On a good day, I’ll wake up in the morning feeling like I can get through the day. My fatigue is bad, but not unbearable. It will take me about 15 minutes to get out of bed, and once the dizziness is gone, I can go to the bathroom and brush my teeth. I will rest after this, and have a wash or shower once my pain medications have kicked in. The pain medication does not completely rid me of pain, but it makes me much more functional than I would be without it.
I will need to rest before getting my breakfast, and rest again before drying my hair. After getting dressed and putting on makeup, I will have just enough energy to leave the house. On a really good day, which is rare, I will meet a friend for lunch. Anxiety means that I will need to be picked up by them, or given a lift by my dad, but the main thing is that socializing.
Once I’m home, I will rest for the duration of the day, having a few hours nap in the late afternoon if I’m able to sleep. Tea will be something easy to prepare, or it might be a luxury.
My bad days tend to be very bad. I’m in a lot more pain. Pain meds won’t touch it – even though I will need to take more than on a good day. I’m dizzy, headachy, shaky, nauseous, and absolutely exhausted. I will get up in the morning, but it will take me at least double the time as a good day.
I will struggle to stay awake because of fatigue, but I will struggle to sleep because of pain and nausea. I won’t have the energy to shower or wash. I will make it to the living room for a coffee, brush my teeth after a rest, and “wash” myself with face wipes, after another rest. Breakfast will be anything I can – such as an apple. It’ll have to be something light.
I will struggle to brush my hair, and I will find the comfiest, loose clothing I can find. The fibromyalgia makes my skin very sore (as if I’m burnt and bruised all over), so I have to think about the tightness and the material in the clothes I wear. I will take my laptop into the living room, and try to concentrate on a program, casual game or video clips. My mood will be low, because I’m not able to do much at all. I will feel fed up and I’ll be likely to isolate myself from others.
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I will stay sat up for as long as I can, and then will go back to bed until teatime. I may be able to nap, but I’m very unlikely to feel much better for it.
Tea will be served and my dad will have to wash up, as standing for more than a few minutes will make me so dizzy – and I’m very likely to fall.
Most of the time, my days are something between good and bad. I’m able to manage basic things, such as personal hygiene and preparing simple meals. But, things like housework and socializing are extremely difficult or impossible. I manage my symptoms by balancing rest with trying to keep moving and doing my physical therapy. I do this to lessen the chances of my joints seizing up, and also for general health.
How do you manage the symptoms of your chronic illness? Do you have any hints and tips that you would like to share? Comment below!