I have been feeling relatively good the past few days. With the holidays over, all that had to be done was dismantle and pack the tree and decorations.
Of course, I did have my uncle’s wake and funeral to attend on Monday and Tuesday. But while that was sad, it wasn’t the kind of emotional melt-down that causes the fibromyalgia to flare up. And Wednesday night was my class after trying to get back up to speed all day on my work for Pine Ridge.
So why on earth were my pectoral muscles so sore when I woke up on Wednesday morning. I had not done any heavy lifting at the wake or funeral. I was not a pall bearer. Okay, I wore flat shoes instead of sneakers to the wake, but the shouldn’t have used chest muscles! My feet being sore I could understand, if they were – but they weren’t. But my chest muscles had not done any work that I recalled.
You don’t know how you use a muscle until it is sore. Then you realize how often you use that muscle because everything you do seems to irritate it. That’s how I realized what had caused this current issue. I got home from class last night and walked from the garage to the house as usual, thinking I was grateful for the new garage door opener. I did not have to jostle with the old, heavy wooden door to close it before I went into the house. Just one little button to push. I was thinking about the fact that my chest muscles felt sore again and the old door would have been a real pain when I suddenly realized what has been the cause of my chest muscle complaints — driving.
Now most people can just jump in the car and drive as far as they want to go. I don’t do a lot of driving. I could, I just don’t have that far to go. But the wake and funeral earlier in the week were about a 45 minute drive each way, in traffic. And Tuesday, I had made a very rare exception to both a rule and habit. I had talked on the cell phone while driving on the way home Tuesday afternoon. I NEVER do that. But it was my brother calling from Florida. We’d been trying to connect for several days and if I didn’t speak with him then, it might be a lot longer, since he’s up to his eyeballs in work. So I talked for about 20 to 25 minutes. I actually did well: stayed in my own lane, merged onto 2 highways after negotiating the ramps onto them and caused no one a coronary in the process – not even myself!
But in all that driving, I must have tightened my chest muscles without realizing it. I was doing isometric exercise while driving, apparently. And fibromyalgia, kind entity that it is, decided to remind me that exercise of any kind is frowned on – even accidental, isometric exercise.
That’s one of the things about fibromyalgia that I love/hate. Fibromyalgia has no qualm about telling you what you can and can’t do. It is sneaky though! It lets you do it and reminds you afterward that it was a bad choice. Thanks a lot! That why, when people say to me, “I’m so sorry you can’t do _____________ (fill in the blank: gardening, yard work, vacuuming, needlework, etc) like you used to” I have to give them the following response, “I can to anything once. If I try to do it more than once, that’s when I run into trouble.”
If I do any motion repetitively, the muscles decide to go on strike and not work properly for days (sometimes weeks) while at the same time creating significant pain which is not always proportionate to the activity. That’s what I mean when I say fibromyalgia is sneaky. You never know what an activity will bring you the next day – mild discomfort or mega-pain that keeps you drugged and in bed. Not that bed is always more comfortable, but that’s another story.
So today, as I get ready to drive to the doctor’s office for a blood pressure check, I tell my muscles they will have to do it one more time. I just hope it doesn’t raise my blood pressure!