I didn’t always hate taking a shower. Before I had Fibromyalgia I probably even loved it. It has always been the thing that wakes me up in the morning and makes me feel good. However, now there is more of a love/hate feeling towards the shower. If you have Fibromyalgia or any other chronic pain condition, you probably already know what I’m going to say. If you don’t have a chronic condition then you are in for a treat; a peak into the daily torture I go through.
So, since I have to go to work still and I love my co-workers, I have to shower. It is still the thing I need to wake me up that early in the morning. My day starts with me sitting on the edge of the bed, taking an inventory of the pain. I know this sounds weird, but I have to acknowledge it in my brain before I stand up or it catches me off guard. Once I take some deep breaths and some self talk (“ugh, I don’t want to”, “shut up and do it”) I get up and let the dogs out. Then I go into the bathroom and get into the shower. Since I’m so stiff and in so much pain, the hot water is soothing. I do what I need to do in there and then I do some stretches.
You might be saying, “Suzanne, you stretch in the shower, why?” Yes I do everyday because I have to. This is the best place for me to get a little stretching in and wake up my muscles. Since my goal everyday is to do yoga before I leave for work and that NEVER happens, this is my time. Now that was the easy part of getting ready and believe me, it wasn’t really easy for me.
Once I am out of the shower and dry off and get my PJ’s back on (yes, I put those back on) I have to rest. Oh I forgot one important and taxing part- I have to brush my wet hair out so it doesn’t dry in tangles. This is the part that takes the most energy. Now with all that done, I have to go sit on the couch and rest. Heaven forbid the days that I couldn’t get out of bed on time because of exhaustion or pain because I still have to go through this process regardless.
Once I have rested a bit, now comes the hard part, I have to brush my teeth AND blow-dry my hair. I know this sounds stupid, but it is so hard to do. Think of it this way, if you work out a lot, lift weights or do a bunch of push-ups, you get sore right? Then if you try to lift your arms, it is difficult, even painful? Well, this is my daily life and I didn’t lift any weights- we won’t even speak about what it feels like when I have done some push-ups (yes, I can do some push-ups).
Now that I am good and exhausted, it is time to go to work. When I was home on medical leave, there were many days in a row that I didn’t even shower (embarrassing I know). It took all I had some days to make it from the bed to the couch. This is why we (chronic illness sufferers) are called “warriors” because most days we fight past all that I just mentioned and get through our day. It is ok if we are not able to, but when we do it can feel like a victory over an illness that is trying to take over our life!
I would love to hear your comments below. If you are Warrior- how do you get through your morning routine? Is it similar to mine or different, I would love to know. Are you a Warrior supporter? I would love to hear how this article helps you better understand the person you are supporting. As always, gentle hugs to you, push when you can- rest when you need it.