The Price of Hibernation

Still being a newbie Fibromite, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the winter season that just passed. I read all of the horror stories about the cold weather and how it might drive me to the brink of insanity, so long before the temperatures dropped, I was fearing the worst.

Mother Nature was kind to everyone this year though and broke me into this new way of life gently. The air wasn’t the normal cold and bitterness of winters past and we only got a chuckle of snow, which was surprising after the blizzards that were thrown at us for the previous two years. All in all, the season wasn’t as terrible as I anticipated, and the aches and pains were nothing in comparison with what I went through the past summer.

My biggest drawback was fatigue.

Major flipping fatigue.

My body ached and burned and tingled and gnawed but it was the exhaustion that really got the worst of me. Not being able to do much about it but drag myself around, I surrendered to the Fibro and pretty much hibernated for 3 months.

Now that I’ve been regained a good amount of energy I need to clean up the neglected areas of my life. I’ve maintained the most important things like basic cleaning, cooking, self-care and survival necessities, but now that the fog lifted, all I can see are the things I have left by the wayside.

The House

With each week that’s passed over the season, our home has grown more and more disorganized. Isaac has been on a “project” kick for the past few months which has led him to rip apart my utility room, scattering tools everywhere in his path. He’s also rummaged through every drawer in the house while looking for “parts”  leaving the (once organized) drawers now barely closable. In his wake, he has left random bits and pieces of broken things, papers and junk. Natalie has reverted to her “hide-everything-in-my-closet-under-my-bed-and-in-every-drawer-so-my-room-just-looks-clean” mentality. I am just as guilty in the clutter as I have flat out neglected in keeping on top of them about picking up after themselves, let alone done any organizing or de-cluttering of my own.

In other words, a tornado of junk has ripped through my house and it is all that I can see now that I’ve awakened from my three months of hibernation.

If I were my old self, I’d just take a weekend to purge organize and be merry, easy peasey. I have always found it therapeutic to throw everything away and I always did just that. I am not the old me though, so I’ve got to figure out a plan to get things back to normal and not wear myself out in the process.

I suppose I will have to take this in baby steps, one thing at a time. I’m feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. Maybe with a trash bag. Or a dumpster.

Unfinished Projects

Towards the end of last summer I took on a lot of projects that I just couldn’t handle. I over did it by a mile and threw myself into a wicked flare and had to surrender. I kept telling myself I’d get to finishing everything when the fall rolled around but life was chaotic here then, and the projects were put on the back burner. By the time winter came, my projects were the last thing I was able to think about.

Now that I’m feeling substantially better, I’d really love to refocus on the forgotten projects and complete them before summer humidity sets in and I find myself back in miserable pain.

You might remember that last year I had the wood floors and stairway refinished, but I didn’t have them paint the risers on the steps. The chipped and yellowed paint is a terrible eyesore, and it really takes away from how beautiful the wood looks, so getting them painted is a must.

I also ripped apart the front of my fireplace, with the intention to put up tile, but now it is just another unfinished and very ugly eyesore.

Also, when the upstairs carpet was moved and installed in the basement, I left some areas unfinished. It will really look nice down there once it is complete, so I need to work on that as well.

Aside from the carpet in the basement, I need to clean out the utility room because today it would be more accurately described as a junk room.

The last project I have to get done is setting up my narrow closet so it can be put to use. Currently, my 2 dressers are jam-packed with clothes and another large amount of clothes are still hanging in the basement. My closet might be the biggest challenge because of the odd dimensions, but I know something can be done with a little planning.

My Neglected Appearance

I haven’t spent any time on what I look like and it is obvious. I haven’t had much of a need to look pretty since I’ve spent a majority of the past few months on the couch and I accurately reflect that this is just what I’ve done. The world shouldn’t know I’ve hibernated though and my appearance isn’t doing my self-esteem any favors when I do need to go somewhere.

I haven’t colored or cut my hair in almost six months so my roots are horrendous and the style has grown out. My eyebrows are a wreck and my skin has turned into a mess. I even made a joke with my girlfriend, “Does this pimple make me look younger?”

Funny, I am.

I have probably put on a good 10 pounds, which everyone says is good for me, but fitting well in my baggy pants really doesn’t feel good. Not being able to exercise and eating a ton of carbs for a whole season doesn’t make anyone feel good; I imagine this is the reason for my skin being a wreck, too.

Besides my physical appearance, I also feel like a mess style-wise and this has always been important to me. Not getting dressed to go out into the world for a few months has really thrown me off. Now when I do need to get dressed or want to go somewhere, I have a very hard time deciding on something to wear, my radar for what pieces work well together has been in snooze mode… Just like me!

I feel like a wreck, not a hottie now, but all of this is easily solvable and will be fun to fix.

My Finances

I have kept up with this area but only to minimum standards and it’s starting to become very stressful. I’ve paid my bills fine, but that usually means waiting and then scrambling right before they are due. I have piles of papers on my desk that I avoid until it’s time to rummage through them when the 15th rolls around. It’s all very stressful and completely unnecessary.

I really do need to take a few hours to get my paperwork in order, balance my bank accounts, make a calendar, set up some automatic payments and hammer down a budget.

I also need to pull a résumé together ASAP because I found a few legit jobs I am qualified for which will allow me to work remotely from home. I’m living off of savings and child support and I’d like to keep a nest egg, so this is something I really can’t drag my feet on for much longer.

As you can see, I’ve got a bit ahead of me to do.

I believe that if I pace myself and stay determined, I can get this house and myself back in order and feel on top life again. If I am really focused and lucky, I will be able to get these things done before summer rolls around and I recognize writing this and addressing my prioroties is the first step. Getting rid of all of my mental clutter has definitely lifted a huge load off of my mind! Seeing what I need to do, as opposed to just thinking about it all, puts a positive perspective on my tasks ahead, also.

I’m going to start working on what I can today, maybe an hour or two spread out over each day will get me where I need to be quicker than the summer. Then I might be able to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine before the pain from the future heat and humidity sets in!


12 thoughts on “The Price of Hibernation

  1. Ginger,

    Putting my nose in where it doesn’t belong… (yikes!) But, Isaac needs to clean up after himself, and you can just close the door to your daughter’s room. At their age it it not your job to clean up after them.

    The common places in the house need to be kept up, sure, but who died and made you Supermom? At this point you need them right beside you to help. I believe that if you worked out a schedule (as a team) you might be able to find a way to get it all done without hurting yourself, or tears and fighting with them, and then keep it all going in the future.

    You make the priority list, and here is the key to making it work:

    Let them figure out what days, what jobs, and what times they can find to do this for the family. The trick is this… they now have no arguments with you because they made the schedule themselves!

    Please don’t hurt yourself again. 😉
    xo, Lynda
    PS: Been missing you here in the blogosphere.

    1. Lynda,
      You are so sweet! Thanks for having my back with the kids 😉

      As far as Isaac goes, his version of cleaning up his mess is much different than mine, lol. I need to work with him in order to get it done correctly. Also, I think I will be banning him from projects for a little while 🙂

      Natalie and her room, well, it is disappointing to say the least. She knows how to put things away correctly, I guess she just figured since I wasn’t too mobile she’d pull one over on me. The jokes on her though because I want it fixed!

      I will try with all of my might not to get hurt again, it really sucks to be in such a helpless and horrible flare. If I’ve learned anything at all this year, it’s the importance of pacing myself 😉

      Have a great day and I’ve missed you too, though I have been stalking you a bit on facebook 😀

      1. I believe that “working with” is what I meant. I guess I wasn’t clear, sorry! working with/side-by-side is always preferable to trying on the Supermom cape. The old saying “Many hands make light work” is so true! On pacing oneself, well, I do have a long way to go in learning how to do that one! Gardening is my “Achilles.” However, I have a secret weapon this season! 😉
        Oh, and I neglected to tell you the first time how happy I am that you are feeling better!
        ~ L

  2. Though I don’t have fibro, my muscles stiffen up more when the weather gets colder. Though there hasn’t been much of a winter, my muscles got pretty stiff, and I’ve been having some rough back pain lately. Thankfully I found that yoga and massages help. 🙂

    1. Oh yoga! I can start that again 😀

      My bones and joints hurt in the cold and my muscles spasam in the heat, it seems. Don’t you love our bodies? I hope you are still having a great time with your friends and not feeling bad physically 😀


  3. I’ve found with projects (because I tend to overdo, much like you do) that if I concentrate on one at a time, and put my bit of energy into that one project until it’s done, I feel so much better knowing at least one thing on my list is complete. I used to spread myself thin, trying to do pieces of all the projects all the time, and it seemed like nothing ever got done.

    and the thing with fibro–your symptoms will change over time. Right now it’s terrible fatigue, but two years from now you might have a lot more energy but something else might be bothering you. Ebb and flow. 🙂

    good luck!

    1. Huz used to get so mad at me becuase of my habits of started projects and not finishing them before moving onto the next one. I really thought I had gotten it under control but as you see I didn’t lol I get so distracted or overwhelmed so I bounce around. I do need to follow through though, thank you for pointing that out. it will be a huge help!

      Also, thank you so much for saying that the symptoms will change, the fatigue leaving me alone is what I want most and the fog to lift most certainly. It’s so hard to function when you can’t think sideways, let alone straight! Ebb and flow. Ebb and flow. I’m going to repeat that until it’s as common as please and thank you.

      Thanks for the positive light that you’ve shed, it makes me smile 🙂

  4. Hats off to you for writing this, having a clear to do list is the first step for sure now what you need is a realistic plan, don’t push yourself too hard, set goals you can achieve not ones that will add to your stress and get the kids on board. Try to make them see the big picture and help.
    Best of luck to you

    1. I am trying to pull all of the pieces together. Maybe I should turn the tasks into a sensible calendar of sorts, so like you said it won’t be stressful and easy for us all to track. Getting the kids on board will be a challenge but I know they will have fun if I set up a target and a reward. Thanks for the encouragement and the advice!

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