Thing One and Thing Two

April 19, 2008

There are two things I want to share with you.

Thing One: Ruby Shooz over at  A Piece of Peace has written this gorgeous post.  I found it so beautiful and so true that I printed it off and hung it above my desk. Thought you might enjoy it too.

Thing Two: Kendall left this comment on my other blog:

I just wrote on my blog about my new-born theory that migraine (the bane of my existence) might be a result of over-stimulation…and that led me to wonder if fibromyalgia, CFS, and similar difficulties might also be. I will stick with what I know, which is migraine, but I’d be very interested to have you check what I said on my blog (which is Kendall’s Quest) WHEN YOU HAVE TIME (no hurry!) and see if it resonates for you.

It’s a very interesting post, and I think that there is a lot to what she’s saying. After I read this, I thought about how much worse my fibro has gotten since I’ve been at work. I started pondering how the work itself isn’t stressful at all right now. They are being so good to me there. I’ve been given light work, I stay at a place that is peaceful and has wonderful energy, and I’m getting plenty of rest. Still, my body has been screaming, my exhaustion level is off the charts, and my brain’s been pretty foggy.

After reading Kendall’s post, I realized that what’s different is the amount of stimulation. I commute in rush hour traffic for almost two hours each day. Our office is full of noises, lights, technology, people, hustle and bustle, and although my work is not stressful, I push myself to get a lot done. What’s changed is the amount of stimulation, and I believe that what Kendall’s saying may be a factor here.

A couple of days ago, I was driving home in tears. I was hurting, mentally exhausted and semi-depressed, because when I’m feeling this way, I worry about how I’m going to get through all of this– not just this particular job, but earning a living in general. My supervisor had said earlier, “You’re pushing yourself too hard. You even have a doctor’s note that specifies that you should be working less hours than you have been. Why don’t you come in at eleven tomorrow?”

So yesterday, I did just that. I spent a leisurely morning drinking coffee on the patio of the person I’m staying with. I did my bird/ tree/ sky watching thing. I read a little. I took it very slowly. I slowly packed my things for my weekend return home. Then I went to work, and as soon as I started hurting, I told my boss that I was leaving. I wanted to get home before my pain overwhelmed me, and before the rush hour traffic commenced. I worked a grand total of four-and-a-half hours.

It made all the difference in the world. When I got home, I was tired, but not pummeled. I was not hurting at all. I slept well. And today, I feel pretty good.

Of course, I will never be able to do this type of thing in the “real world,” but this has given me a wonderful opportunity to experiment. I’m going to really start paying attention to overstimulation, how to pace myself, how to start noticing these sensory overloads to see if there’s a connection. I also have to get this balance thing down better.

I won’t be able to do the four-and-a-half hour work day regularly, but maybe I can on Fridays, so that my entire weekends aren’t spent recuperating.

Anyway, it’s definitely food for thought (which has no calories by the way). If anyone has noticed a similar link, I’d love to hear about it.

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11 Responses to “Thing One and Thing Two”

  1. Kendall Says:

    Oh YES. Wonderful. Cutting down on the stimulation is working for you. And it’s working for me. I am ambivalent about all my blog-reading and blog-writing and blog-commenting…but everything in moderation, right? What if our illnesses can be moderated somehow not by measuring what we eat, or how many hours we sleep, or how much exercise we get…but by how much stimulation we get or protect ourselves from getting. Maybe we need to look at much energy we put OUT…because maybe some of us have OD’d on putting OUT. To borrow a phrase.

    Actually, one of the things that made me realize that you’re onto something is this: Why is it that when I’m at home, writing and blogging and reading things on the computer does my body not rebel like it does when I’m on the computer at work? The difference is all of the other stimulation that goes on during the work day. Also, the energy that I get from writing, and from bloggers (like you) seems to be very healing, while the output at work doesn’t reward me in the same way. Again, I’m tired, so I don’t know if I’m making much sense here.

    Since I only had one day at work to experiment with this, I’m going to try it more next week. I’ll let you know how it goes. THANK YOU, Kendall, for giving me new things to consider, and hopefully, new ways to regulate some of this!

  2. Little Miss Says:

    I’ll go look at those other posts momentarily, but I definitely believe there is something to that. When I’m home and feel good, there is silence in the house (most of the time) and it’s serene and peaceful. I’ve done everything I can to make my home my serenity haven. I never have liked loud, noisy places, and I know the fluroescent lights in office buildings drive me crazy. And when one has fibro fog on top of attention deficit disorder, all the normal chaos in an office does nothing to clear the brain cells and make them function better.

    I’m glad you’re home and that you slept well last night. I will pay attention to that theory and see if it holds true for me.

    So this is another good reason for working at home, huh? I’m going to work on making our home environment as serene as possible. I was raised in a very chaotic household, so I’m not a natural “nester,” but I’m definitely going to make this a project!

    I hope your flare is easing up somewhat, and that you’re having a good weekend.

  3. RubyShooZ Says:

    Hi, I’m new here. I got your ping from you linking to the most recent post I made and I’m very glad you liked it. I do hope that it helps someone somewhere think and feel about who and what they are and how they define themselves. It did me.

    I too, have fybromyalgia and I suspect that’s how you found me. It isn’t something I’ve talked about on either of my blogs much but it sure makes a huge difference in my life and how I cope with the things life brings us.

    I’ve learned to take it easy and I’ve been lucky to have a life where I can do that most of the time so when I over extend myself – well, you know the rest of the story.

    I wish all of you all the best.

    Peace, love and understanding.


  4. Ruby, it’s me, Moonbeam. This is my other blog. I had no idea you had fibro on top of everything else.

    I loved that post of yours so much.Those words are so powerful, and I wanted to share it on this blog, where chronic pain is discussed. I love helpful, hopeful stuff! Thank you!!!

  5. David Says:

    Moonbeam I have been thinking about you a lot lately. Just want you to know that. Your posts of late fill me with optimism, for you and for me too. Thanks 🙂


  6. Thanks, David. This means much. I feel strangely optimistic too!

  7. RubyShooZ Says:

    Oh!

    (((((Moonbeam))))))

    (you know, one of my several online nickname’s, like on my other blog) is MoonSage so we’ve got much in common)

    We do have much in common. I hope that you’re doing well. I really do say prayers for you every single night. (((HUGS)))

  8. kaylee Says:

    NICE POST 🙂 Hope you are well 🙂

  9. thegirlfromtheghetto Says:

    I’ve been wondering for awhile if I have sensory integration disorder. I work in a very loud and hostile place, even if you don’t count my co-workers. I just to sit next to two loud printers and it about killed me. I also HATE traffic and praise the lord that I get off work @ 4:30 so that I don’t have to drive for an hour during rush hour. There must be a Fibro link, right? Let’s not to mention I’m sick with headaches five days out of seven.

    It sounds like fibro, but I’m going to read about that sensory integration disorder. I have a really hard time with lots of noise and chaos too. I can crank the stereo up, but it’s the noise that I choose, so it doesn’t cause problems. Your headaches sound so awful– I wanna give you a hug. Too many health issues for a young ghetto girl!

  10. joanharvest Says:

    My daughter has been getting headaches for years now. She has never been able to distinguish them from sinus or migraine or whatever. She recently had an MRI which showed nothing. At least there isn’t some giant tumor. But she has never been able to get to the root of them. She has started eating better, eliminating all chemicals from her food. She is seeing a chiropractor, an acupuncturist, doing yoga and taking butturbur, an herb for migraines. She had her eyes checked also. Her headaches have gotten so bad that last year she called me at 4 in the morning to take her to the emergency room. She won’t take any pain killers. She will take advil which helps sometimes and doesn’t at other times. Her Dr. seems clueless. Since she has started doing all the natural things that I recommended, her headaches have lessened. She has cut out all foods that have the potential to cause headaches.Now she just needs more time to see if all of this really helps. I just thought I would throw this out there for anyone who does get unexplained headaches. She did have a lot of stress before but has a lot less now so it’s hard to tell what’s helping and what isn’t because she has made so many changes.

    Moonbeam, like David, I think about you a lot. I’m sorry you have to be in so much pain so often.

    Awwww…thank you, Joan. This is working out fine, and I’ll only be doing this for about one more month. I’m making it through, and the enjoyment I get from being around such great people cancels out a lot of the pain.

    I feel soooo sorry for your daughter. My son gets debilitating headaches all the time too, and we can’t figure out what causes them. He works in a health food store and gets lots of advice, and has tried many different things with varying degrees of success. MRIs show nothing, eye exams have all been fine. If Sarah gets hers under control PLEASE let me know.

  11. joanharvest Says:

    My daughter also found she can’t eat peppers of any sort. Something is working because she isn’t getting as many headaches in the past month but she has made so many changes we are not actually sure what has helped. If you get around to it, could you please ask your son what kind of feedback he is getting on the herb butturbur for migraines. I’d be curious.

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