Friday, 15 January 2021

A bit of a wash then au revoir!

So today our fifth wheeler is getting cleaned on the inside and after that we are going to take it to get cleaned outside and put it up for sale.

I have mixed feelings about it really. Our dreams of touring round Australia turned to dust when I tore my meniscus in my left knee and since then I have also damaged my right knee. I walk like Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz! 

The RV was well suited to the Fibromyalgia lifestyle as it was small and easy to clean. But after tearing my meniscus, even the two steps to the bedroom and ensuite were too difficult to negotiate. In the end, I was housebound as it has seven steps at the entry.

We haven't thrown out the idea of travelling altogether. Eventually after selling the fiver, we will buy a campervan that is easy for me to get in and out of and go away for weekends. That is the hope anyway.

Today's to do list:

  •  I have dishes to do, 
  •  make our bed
  • fold a load of washing from yesterday.
  • Fish, chips and salad for dinner

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

I'm not lazy!

You would not believe over the years how many people have shown their ignorance of fibromyalgia by gasping in horror when I say I do not have the strength or muscle power to even sweep my floor.

Because fibromyalgia is an invisible illness, people often think (and sometimes even voice) that I am lazy and a malingerer.

They cannot see the pain as my muscles and ligaments feel like they are tearing. The pain in my neck and shoulders and arms can be intense and it can last long after the floor has been swept.

Usually, it's my lack of spoons that stops me from doing cleaning, but it's muscular as well most times. I do have muscles, but they are like sparrows' knee caps! 

I honestly can no longer sweep, mop or vacuum. It sometimes gets to me because I know how most people think. Nevertheless, it is I who has to bear the pain of those tasks and the pain robs me of my rest and often is carried into the next day.

There are so many muscles involved in sweeping, mopping and vacuuming that come in to play with repetitious movements. Because they aren't used often, they whine and complain loudly.

Rather than pick up my broom I would rather put up with the rolling eyes and snide remarks of people who haven't even heard of fibromyalgia. I know what it is. I know who and what I am. And it's not lazy.

Today's tasks are:
  • one load of washing
  • Cook spaghetti bolognaise for dinner

Sunday, 10 January 2021

When I do, I don't!


When I was a young woman, I ironed clothes as soon as they were bought in from the line. It was something as regular as clock work.

Gradually as the babies came and later on, spinal problems, it dwindled until I only ironed what was strictly necessary, that is- what was seen.

Twenty three years ago, my iron was kept in the linen press and only saw the light of day for service on a high holiday such as a wedding or funeral! 

As fibromyalgia overtook my life and abilities, my iron was boxed for posterity and now serves as a door stop to keep my back laundry door open when the dryer is in use!

Life for a sacrificial home keeper is difficult enough with what absolutely must be done to keep a home. There are things that must be done daily and goodness knows, there are little enough spoons or energy to do that, let alone lift a heavy appliance and stand or sit to iron clothes.

With sleep a precious but scarce commodity, coupled with tearing sore muscles, we must keep our home making simple. Ironing is simply too taxing on the chronically ill woman to seriously consider as part of a daily routine.

At first, I was particular about how I hung my washing out, in order to leave no creases and so minimise the visual effect of unironed clothes. But over recent years, polymyalgia rheumatica and arthritis vyed with fibromyalgia for first place in pain stakes.

I could no longer lift my arms to peg the washing out, and I was forced to make use of my dryer every time.

By doing just a load of washing a day, it doesn't build up and I find with less clothes in the dryer, that they come out almost wrinkle free. I try to grab them as soon as the drying cycle is over. All they require is a quick shake as I fold them and put them away.

Don't get me wrong! The OCD and perfectionist in me baulks at having to do this, but the practical and pragmatic inner woman says it is OK. It is simply my new normal.

There's plenty of tasks each day vying for first place in sucking on my limited spoons, so when I have a few spoons and I am tempted to drag my iron out of its' box: I don't!

Today's lists are:
  • Clean kitchen
  • Do a load of washing
  • Cook chicken garlic breasts and mashed potato for dinner

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Grieve and move on!

When confronted with the diagnosis of a chronic health condition like fibromyalgia, we can often grieve for the stronger, healthier person we were before it and it's like any other form of grief. 

We are angry, we bargain, we accept it, we move on. The hardest part in moving on is linked with acceptance: we have to find our new normal. 

I find there's a period of anger and denial, then acceptance. And it varies with each of us.  

Acceptance is the pathway to moving forward. So it is critical that we come to acceptance by focussing on what we have left, rather than what chronic illness has taken away from us.

As in all grieving, no one can say how long it will take us to come to acceptance, but it must come so that we can find our new normal and live our new life in that new normal.

What chronic illness takes from us is more than the physical. But even so, despite feeling down emotionally, we should and must focus on what it hasn't taken.

I have days where I still mourn the loss of basic abilities like home cleaning, showering and walking far. Today is one of pain with fibromyalgia to the point that I can't straighten my fingers and even my eyes ache.. 

My to do list today is not big, but it. is. what. it. is.
  • Clean the kitchen
  • Cook dinner
  • Shower sometime before bed

Friday, 8 January 2021

Keeping our head up


So yesterday we watched the election most of the day. We prayed for justice to prevail and praised God. By the afternoon, we were feeling such a heaviness that we turned it off.

I came into my study and praised and worshiped God until the heaviness abated. 

I didn't get a lot done in my house except wash my dishes and do a load of washing. I sat watching the news events unfold as I folded the clothes.  

Dinner was a frozen dinner because we both found we had lost our appetite. With my fibromyalgia  worsened by stress and flaring again, it was an easy fix!  

Today, we have an errand to do and a check of our Post Office Box is necessary, but that will be all outside the home for now.

We remain in a state of prayer and will bring all this deception before the LORD. We are also praying for all who long for justice and righteousness to prevail. 

God is still in control... but we who follow the path of justice and Truth will be having a bumpy ride.

We all have to remember that as the picture here says: we have to live though these bad days to get to the good ones.   Let's be keeping our head up!

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

She would have made a great mother!

So last night I was watching a FB video on a cat which had recently had kittens. They were squeaking loudly, all trying to latch onto their mother for their milk, and I just watched, enjoying those cute little fluff balls.

Suddenly, Xena jumped up to my computer and parked herself in front of the screen, totally absorbed with the vision in front of her, her ears forward as she listened to the babies and their ear piercing hungry cries.

Just after I took this picture of her, she stood up and frantically looked at the back of the computer, walked around it, sniffing and was totally distraught.

She turned to me in desperation, totally convinced there were kittens there who needed attention. It was sad to see her imploring me to do something. I did.

I turned the video off and comforted Xena. When she had calmed down, I decided that it was not fair to do this to her.  As a rescue cat, she was spayed at 7 months, so she never got the chance to have kittens. 

She would have made a great mother.

Today I have to reserve my spoons as I battle fibro and have some errands to do. On my to do list is:

  • Go to chemist again for scripts they had to get in
  • Buy some groceries that I couldn't get online
  • Do washing
  • Cook a shepherd's pie for dinner

Monday, 4 January 2021

The kettle's always on!

In our house, I think apart from the computer and our TV, the most used thing is the kettle. It is on from the moment we open our eyes until we close them. And often in between.

Tea soothes one so much. Anything from bad news, loneliness, a coming together for fellowship, a celebration, or a pick me up for depression. Certainly it's a helpful balm for dissolving pain killers and such, and it's a comfort in times of illness or pain of fibromyalgia. Oh yes, all these things and more is an excuse for a cuppa at our place and so the tea kettle is nearly always warm!

Such is our love for tea that even our kitchen curtains have kettles and tea cups on them. 

My plans for today are:
  • Clean kitchen
  • Order groceries online and pick them up
  • Go to chemist
  • Cook steak, mashed potatoes and salad for dinner

Sunday, 3 January 2021

My bed's calling my name!


It's raining cats and dogs here and the temperature is cold. It's supposed to be summer here in Australia, but it feels like a winter's day.

After having the cooler on yesterday, in stark contrast, we have the heater on. I am so glad that I don't have to go out today.

This changeable weather is causing havoc with my fibromyalgia. It's predictable that it would. So today I have just a few tasks planned.

  • Clean my kitchen
  • Make our bed 
  • Cook curried beef with vegetables
My fingers are throbbing with pain today, as is my coccyx. With it being broken, it is also to be expected. I may apply some heat to it later on as the cold seems to make it ache more.

I think my bones may be brittle after years of prednisolone for my polymyalgia rheumatica. Hence the break of the coccyx. Yet I can't take extra calcium because I am a chronic kidney stone maker (over 50 bilateral) My stones are calcium oxylate bathed in uric acid. I am on Zyloprim to reduce the acid.

It's a predictable start to the New Year. I have been feeling a little reprieve from fibromyalgia pain and then- boom! inclement weather has blown me away again!

So I best get off my computer and start on the dishes. I can see a nana nap in my future and that's not a bad thing given the circumstances!  I can hear my bed calling my name!

Friday, 1 January 2021

New Year's ponderings

Happy New Year everyone! Well, it's been a year today since I started this blog. It was just after giving up the nomadic lifestyle in our RV and moving into our rented country cottage.

So like most people, I am thinking about my direction for the New Year and in particular the plans I have for this blog.

I want to share about my battle with health issues, particularly fibromyalgia and how it effects our life as homemakers. Who I call "Sacrificial Home Keepers" 

I also want to include medical events for my reference and also I want to share news du jour for us.

One of my goals in blogging here is to plan my day and list it. I will truthfully cross off that which I have managed to do and hopefully I will follow it on to the next day.

I also want to read the Bible through in a year. Well, listen to it, anyway! I listen to  it on YouTube.

Another goal is to bring my life verse, Philippians 4:8 into my life by focussing on what is good and true.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are  true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Praying for a happy year and a safe one for you. Remember that the Bridegroom's coming for His Bride soon! Let's dwell on that and look up! 

  • Wash clothes and fold them
  • Cook vegetable lasagna for dinner  
  • Clean kitchen

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Flying with the birds


We came home on Boxing Day from spending Christmas Eve and Day with Chris's daughter. Xena was especially glad to see us- almost as glad as she was seeing the birds coming into the back garden to feast on the remains of the nibblies platter I ordered. (I took a photo for you!)  See the kooka on the door mat that the wind blew over?

We had a lovely Christmas with family and it was very relaxing. So much so, that my fibromyalgia flare is lessening. I actually woke feeling refreshed and my muscles weren't feeling like they were tearing like they usually do.

It's been so long since I have had a respite from fibromyalgia flares that it felt strange. Good, but strange. Isn't it sad that one lives on the edge of agony so much that when the pain even abates just a little, you find the sensation agreeable but foreign? Such is fibromyalgia!

I received some nice presents for Christmas, but my favourite gift by far is some spoons or energy! I feel like I have won the lottery! Now if my broken tail bone would hurry up and heal, I would be rapt!

You know too how I said we have a lot of kookaburras around? Well, yesterday I was washing some dishes and I saw a kookaburra on the fence in front of me. I grabbed some offcuts of  beef that were on the chopping board from the stew I was preparing and quietly opened the back door. I pitched the meat towards it and it came down to eat it, but its mother, who was quicker flew down and carried it off, much to her baby's consternation.

She flew off with the beef dangling from her beak and her baby followed squawking in protest. I am sure she would have been a good mother and shared it with him. It made my day. I have found God often treats me with little scenes that delight me like that. I call them Love Glances. Just between Him and I...but I digress..

Having a few spoons has brightened my spirits. I have washed clothes, done dishes, made our bed, cooked lunch and prepared dinner. 

I must hold back and pace myself though or I will crash and burn and be of no use tomorrow. It's a trap that I have fallen into before. But meanwhile, I will pace and plan cautiously even though I feel like flying with the birds!