Today, I’m trying to recover from a tough, exhausting week at work. I wish I had a couple of more Sundays to recover as I don’t feel up to going back to work tomorrow. But Mondays always come around too fast and I don’t have a choice really.
I’m exhausted from this past week. My pain is high. My body aches. My back and neck ache from too many hours in front of a computer. My eyes feel tired and don’t want to focus on things. I feel beat up. I have bruises on my legs and feet and I don’t know where they came from. I think my feet are bruised because they’ve hurt so much this week. Sometimes I bruise in areas that hurt especially badly for a while.
I work in the marketing field. I put together proposals that will hopefully win my company more work. My job is deadline driven. Deadlines aren’t good for me anymore. I used to thrive on busy days working hard to meet a deadline and get a proposal out on time. Now, long days are too much for me. I had to stop working full-time (40 hours) and become a part-time employee only working 30 hours a week. I just couldn’t work 8 hour days anymore. Last week, to get the proposal I was working on done in time, I worked through lunches and I worked late. I don’t get paid for any hours I work over 30, but I couldn’t abandon the two ladies in my department to do my work as well as their own. So I pushed myself. Hard. I worked an extra 5 or 6 hours this week. By Thursday, I was exhausted. I had to ask my boss if I could come in later on Friday so I could get some more sleep. Of course I didn’t get any extra sleep. I woke up at my normal time of 6:15am, even though my alarm was set for 8am. I couldn’t get back to sleep, so instead I went for a walk and did some yoga before going into work. I was determined to leave on time Friday, which is 2:30pm. I left at 3:30pm. The proposal wasn’t done when I left but I couldn’t do anymore. I finished my portion and left it to my boss to finish it and get it printed and shipped to meet our deadline.
I came home and all I wanted to do was lay down in bed and not move again, but I had a friend’s birthday party to go to. This friend is very support of me and my disease and I had bought her a few small gifts I wanted to give her. I was determined to go and told myself I would just leave early. But at dinner there were friends I hadn’t seen in about a year. It was fun to catch up with them. It was great to chat with friends and pretend for a bit like everything was normal. But it wasn’t. I could feel my pain rising as dinner went on and could feel my energy evaporating, but I ignored it. I wanted to visit with my friends. I needed some time with people who know me and support me. This week was so draining that I needed a boost from my friends. My boss is clueless about fibromyalgia and what I go through. She means well. She’s a great boss. But, like so many people, she has no knowledge of fibromyalgia and no concept of what I go through. She expected me to finish this proposal, and I did finish my part of it, despite the physical cost to me. I pushed myself too hard. I put my job ahead of my health.
So what damage has my invisible disease caused me from pushing myself too hard this week? I am utterly exhausted. I spent most of yesterday in bed. My hands ache badly from all the writing and typing I did at work this week. They feel bruised and my fingers look swollen. My wrists hurt and feel even weaker than normal. My feet are bruised and feel swollen. My back hurts. My arms hurt. I woke up Saturday and it hurt to move them. My tremor is bad. My eyes are bloodshot and puffy. My neck pops and cracks every time I move it. My neck always pops as my vertebrae slip out of alignment, but I’ve never had my neck pop as much in such a short period of time as it’s done this weekend. My jaw aches from my bad TMJ. My ribs feel like I was in a fight. It hurts to move and sometimes I get stabbing pains shooting around my ribs. When those happen, it even hurts to breathe. I’m sure I’ve missed aches and pains I could add to this list.
I did my best this week to not overdo it. I asked for help from my coworkers and got it. I never used to ask for help. I made a to do list and focused on getting one item done and moving to the next, instead of getting overwhelmed and upset by how much was left to and how little time there was left to do it. I used all my tricks to manage the pain and stress. Deep breathing, relaxation methods, stretching. But none of my tricks were a match from how draining a week this was. Who knows, maybe I would be in much worse shape right now if not for doing these things.
When I look back on my words it seems to me like I’m whining and I hate whining. I am not a whiner. I’m having hard getting back into the positive outlook I work so hard to maintain. I’m so drained by the last week. I think I needed to acknowledge the toll the past week has taken on me. To be honest about how I’m feeling. I have a bad habit of ignoring what my body is telling me. I think I’m trying to be honest with myself and my body so I can feel better tomorrow and get back into my positive state of mind.
So today I will rest and watch football. I’ll take a nap if I’m lucky enough to feel like I could actually sleep. I’ll go to bed early and hope that this coming week will be easier on me. Tomorrow is a new day, a fresh start. Today may be bad, but you never know what tomorrow will bring.