I am having a rough day today

I have fibromyalgia and a host of other diagnosis that go along with it, most came before my fibro diagnosis. Today it is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) that is giving me a hard time. I know, some of you are thinking that it’s a taboo topic, or ewe TMI. But seriously, it has much more to it than the obvious bowel issues. Yes it does mean more trips to the bathroom (also causes some to pee more frequently) and feeling a bit flu like, but stay with me if you dare while I explain how it affects me.

When my IBS acts up I have headaches and my body aches are amped up. Sometimes the nerves in my body kick in and it feels like I have lightning shooting through my body. Muscle cramping is multiplied and I feel overly tired. I often don’t feel like eating much, which only makes the whole thing continue longer. Did I mention the headaches? And then there is a fog that covers my brain, my thought are slower and jumbled and my words are sometimes, too. This strange tingling happens in my hands, and sometimes travels up my arms.

Sometimes it would seem that nothing triggered it, others I have some clues. Lack of sleep, stress, too much activity, too much dairy, something I have ate, or not eating enough are all noted triggers. It might even be tied to one of my other diagnoses, diverticulosis. The reason never matters much when I am going through it, I just make note and try to subdue it.

There are medication that the doctors prescribe, as they have for many other things…. There have been times when I depended on them, although that hasn’t been the case for years. Pepto-Bismol will do the trick. Rest, hydration, and eating what I can… bland foods are usually best.

The increased pain I feel is in my head, feet, hands, joints and lower back. It means I have to eat something to take some Tylenol or ibuprofen, because the life of pain I live has taught me that taking them on an empty stomach only increases the likelihood of developing another ulcer.

This isn’t a side of me that I allow others to see or know much about. I don’t write this to complain or for sympathy, only to bring awareness and to share some of my story. It’s not at all that I am ashamed or wish to hide my diagnoses, it’s just that I chose to live my life and not let them define me.

Clothes purge

Today I decided to go through ALL of my clothes. As a woman who has fluctuated in size, it has always been difficult for me to let go of great clothes in the hopes that maybe someday I will fit into them again. I intended to go through clothes any way, but the prospect of moving across the US has given me great motivation.

I didn’t follow trends I have read like, “If you haven’t worn something in a year, get rid of it.” My method was more practical and contemplative, which is similar to how I operate. I asked myself one question, “Do I really want to tote this across the country with me?” This question has brought me a very liberating clarity.

When questioning if I should keep something or not, I tried it on. If it fit and I liked and wear it or would wear it, I kept it. I did keep a few things that were a little snug, b/c they are too cute to let go of and I would miss them terribly if I went down a size and could fit into them. (Seriously, it amounted to about 5 items…. Which is a vast improvement from clothes hording tendency.)

I filled three tall kitchen garbage bags with clothes. There is even a shirt with the tag still on it (it was too big when I bought it, I should have returned it). I will take them to the thrift store so that someone else can get enjoyment out of them. It feels great to let it all go. I feel lighter and less burdened already.

My next project will be going though shoes. Although I have previously went through them, this time I will do so with my newfound criteria.

What would be the hardest thing for you to let go of in a downsizing effort?

I think the answer to that question is rather telling of the person. I would love to read your responses.