Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Surviving Showers & Kitchens

All I have to say, is BLESS you Adrienne Dellwo. Any time there's even seemingly obscure facet of living with FM or CFS that makes me feel ridiculous and wonder if I'm the only one, she writes an article on it. Not just that, but her articles are well researched, and authorititave.

Tonight, I was thinking jeez, this is so ridiculous, why does it take me so long to get everything done? I can't even rest properly, I go till I can't stand it then I lie down when I can't stand the fatigue/and/or pain anymore, but half the time I get up before I feel all the way better, so I do a bit more, and repeat. And I wonder why it's so hard for me to find a moment to return calls. Everything must be prioritized. Dinner must be eaten, therefore it must be cooked. Even eating wears me out. Little things. Taking out the trash. Cat's litter must be cleaned. Heart's pounding; medication must be taken.

As for showers: I'm lucky it doesn't seem to be that difficult for me lately, because there have been times when just standing there seems like too much, and I'd give my left foot for one of those shower chairs. I almost don't even shave my legs in the shower anymore, my balance is awful and I'm afraid I'll hurt myself. But still, once I get out, the first thing I do once I'm either wrapped in towels or dressed,is lie down! And like it says in the article, there's the temperature thing. In the summertime, I HAVE to have the A/C on after I shower, or else it's useless. And if I have to use a hair dryer or iron, ugh. I may still overheat. Part of the reason I stopped trying to go out to meet people. I get so tired just getting ready... It gets so old and exhausting trying to manage SO many little things. Ah, this is starting to feel a bit whiny. I'll just post the links now, lol.



Sunday, November 14, 2010

City of Angels

I can't believe I haven't posted about this yet. I've been here a week already! Granted, it was all very sudden. I was feeling trapped, suffocated, feeling the soul-darkening anger-flames licking at my insides again. Yes, as expected, with November came the blues. Actually, I got lucky, they skipped October!

{Music sidenote:Ha, Emiliana Torrini song playing on a TV Show. I swear that's how she makes most of her money, at least here in the States, where's she's never been mainstream, I hear her on soundtracks regularly.}

So anyhow, I was having trouble sleeping again. I went to bed at two one night about 10 days ago, and woke up at 6am. Wide awake, in that mind-running out of control state where I randomly start thinking about unpleasant things that happened, sometimes years ago with a new perspective, or perhaps finding sudden explanations for events I never understood before,letting my bad dreams confuse reality with things that haven't even happened yet; I knew if I tried to go back to sleep, it wouldn't work, I might get halfway, but end up spending hours in that state, tossing and turning, trying to escape all the unpleasant almost automatic, over-thinking. So I went on Facebook, to find my cousin, who also suffers from a chronic pain ailment, had also only gotten a couple of hours of sleep and didn't want to think anymore either. She was leaving the country to see a gravely ill relative, and I was telling her how I wished I could be somewhere else right then, I was tired of worrying about other people's problems, being far away from everyone I knew, without the energy to make new friends. So she offered me her house while I was gone, a good deal for us both, I couldn't believe my luck.

So now here I am, and it has been a really good thing, I'm so grateful! I'd been here many times growing up, but usually for parties, or family gatherings, when it was full of people, and that's not quite the same. On a more personal level, it is a very charming, cozy abode. The outside is adorable, like a Spanish-style California Cottage. Yes, it is an actual, free-standing house, and I, though I grew up in a couple of lovely ones, have not had the luxury of living in one of those for well over a decade. The inside is cozy with some unique customizations, and you can almost feel the love and memories that have inhabited it, with the touches of familiarity that seem to carry over into all of my Mother's family's homes...heirlooms from my grandmother, decorations, paintings, furniture, and tchotchkes that I didn't even know I remembered. It makes me giggle, too, how either through similar tastes, pure coincidence, or perhaps a contagion of the random gifting my mother likes to partake in, I see many products that my own mother uses as well... (For example, my Mom buys something and either she buys one for my aunt, or my aunt sees it, buys it too, and buys one for her daughter, or she sees it and wants one too. Or inversely, my cousin might have something my aunt likes she goes shopping w/my Mom, Mom gets one too, lol.) Though I don't know the inhabitants of the house as intimately as I'd have liked, and though they are absent I somehow feel very welcome, and warmed.

Now if only that were enough to fend off the fatigue!

There is so much to do around here, places to see, cousins to visit whose kids are growing far too quickly, my aging and beloved aunt who I always regret being too tired to come see, all within a 15 minute's drive. Not to mention an entire area to become reacquainted with (if you can say that, I was born and lived in the city that starts a couple blocks away for only my first year, but my grandmother lived there until her death in 1992, my aunt until she re-married...the familiar street names call to me, hinting that maybe if I drive down the right one, and find the right apartment, my grandmother will be sitting there waiting for me. But there is grocery shopping to be done and after, I fear that in my fatigue, my normally/formerly amazing sense of direction will fail and I'll just end up getting myself lost, driving in circles, getting more tired and risking an accident.

So anyhow, I pushed myself,spent some wondeful, simple, quality time with some of my family earlier this week, then ended up spending a couple of frustrated, guilty days I'd hoped to spend seeing more family, trying to rest up enough to shake that fatigue so bad that breathing and being upright are a challenge.

I'm feeling a bit better though, and I feel the energetic blocks beginning to shift, like puzzle pieces, drifting out of their unwelcome resting places, and I begin to feel lighter, not so scattered and uncentered, and energetically clogged. I think soon I will be able to focus and do things I know will benefit me, like Yoga (I brought some DVDs with me) some meditation, and Self-Reiki Treatments. I'm hoping that will help further, and I will manage to get out and explore the City of Angels as well, and if I'm really lucky, do some writing.

Though it's a strange sort of city, L.A., all scattered and in many ways, mostly un-citylike (only a couple of small areas have the concentration of skyscrapers that are signatures of places like New York, Chicago, even San Francisco.) I've found it attracting me lately; out of the blue a couple of months ago, it occurred to me maybe if/when everything works out, perhaps Downtown L.A. might be the place for me, odd, right, a busy city for someone who's always tired, but it's all about the vibe. It's alive, and genuine...and Downtown has been booming slowly but steadily for a few years now. But yes, I've always loved exploring new cities...finding the hidden and not so-hidden places, learning my way around...before I became ill I revelled in it, San Francisco, OC, Hollywood, the infinite maze of Southland freeways carefully connecting them all...Yes, South Orange County is particularly beautiful, with its lush greenery, landscaping,shiny-newness and oceans, but I find something intriguing about businesses in buildings that have been around since long before I was, the variety of people here, and the neverending activity. I've always believed L.A. gets an unfair rap...But if it's such an evil, shallow, soul-sucking place, why do people come here from all over the world? To me, there's something magical about the City of Angels...I just hope I can become acquainted with some more of it while I'm here :)