Comfort in his arms
soft kisses nuzzling my neck
Our backs arch to dance.
Thunder booms, fierce wind
Don’t be scared, my son, my love.
I will comfort you.
Some people drink when they are under stress, others turn to cigarettes, some to drugs. It soothes their souls and it may take the edge off of their anxiety. The people who drink red wine can boast that it is medicinally beneficial, heart healthy in fact. Others like scotch or beer or ooey- gooey sweet stuff with vodka in it, like a spiked punch. I do none of the above, when I am anxious all I do is get into my bed, surrounded by layers upon layers of blankets and sleep. Really, I do. The only food my stomach allows me to eat is a Kraft (orange) American Cheese Sandwich on soft bread with soft butter or margarine spread and a box of Yoo Hoo to drink. That’s it. I lose weight during this period of anxiety but really, it isn’t any fun and definitely not worth it, well maybe worth it a tiny bit.
There is nothing more relaxing to me than”hibernating” under mountains of blankets, snuggling with my pillows and escaping life’s problems. Do I know what I am doing? Absolutely. Do I choose to do this? Yes. It is my way of dealing with overwhelming stress without any addiction except the warmth of my bed, no alcohol or drugs needed. Sometimes I say I am just going “to rest” and we all know what that means…..
I acknowledge what my problems are, I’m not crazy, this is my coping mechanism. I can’t change the situations at hand for the better so I have to live with them and instead of being the hyper-oh-my-God-what-are-we-going-to-do person that I already have been for 24 hours, I try to balance that with pure avoidance therapy. It’s cheaper than a lot of other coping mechanisms and I can do it anytime I want.
There are only specific foods that I CAN eat when I am that, shall we say, out of sorts? American cheese (Kraft Individualized Orange slices) and bread, soft butter and Yoo- Hoo to drink (boxes). This is my comfort food and I will absolutely have it every single day, it is the only thing I WANT to eat and CAN eat when I am this upset. It soothes me. I can eat it five times in a row, even ten. It depends heavily on the situation. Tonight, I actually ate something different since we were at a restaurant but the only thing that appealed to me was ravioli stuffed with butternut squash. I couldn’t look at my husband’s rare burger though admittedly I did try a bite of my son’s steak. It tasted delicious. My own food was soft, mushy and comforting and it certainly was in the same genre as my American cheese sandwich. Club soda with lemon was definitely no substitute for my beloved Yoo- Hoo. They should really stock that in restaurants, don’t you think?
Things are a little better now, not completely but we are coping. I’m off the complete American cheese sandwich but am still into small portions of soft food like the baked ziti I made today. It wasn’t my exact comfort food but I’m trying to branch out a little. Even I try to be flexible after my 24-48 hours guaranteed American Cheese/Yoo-Hoo Festival. Sometimes. it even works. Sigh. Okay. Rarely.
*my admiration and thanks go out to Kraft and Yoo-Hoo companies.
“As I Was Lying In My Bed…”
As I was lying in my bed, alone, I heard the wind howl through the windows, I felt the drafts, like snow drifts on my entire body. I couldn’t get warm, no matter how many blankets I piled on top of me. My dog was lying at the foot of the bed, off to the side, not even she would come warm me. I missed my husband lying next to me; every few hours I would unconsciously reach my arm across his side and try to feel him there; all I felt was his absence. In my sleep I sometimes forgot that he was back in the military again and when I became conscious I was heartsick from loneliness and despair. Of course I was wildly proud of him, my sweetheart, but I was counting the days until he was coming home for a five-day visit, fifty-seven more days to go.
I Don’t Have To Go Far….
Sigh. My BED. Lying down on my stomach, sideways, across the bed is my favorite place to read and write. It is really an uncomfortable position for anyone who has Fibromyalgia/Chronic Pain like I do but I continue to do it. It helps me think. My elbow joints are always tender and they throb in pain and I do know it’s partly my fault but it probably won’t change my guilty habit unless I am forced to medically. My other place on my bed is using a 1970’s brown cushion pillow with back support that I have had since college. It’s true, I still use it and it has those silly arms and it looks horrible, but it still feels good. We refer to it, at home, as “the brown thing.” My husband insists it’s called a television pillow. Okay.
I have gone to the library on many occasions to write but got distracted by the silence. Since our kitchen is being demolished soon so we can renovate it, my peaceful haven on my bed will be unthinkable for two months. I will be surrounded by dust and noise, LOUD noise, and there will be no relief at home. That is when I will head back to the library because I will be seeking the silence that troubled me before.
However, I am determined to bring my computer to Starbucks next week to see if I get inspired. It’s a good excuse to people-watch and treat myself to a nice cup of coffee in a mug instead of the take-away paper kind. I have a feeling I will be surrounded by young moms and toddlers, I was young once and did that too. It’s worth a shot. Perhaps a double.
P.S.I’m not thrilled that my favorite reading and especially writing spot is my bed but it does come in handy during those long, arduous, winter months.
It’s winter time in the Northeast. Actually, it’s been winter time since Thanksgiving and it will probably last through April. We’ve had snow every two days; snow that does NOT have time to melt before the next 18 inches of snow comes piling up on top of it. We have been bombarded with wild, hysterical snowstorms and ridiculous amounts of snow for months.
My exercise during these long winter days and nights are the following: leaving my warm and cozy bed, wrapping myself with a soft, white, bathrobe, slipping on my beige UGG slippers and going downstairs on the carpeted steps to the kitchen. Once downstairs, I exercise my arm by opening the refrigerator, pulling things out, making something to eat: most likely fried eggs and cheese. I then exercise my jaw muscles to eat ambitiously, and drink YooHoo or flavored club soda.When I am finished I put the food items away back in the refrigerator.
I then prepare to go back upstairs, clutching the banister on the staircase, snacks now hidden in my plush pockets and pull myself up the stairs, take off my bathrobe, and climb back into bed. I cover myself with four comforters and then I use my fingers to: turn on the television, watch the Cooking Channel, reach for Raisinettes, check my computer and turn the lamp off so I can take as long of a nap as humanly possible.
Next day: Repeat.
“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens….”
One of my favorite sounds is the sound of pouring rain outside my window. If I am in bed I snuggle under many layers of blankets with a smile. The sound of rain comforts me; I feel peaceful and happy and grateful that I am not outside, scrambling to take cover. Rain can fall in a pattern, like a well- sung song and the wind, accompanies the song to make a symphony of nature.
‘You made your bed, now lie in it.” That’s pretty darn awful if you ask me. Have I ever used it? Not yet…..
HibernationNow and Phylor’s Blog present: How a spa would be designed and managed by fibrologists:
Welcome to the Fabulous Fibromyalgia Spa and Resort! Whether you are staying in the main building or one of our cottages (the Pain Villa, the Fibro Fireplace, the Befuddled Bedroom, or the Nerve Damage Madness), you will find that we are equipped to handle any situation that may arise. While we don’t leave a chocolate on your pillow, you will find 2 Advils or Aleves and specially designed heating pads specifically for those tender 17 points. We know there are days when you don’t move around all that much, so rather than steps or long walkways, you will find escalators similar to those used a airports. Please hold on to the sides as we know that some of you may have balance issues.
You can check in at whatever pace feels comfortable to you. As memory problems can be an issue, you will be given several key cards (room number stickers available upon request) in case you should misplace one or lock yourself out of your rooms. At 4pm and again at 9 pm, our special welcome cocktail, the Fibro Fizz will be delivered to your room.
Each suite or cottage contains a memory foam king-sized bed, a large bathroom with tub and Jacuzzi. We have an array of unscented toiletry items available upon request at check in or with reservation. Beside your bed, you will find a white noise machine with peaceful sounds such as waves lapping the shore, rain-gentling falling, and other soothing sounds from nature. At your writing desk, you will find a supply of post-it notes in different colo(u)rs and patterns, pens, and stationary for making notes. There is high-speed wifi, HD cable, and a list of more than 200 movies on demand at no extra cost. You can search the movie database by genre, stars, director, screen writer. We are always open to suggestions for additions to our list that can be made available within 24 hours. Providing these in-room movies has been a big hit with our guests. If you don’t feel up to going to one of our many social areas, you can relax in the comfort of your own space and refresh your memory by re-watching classics, give your mind, rather than your body, a workout with the action pictures (yes, some folks do move that fast), and since laughter is great medicine, our list of comedies is extensive.
For an additional $50 a night you can upgrade to one of our luxuriously padded rooms, conveniently located next to one of the dining areas. With walk-in bathtub, Epsom salts on demand, and doubly padded walls and floors, these rooms appeal to the fall and/or trip crowd.
Every hour is medication cocktail hour at the indoor and outdoor pools. Our staff will gladly prepare whatever combination of medicines, vitamins, and supplements suits your personal needs. Some of our more popular concoctions are the Savella Sling with just a hint of Tramadol, the Lyrica Laser prepared with or without Xanax, the Gabapenten Gobbler, best served with a dash of morphine and the Oxycontin Overboard that contains over 7 medications, and 10 supplements.
Our dining facilities that include a formal dining room, casual café, and coffee bar are open 24/7 for your convenience. Our chefs have created a luscious array of soft foods for people with TMJ. You can choose from menu items, or request the kitchen make something special for you. Room service is also available 24/7. There is no need to get out of bed, the restaurant has a key and tipping will be added at the end
Our spa has all the latest in massage and relaxing techniques including hot stone therapy, therapeutic massage, breathing and relaxing exercises. We are always happy to deal with your bunions, your broken toes, your mangled feet. Included in your package are several free extras we call our Fibro Fix-up: a manicure and pedicure, hair cut, tricks to hide those dark circles from sleepless nights, and the opportunity to consult with one of our Fibro Fashionistas for the latest in lounging and sleeping wear. Our full Fibromassage offers gentle touching of those inflamed areas all over your body. We especially cater to the 17 point system of pain centers. Our staff has won over 25 first place ribbons at the Annual Feeling Fibro Massage and Comfort Olympics.
A recently added feature is our Fibro Fitness team. These well-trained and dedicated Fibro-Fit individuals wheel the exercise equipment to your room, carefully encase you into the fat-melting machine of your choice, and the machine does the rest. For those of you who don’t need to shed a pound or two, we have a special cheesecake and ice cream diet to ensure you get those needed extra calories. You can have these special meals delivered to the privacy of your own room, or you can join others on the thin side of healthy Fibro-Fattening Bistro.
One of our more popular features is the Xanax Room. Open 24/7, you can order the strength of Xanax you need to let those feelings of panic and anxiety just slip away. And the price is right: free Xanax! Adjacent to the Xanax Room, the Ambien Pre-bedRoom prepares you for a cozy, sleep-ful night. There are teas, comforting lavender and other scented oils and candles, and helpful staff members who will accompany you back to your room, and tuck you in for that nice, long sleep you have been looking forward to.
We have a fleet of electric scooters should you feel like a leisurely ride along one of our specially designed walkways that sweep themselves clean, so there is nothing along the route to jar your bones. We pride ourselves on our gardens, including the Zen garden should you feel the need to meditate outdoors, and a complete herbal garden for creating our special teas such as:
Morning Eye Opener, Afternoon Nap, Evening Relaxation, and Bedtime Comforter.
We have hotel hosts and hostesses posted every two feet so that when you lose your way because of Fibro fog and get lost, someone is always there to turn you around and point you in the right direction.
This is only a small sample of the information will find among the pages of your welcome kit. Please feel free to ask questions as many times as you need to while acquainting yourself with our facilities. Our aim is to give you as much pain-free, fibro fog-free time with us as possible. You are free to participate in any of our organized activities such as Bend and Stretch or Sitting in a Chair yoga classes, make use of our arts and craft room, or, simply lay back in the gentle hug of your bed, and let us do all the work for you.
Thank you for visiting the Fabulous Fibro Spa, we hope to see you again soon.
hibernationnow.wordpress.com and phylorsblog.wordpress.com
for Chronic Babes Blog Carnival