After a couple months of doing really, really well, to the point where taking painkillers made me stoned because they didn't have any pain to deal with (and hence, I had a lovely, yet very freaky period of time in which I took hardly any – freaky because they’re as much part of my daily 'diet' as breakfast), I aggravated the injury/permanent state of affairs in my right shoulder a few weeks ago and have been reducing my activity level somewhat to allow it to heal.
Which it hasn't, instead getting more and more pissy with me. So I tried to accommodate it. A week ago, I put a ban on typing (which in actuality meant a 70% decrease in typing), increased the painkillers drastically and kept going at a reduced pace. Which means I didn’t work in the evening. Much, anyway. I had a vague sense that I probably ought to take a week off to heal, but I had things to do.
(Stop rolling your eyes and doing that sighing thing. I can hear you, you know!)
Not surprisingly, this made things worse, especially since the blasted injury decided that it wanted company and nudged my fibromyalgia to bloom into a full-fledged fibro flare. Having managed to keep things from the brink for a while now, I’d forgotten what it's like when it's really testy. Last weekend, I described my pain levels as "interesting" and throughout the week that followed, things got progressively a bit more wrecked every evening to the point where this past weekend, the pain levels were downright fascinating. I mean, it hurt to breathe - that's pretty gripping. And then two things happened.
Thing the first: someone asked how I was doing with my injury with a real note of concern in her voice and I started crying. After I'd gotten a grip, I remembered that reaching the point where I go around telling people not to be nice to me because it’ll make me lose my composure like this
Person X: I'm so sorry you're having a rough time.
Me (blubbering): don't be nice to me!
Person X: bitch.
Me: thank you.
is usually an indication things are really, really bad.
Thing the second: as I'm preparing to listen to my body and take a couple of days off by writing a highly shortened list entitled "I just have to do these few things before I stop" there was a moment with an almost audible sound of needle dragged across a record combined with a sudden illumination of a lightbulb atop my head (good thing I only share my home with a cat or these kind of moments might raise a few eyebrows. The cat ignores ‘em). Because that's exactly how I got this injury/permanent state of affairs last year. I did "just a few more things" and come to think of it, that's pretty much how I acquire a good 90 % of my injuries and… that's the point where I stopped. Instantly. To hell with the list, I'm stopping now because I know what comes next. For the first time in my life, I'm listening to my body scream at me while things are merely Very Bad and stopping before they reach Catastrophic which inevitably requires me to sit still and heal for weeks on end and who the hell has time for that?
Iintend to spend the remainder of the week covered in icepacks, drugged to the gills, reading, watching old movies and communicating solely by telephone. Might even attempt to keep the computer off part of the time (OK, there are a few must-dos, but I’m re-defining what constitutes a ‘must’).
Will you look at that…. Me, listening to my body. I'm sort of impressed with myself.