Or maybe I should say “What pain!!” Fibromyalgia is a burden to bear at the best of times. But now, as we plan my mother’s wake and funeral, it is a cruel taskmaster.
The pain started yesterday, as we searched through photos and sat around making decisions. It wasn’t too bad – maybe 3 to 4 on a 1-10 scale. Today, though, is at least a nine!
The headache started early on – by 10 AM it was nasty. The muscles spasms and pain crept up from both my shoulders, into my neck and head. I developed a terrible headache right between my eyes as well as at the back of my head where the skull meets the neck.
At 10:15 AM, my husband and I met with the man to choose a columbarium niche. I picked one on the south side, so my mother would always have sunshine and be warm. Okay, I know she won’t feel it and she’s in a much better place than we are. I know she’s now happy and warm and pain free. But she was so afraid of being cold – she felt cold often and suffered from Renaud’s Syndrome. I made the choice so I could tell my sister and step-dad that she would be warm. I chose a niche at my sister’s eye level (she’s 4’10” tall). I don’t need to visit a grave site or columbarium niche to feel my mother’s presence. I didn’t when my dad died 43 years ago. I know they aren’t there.
Anyway, after making those choices, we met my sister at the church. They have an excellent bereavement process with a trained committee to assist in making the service arrangements. We choose hymns and readings, decided who would do what (I’ll be reading the lessons) and how the service would go. By now my head was really pounding and my eyes felt like they wanted to just pop out of the sockets. It took a bit longer than anticipated.
Our next stop was the florist to choose arrangements. We choose flowers that would make my mother happy – or at least reflect the ones she loved. Roses and gladioli. Reds, whites, yellows and pinks. After this stop, we split up from my sister. I don’t know what the rest of her errands were, but I know she still had to go pay bills with my step-dad.
We had to head to the mall. I hate clothes shopping on the best of days. This obviously wasn’t even close to a good day, let alone one of the best. We decided to grab a bite to eat before going to look for clothing. Red Robin was a wonderful respite, even if the music did nothing to improve the pain in my head. But I was able to take pain medicine and a muscle relaxant now that I had food in my stomach.
The medicine helped ease the pain in my head back down to a 5 at best. Still, better than 9! I tried on a jacket to go with my black slacks. It fit fine – except for the sleeve length, which came down to my finger tips. It made me long for that SFG clothing line again – oh, that’s Short Fat Girl for those who aren’t regular readers. (No, it doesn’t exist, but you could make big bucks with it, I’m sure.) I finally settled on two sweater sets instead – at least I can push up the sleeves.
Next stop was Michael’s craft store. We needed some supplies for a photo collage of my mother. It was a fairly quick stop. We went back home, picked up the photos I had and went down to make some prints and an enlargement of one particular photo to use at the funeral home and church. Thank God for digital technology, Kodak and CVS. We got it all done in about 15 minutes. We went back home.
It was now about 4 PM. My son had left for work. My daughter was still wandering around in her pajamas. She had been napping on and off all day. I sat down at the computer to check my mail while my husband ran (okay, drove) back down to the florist with the enlarged photo. My sister called just after he came back. She was finally done with the bills. She wanted to know if we were going over to my step-dad’s tonight. We said we hadn’t decided.
My pain decided for us. The headache flared back up to a 9! The pain in my upper back, shoulders and neck were a close 8. I tried having a snack – it did raise my blood sugar and make me drowsy. I tried to take a nap about 6:30 PM – I even took the cat with me – it helped a bit. The pain is down to 6 now but I really worry about tomorrow. I’ve just taken more pain medicine and another muscle relaxant. Let’s hope I can wake up for my hair appointment tomorrow morning. I hate having to take so much medication. I may be in a fog for the next couple of days as it is, without adding medication fog and fibro fog.
I need to get a good night’s sleep tonight. What are the odds of that?! By the way – my daughter is still napping off and on as she lays on the couch. Is that fair?