Wading Through the Options

Everyday we are faced with multiple choices. For people with limited energy (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and other fatigue inducing illnesses), these can take their toll.

I am faced with the best choice for work going forward. Balancing many factors, with my baby and my wellness being top, isn’t easy.

I live my life doing innumerable cost to benefit calculations. Is my energy worth that outcome? Sometimes it’s pure forecast, can I cope with that based on what I know?

They don’t need to be complex. Just a simple check in with yourself.

Do I think this is worth my energy? Is it making me feel well or less well?

Work has taken on a new definition since I went back as a mama. It’s the place I go when I’m not sick and I’ve juggled my baby’s sick care arrangements.

In two and a half months we have both had a bad cold, he’s had a gastro bug and we’ve both been hit badly by a major virus. I’ve had three days off work, my husband’s had the same and my mother and father in law have done a day each.

After much deliberation, I’ve decided to pursue some further study (by correspondence) and try contracting again. This way I have complete flexibility over my working hours while my little guy is young and I keep gently building my career.

There’s many other times when a check in or cost/benefit analysis can be beneficial.

For socialising it can be helpful to factor in social benefits (distraction and connection) to yourself, benefits to your partner (they get to have some fun) and your energy needs. Perhaps there could be a compromise.

It can be hard to ensure you weigh the options properly (scared of pain, seeing past the exhaustion, negative emotions). This will require some soul searching and some experimenting. But this approach can be a part of your patchwork quilt to living well.

I want to be wise in my choices (so as not to cause extra pain and fatigue) but I don’t want to miss out on life. Particularly when it comes to my son. So my weighting is usually bias in his direction, but that’s my conscious choice.

Work will always come second to him. And both will always be factored in my cost/benefit analysis.

Fibromyalgia is…

Fibromyalgia impacts my life. A LOT. It’s the elephant in the room, the fly in my ointment, and any other metaphor you can think of. But, as with everything, there are positives and negatives.

Fibromyalgia is…painful. A burning, or stabbing, or aching, or hot pain. Every day.

Fibromyalgia is…changeable. One day I can function well; have a nice day with the baby, do some work, walk the dog, do the chores and have a nice evening with my husband. Then the next day I can be so fatigued and beset with a lethargy that makes just surviving hard.

Fibromyalgia is…resilience. I am a very resilient person, I push through a lot of pain on a daily basis to do what I want to do.

Fibromyalgia is…balance. I must balance. Work/life. Exercise/rest. Everybody ought to, I just get the warning signs sooner.

Fibromyalgia is…a constant cost/benefit analysis. I always calculate the benefits and the consequences of decisions, so decision making is a bit more complex. Recently my husband had free tickets to see The Hobbit at the cinema, but it started at 9pm. I knew immediately that the cost/benefit scenario didn’t stack up. Even if I wanted to see that movie, it wouldn’t have been worth getting to sleep after midnight and then up with the baby in the night and early the next morning.

Fibromyalgia is…heartbreaking, when you see the opportunity costs everyday. When you disappoint your husband. When you don’t have that little extra energy for your baby.

Fibromyalgia is…a teacher. I have learnt so much about life, about my body, about the world, about myself.

Fibromyalgia is…hard. But it won’t stop me trying, everyday, to follow my passions.