snotty mess that can't do much of anything without getting absolutely knackered, but knowing that isn't exactly helping my attitude any.
All in all, I'm a fairly young (33), healthy(ish) person. Before my Fibro got really bad I used to dance on a troupe and go out and do all sorts of things I can't necessarily do now- especially not right now while I'm sick- and it sucks. I know staying in and resting when I don't feel well is the best thing for me, but it still sucks. At this point, I'm already barely able attend a regular dance class and don't go out that much. Now I'm coughing and blowing my nose on the couch for weeks on top of that - how much more am I expected to take?
Now, it's important to feel your feelings, but dwelling on negatives you can't do anything about isn't helpful, so it's time to flip the script on myself so I don't drive myself mad. That being said, here is a list of some things I've been able to do/good things about my current condition:
I know it can be really, really hard to stay positive and not drown in negativity when you have Fibro, especially when your symptoms get worse or are compounded for some reason (like a summer cold). Exercises like this help you realize it's not ALL bad. Like I said, it's important to feel your feelings- toxic positivity is a thing, and it's a thing to be avoided, but so is toxic negativity- and keeping a balance between the two is key. It's not easy, but it's incredibly necessary for your mental health to stay balanced.
If you have any exercises like this that you do when your Fibro gets you down, please share it with us in the comments below, and I hope you're able to navigate through the ups and downs of your symptoms with more grace than I am.
-FSC Founder and Fabulous Fibro-Fighter-