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Moving When You Have Fibromyalgia — It Sucks!

I’m moving.  Yes, that’s moving with an ing.  I would love to say I just moved, but unfortunately, I can’t say that because I’m not done.  I’ve only moved a few times in my life, and except for this time, they were all relatively small scale.  I moved to the dorms in college, but I don’t think that counts.  As a matter of fact, I don’t think it counts if you are only packing for one person.  The first time I officially moved was right after I got married.  I moved in with my in-laws.  I don’t think I need to elaborate there at all!  A few months later, we bought our first house, and I packed up everything we had in our little guest house and moved it.  I don’t think we had more than one truck full of belongings.  Certainly not enough to begin to fill up our 2000 square foot house.  It seemed like a mansion to me.  It really was an exciting time.  I don’t know if I realized it then, but everything was so simple.  I certainly didn’t have fibromyalgia getting in the way.

All of my previous moving experiences were very small scale compared to this recent one.  The circumstances surrounding the move are pretty complicated, but they are less complicated than figuring out how I am going to get the rest of my belongings out of storage and what I’m going to do with them after that.  It’s been 2 weeks, and I still have about a small car garage full.  It’s not floor to ceiling.  In fact, it’s worse because I’ve started opening boxes and picking out specific items, so everything is all spread because I’ve rummaged through it.

I would really love to know what people are supposed to do when they have to move and they have a chronic condition like fibro.  I have never heard from anyone who has had such an experience, but I haven’t asked.  Now that I mention it, I haven’t asked for help either.  I had to get help with a few big things, but I haven’t actually asked anyone to help me with the small stuff.  I would say not asking for help is a no-no.  We (those of us with fibro) have to get help.  We just have to.  Find some of that village that you use to help you with your kids and ask them for help!  Ask whoever you want, but just make sure you get help.

The day I got the keys, it was a little exciting, I’ll admit.  I didn’t yet feel the huge weight that I now carry on my back, neck, and shoulders.  That first night my kids and I ate Taco Bell on the living room floor and slept on air mattresses.  That first weekend, we moved our first round of belongings.  The older kids packed and moved everything in their rooms.  One of the benefits of having teenage boys is they can move their own beds without my help.

We only had that first weekend to move all day, and the following Monday the kids were back to school and our life was back to business as usual.  I only have a limited amount of stamina, so I usually spent an hour or two each evening moving our things and unpacking them as I went.  I felt good at first and I actually was relieved that I was managing to do everything without pooping out.  Well after the first week or so that relief came to an abrupt halt.  I just got tired.  I started feeling fatigue again.  I had to choose between spending my evenings running errands and picking up things that we needed from the store or unloading belongings.  I absolutely couldn’t do both.  My legs throbbed.  I can’t even describe how badly they throbbed.  The soles of my feet were killing me every minute of the day.  Even as I just sat, all I could think about was the aches and pains coming from the entire bottom half of my body.

I was back to those days before I had effectively learned to live with fibro.  Those days when all I could do all day was exist.  When I just couldn’t get my shit together for whatever reason.  The days would end and the list of things that I didn’t do was way longer than that of the things that I did do.

As these things were happening, or should I say, not happening, I started thinking about how unfair it all is.  It wasn’t self-pity.  It was more like a large dose of reality.  People move all the time, and I know that it’s not easy.  But if it’s hard for a “normal” person to do, what chance did I have?  I can’t compete with so-called normal moms.  I just can’t.  It’s not a competition, I know.  That’s what I do, though.  When I feel inferior or lacking, I look at people and imagine they would be able to do what I can’t.  I am judging myself in my head.  “Who takes more than 2 weeks to move?”  By the time I’m done, I will be saying “What kind of dysfunctional person takes a month to move?”

The more behind I get, the more stressed out I get and the more daunting a task I have ahead of me.  On a normal day, sometimes I just have to sit down.  Being on my feet for more than a few minutes hurts.  Lately, every time I sit down, I think about all of the time I am losing.  I think of how much closer I could have come to being done.

So here I am on a Saturday evening, sitting down to write for the first time in weeks, simply because I’ve been trying to move.  Such is life, I suppose.  I’m usually a pretty positive person.  My family would probably laugh at that statement, and to them, I say, “get lost!”  Toward other people, though, especially those going through tough times, I try to be positive and I understand because I’ve been there.  I know that living with fibro sucks, but I also know it’s doable because I’m doing it.  I understand that I have limitations, but I’ve managed to live without exceeding them.

It’s so easy to come up with excuses, so when I am feeling bummed for any reason, I ask myself what I would say to someone else in my situation.  By the time I sit down and write out some advice, I’ve usually talked myself through my own problem.  I don’t want to be that person who makes excuses.  I may not be able to do things the way I plan or the exact way that I want, but I can do them.  I’ve found my balance.  This particular situation was just difficult, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do it.  I might have to take a break for the weekend, and I might spend more time moving than I wanted to, but I’ll do it.

I would really appreciate feedback from anyone living with a chronic condition.  Have you moved while you had fibro, and how did you manage it?

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