Living Daily with Chronic Invisible Illness

Fibromyalgia and a Creative Thought

I took a few months sabbatical, not because I wanted to, but because my life was not conducive to stopping to write this blog, let alone stopping for anything else!

At the end of October 2018 our 23 year old daughter got engaged. (applause all around!)

And then it happened-

They desired a January 2019 wedding! Not much time to plan, eh? I mean, we had Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years to get through (and [try to] enjoy) So…off we go!

But it gets better!! (note the sarcasm) The newly-engaged couple requested the reception be held at our home…which, at the time, was quite small and compact…

So not only did we have 10 weeks to plan a wedding, but we decided to through in a complete remodel into the mix! Are we crazy??? Some say we are….

Before the wall came out of our kitchen

Sidebar-

Now, for years my husband and I have discussed taking out a wall here, another wall there…maybe even making our garage into living space. But with my husband’s cancer, causing his red blood cells not to mature, thereby leaving him without a lot of energy, our one son working full time and going to college to be an accountant, and other son working a few days each week, not to mention our crazy life of playing Bluegrass Gospel music almost every weekend, well, you can see why we never embarked on such a task!

End of Sidebar-

Enter the Bride and Groom to be…

So, on October 26, 2018, we began to see our vision become a reality…with a time limit of completion of December 16, 2018.

Wall number one came out and a very long, thick and rustic beam was used to support the opening. I say “rustic” because three summers ago our sons had taken down a few barns, hauled the wood to our home, put up a new barn on our property and we had leftover beams from that project. The beams are literally 75+ years old!! Knotched and all!!

The same wall with the beam being put in

By the end of that weekend, another wall had been removed with the same beam-look added and a sub-floor was built inside our garage to bring the floor level to the existing floor in the house.

Wall number two out with sub-floor into the garage

On October 31 we held our annual Fall-Festival, complete with sugar cookie pumpkins, pumpkin pie and caramel apples (a family tradition for over two decades). We do not celebrate Halloween and the festival is our family’s replacement for enjoying God’s harvest!

Harvest Festival

One month later it was Thanksgiving and only half the remodeling had occurred. Our kitchen had been affected and cooking for that was quite the memory!

By December 16, we were close to our completion goal, but not quite done! It was December 23 when the last piece of trim was added and we called it “DONE!”

The entire remodel consisted of all new flooring…(tearing out old flooring was quite a feat!)…we did Board and Batton walls, which I painted a clay pot color to match our brick fireplace, adding to the rustic look. I even got an upstairs pantry out of the deal! (I have always had to keep pantry items in the basement, so this was a wonderful improvement for me!!)

Needless to say, we enjoyed Christmas immensely with all the new space and 15+ family members filing through! But I forgot to add that in the middle of that we had our daughter’s Bridal Shower and bride-shopping, Christmas shopping (thank you, Amazon!!) and wedding planning!

Our Navy son got leave to come home for New Year’s Eve and the wedding, making it the first time all our children would be together in years!

I tell you all that to get to what I learned about myself…

I am a creative person with drive, motivation and perseverance. I can paint just about anything and am also very crafty. I learned that when my adrenaline kicks in with a creative thought and the desire to see it come to fruition takes hold, it makes my endorphins kick in as well, allowing me the ability to keep going until the task is complete, without a lot of pain. The problem is when the task is done (or the day), my body then retaliates and the pain comes on super crazy-like.

During those crazy 9 weeks of non-stop, seemingly around-the-clock work, I suffered from countless Migraines(the kind that knock you our for hours), intense back, joint and deep muscular pain, a Tin-man sort of syndrome causing me to rely on my heating pad every night at the highest setting, hot showers, wrapping the knees, asking someone to rub my hands and back and Ibuprofen. There were times when my hips did not work, the dexterity in my hands went Kaput! and my feet felt like cement blocks. Everything throbbed, ached or burned and my body just screamed at me!

See, I helped with all the wall wood work and trim, sanding, staining, painting, holding up to be nailed, etc. I helped our sons paint until after midnight when they got home from work…not just because it needed to be done, but because I really enjoy doing it.

wood waiting to be stained
side view of the Batton walls by the coffee bar

I had too many to list times of “I cannot go on” and “I do not care if it gets done.” But then my adrenaline would kick in as my creative side began taking control…and I got it done! The whole remodel is actually one big B-L-U-R! My desire to get the house done and enjoy the holidays was stronger than my desire to wake up everyday to the immense mess and chaos of my house. (You know how well Fibros function in chaos!)

Now, had I not participated in the remodel, most of what I just described would have still occurred in my body, just not as severe. Or maybe it would have. With Fibromyalgia you NEVER KNOW.

Now it is the middle of January and I feel like I am writing about someone else’s life and my heart breaks for her!! But, it is my life and I am in love with all my space, new coffe bar and pantry!

Yes, the wedding was beautiful and yes, all 40+ people had room to move in our newly remodeled home for the reception!

Was it worth it? I would have to say “YES!”

Would I do it again…

Um…

What did I learn?

~That prayer is vital to get through one’s day.

~ That keeping busy with a fundamental purpose can help with pain-But NOT at the level of the busyness and stress I experienced. One needs to be realistic.

~One creative thought acted upon can make one’s day entirely positive and satisfying.

I am now back to our “new normal” daily routine and back to pacing myself. I hurt like always, moving super-slow at times and barely able to get of a chair. The fast-paced past 9 weeks plus two weeks of wedding craziness (did I mention I made the wedding cakes, too???), made me see what I could do while having Fibromyalgia.

But it was learned at a price.

Did I hurt more with the remodeling?

Yes, but I kept myself moving to such a degree that my body did not have time to stiffen, plus all the Ibuprofen only took off the edge.

I dragged myself to bed nightly and pulled myself up and out of bed each morning, knowing what needed to be done. And guess what?

Life still goes on and each day still needs to be lived.

However…9 weeks of non-stop is way too much for this Fibro Gal.

I am content to pace myself again…in my newly remodeled home!

The Dining Room
My new kitchen and coffee bar!
New Living Room
New kitchen with two stoves!!

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