I hate mid-week holidays. It’s not that I object to the holidays themselves. It’s just that “fibro fog” being what it is, it’s far too easy to lose track of what day of the week it is when you pop a holiday in the middle of it.
“Fibro fog” is a term that anyone with fibromyalgia is familiar with. It isn’t that you lose your intelligence, but you lose the ability to make mental connections or remember silly, easy things temporarily. Like “Is today Tuesday?” Seems sometimes like someone makes unrequested changes to your experience of time. If my husband says, “No, it’s not Tuesday. We got home from vacation on Saturday, I worked Monday and Tuesday, had Wednesday off for the holiday, worked yesterday which was Thursday and today is Friday, when I’m taking my half day which is usually Wednesday but couldn’t be because of the holiday so I decided to take it Friday to make a long weekend,” I understand and remember it all. I even feel silly for forgetting something as clear as that.
But I don’t apologize for asking. My husband has been with me long enough to know “fibro fog” when he sees it and he doesn’t get upset when I ask silly questions anymore. There was a time when it frustrated him to no end. But it is everyday and he’s learned that it waxes and wanes, kind of like the tides; now he just goes with the flow.
“Fibro fog” was one of the things that made it difficult to hold a job. On good days, I sail through my work and excel at almost anything I tried. On the bad days, though, focusing and being organized were enough work all by themselves – I didn’t need the rest of what the company needed me to do added on. “Fibro fog” is close friends with the fatigue that is associated with fibromyalgia. Usually the brain works okay but the body feels like a wrung-out dishrag. But when “fibro fog” comes to visit, it’s like sleepwalking through your day. You know there are things you should do, sometimes you’re not exactly sure what they are, but you don’t have enough physical or mental energy to do them anyway, so why worry. Forget it. Do something mindless and go with the flow.
That’s where computer games come in handy. I won’t endorse any particular websites and I’m not talking about “computer gaming” with the fast moving action or intricate rules. I’m talking about something like solitaire. On the computer it’s great – you don’t even need the energy to shuffle the deck. Just click and try to stay awake. (It’s also great for bedtime, when the brain won’t settle down even though the body has stopped hours before. A little time with the computer game seems to convince the brain that sleep is better than boredom.)
The “fibro fog” isn’t particularly bad today. More of a nuisance. Makes it feels like it’s a little more work than usual to think. When it’s like this, I’ve found that the “fog” may lift before the day is over. I do know that I want to go get some bird seed for our feeder and that I had planned to make a pot roast for dinner. I am writing this – though you will have to judge how articulate I am.
Speaking of bird feeders, it is amazing what you see if you keep filling you feeder all summer. You get the birds who have been there all winter (chickadees, finches, cardinals, nuthatches, titmice) but you also get the summer residents and those you seem to see less of in the winter though they are around (rose-breasted grosbeak, sparrows, woodpeckers, starlings, grackles, juncos, hummingbirds, robins, blue jays, mockingbirds, flickers, wrens). You have to learn a bit to know who likes what. They all seem to love sunflower seeds and the finches are partial to thistle seed. Some prefer to eat at the feeder and some are ground feeders. Finding a good feeder is important. We finally got one through LL Bean (sold elsewhere also) that keeps 99% of the squirrels and larger birds out. It’s perches are spring-loaded and if something too heavy lands on it, it closes the feeder. Tricky. The squirrels and blue jays, who would sit there like gluttons and empty the feeder in one sitting, have so far been foiled. That’s not to say they haven’t tried and it is entertaining to watch them try.
My favorites are the hummingbirds. Yes, I have one of those nectar feeders and they come to that. But the thing they like best are the plants in my flowerbed (just outside the living room window). They LOVE monarda (also called bee balm)!!! I had not seen many hummingbirds before I planted it. But somehow, as soon as it bloomed that first year, I had hummingbirds. Usually 2 or 3. Sometimes they fly up by the window as if they are looking in and saying hello. So if you want hummingbirds to drop by, try monarda. I like the red, Jacob Cline variety.
I think it’s time for me to go today. My husband will be home in an hour and I need to get my son moving. I’ll have to come up with a couple of chores for him so he won’t sit in his room all day. My son is a 25 year old adult with Asperger’s Syndrome. AS is a pervasive developmental disability. That explains everything, right? I describe it as similar to “high functioning autism.” Those with this disability (more males than females) have average to extremely high intelligence. But they have issues that are exhibited by autistic persons. No social skills, very concrete thinking, difficulty with change, poor intuitive thinking and others. My son is functioning better than many with this problem, either because of or in spite of the fact that he was not diagnosed until he was 19. He had it before that, but no one ever figured out what the problems were – not school, not doctor. But he was different – he had no friends to speak of, was bullied, did not show many emotions. By the grace of God I was able to give him the support and love he needed to keep moving, however slowly, toward the goal of developing as well as he could. I believe this is a problem with the brain’s hard-wiring and I believe it may have a genetic component. I’ll talk more about AS another day.
Right now I need to get my AS son up off his AS butt and get him to call his grandmother to see if she is home so he can take some things over there. He’s been sitting on that AS butt long enough, on his computer, watching TV, reading. Time for some action.