Sunday, December 27, 2009

The hit was coming....

And it came.

See, with fibromyalgia, there are several kinds of pain that haunt me.

The first, and most obvious, is an achy, nervy kind of pain that results immediately from certain physical actions, or triggers. For example, if I hold my arm up for more than about 10 seconds (say, to lead a song or hand someone a glass of water), my whole arm hurts, compelling me to lower it. If I sit on a hard chair or bench, I feel within seconds like I'm sitting on legos or marbles (I know that's what it feels like because once I sat in my rocking chair in the dark to nurse a baby and kept wondering why my usually soft rocking chair was giving me fibro pain--and when I stood up I saw the legos and marbles scattered around the chair!). It's a very clear kind of pain that isn't related to any other kind of pain, so it's hard to describe (like mothers can't describe labor's its own unique thing). This is a clear kind of pain I call fibro pain. It comes and goes, and can be relieved quickly by just not doing what triggers it. It also cycles--sometimes for a year or more I can push a shopping cart with no trouble at all, and then I'll have a month when it hurts my palms to push the shopping cart, and then it won't again for 2 years.

There is also a whole-system kind of "rattle nerves" pain that hits when I have emotional stress (like when someone gets mad at me, or I have any kind of negative encounter, or I see police lights go on behind me--even if it's not my fault). This feels like low blood sugar, or like every nerve in my body is buzzing slightly, and like every muscle in my body is trying to decide if it should contract or relax but can't quite get there. This kind of pain is only relieved by serious, laying down rest (like sleeping all night). Unfortunately, it can keep me from sleeping! It also leaves me short-tempered, emotional, grouchy, and anxious for up to several days. I, personally, think this pain has something to do with the fact that the body, under emotional stress, tends to dump its supply of magnesium, which takes several days (up to 2 weeks) to build up again.

And then there is the delayed pain. The pain resulting from any given action (if it's going to cause pain) can be delayed by 24-48 hours. For example, when you start to exercise after not doing it for a long time, you get stiff muscles the next day, or even a few hours later, right? I do, too, but I get a day between the exercise and the stiffness where I feel perfectly normal. It's a delayed response. It took me a long time to identify that this kind of pain had a cause because it is usually a whole-body response (but focused more strongly in the stressed parts of me), and because it is sufficiently removed from the trigger that I forget I even DID something.

Emotional stress, physical stress, and doing physical things my body is not accustomed to are among the things that cause me delayed pain, but it's sometimes hard to find the trigger for the pain because the trigger was usually a day or two ago.

So this morning as I was going to bed, Christmas hit me.

There was the emotional stress, the sitting on the floor for hours wrapping presents, the "bend and reach" position that always causes me grief, the late hours....and this morning by 6:00, I was a wreck. I was in so much pain I couldn't sleep. Couldn't stay asleep. Achy everywhere. I had to take ibuprofen to fall asleep, and then I woke up 6 times in the 4 1/2 hours I got to be in bed before I had to get up for church.

So today is pretty much a loss because I'm going on not enough sleep, and I feel like I got hit by a truck.

MerryChristmas, right?

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