I have always had a job. Well okay, not always, there have been times in my life when I was unemployed, but then I was looking for a job. There are a few times in my life where I worked two jobs at the same time. My point is, I have always worked in addition to raising my children and taking care of my family.
Until now. I am four days into our newest experiment to try and manage my pain-Unemployment.
Unemployed under the guise of being a Stay at Home Mom. This would feel more real to me if my kids weren’t 10, 12, and 14 and gone most of the day at school. But, I like Stay at Home Mom much better than Unemployed or Disabled so that is the one we are going to stick with for now.
I have to say that I LOVE not having to get up and out the door by 830 am every day. I really enjoy moving at my own pace in the morning and doing things that make my body less angry. The sticky thing here is that I feel incredibly guilty doing it.
Every morning my eyes open and I think “I need to get up, get in the shower, get dressed and get moving.” Moving towards what? Errands, housekeeping duties, writing, reading, cooking, you name it. I feel like I need to be doing something. Otherwise I am doing nothing and that is just not a pass time I am used to. In fact, today is the first day I have not left the house this week, It’s the first day I did not have plans to go somewhere or do something around the house. The first day all week I haven’t spent several hours with a friend family member.
The first day I felt bored.
It’s also the first day my pain has been remotely less than an average day at work. So that must mean something. It means that I need to s-l-o-w d-o-w-n. ASAP.
The problem is I have no idea how. I am such a doer. I am a planner and I like to be productive. These personality traits and PCS do not get along well at all. In fact, they are constantly at war with each other throughout my daily life and 98% of the time the personality traits win. The idea of the PCS running the show makes me want to kick myself. And yet, isn’t that exactly what is happening anyway? I mean, come on, I quit my job so I could try and manage my pain better. Of course the PCS won.
Stupid PCS. Stupid Pain. Stupid fatigue.
Can you guess how I feel about it? To be fair, I was actually excited about this plan, and The Hubs and I had discussed it so much there was only one thing left to do, and that was actually try it. So here I am, four days into our 30 day trial and I have no idea how to actually make this work. I guess I thought it just would, that I would just know how to slow down and make this be the answer to my constant pain. But that is not the case my people, and I am annoyed.
Since I am not sure how much is actually too much in this case, I have started to keep a journal tracking my activity and rest throughout the day. I put little stars next to my rest times so I can see how many stars (rests) I am getting a day.
Monday I had none.
Tuesday I spent the day paying for Monday, so needless to say I got plenty of rest that day. Yesterday I had 2 rests but they were at the beginning and ends of my day, so they really don’t count. Today is Thursday, and, seeing my lack of stars so far this week I am working a little harder at the resting thing.
I spent my morning with coffee and a book, then I did a few low key things around the house. Now I am earning a star while writing with my feet up. (I can’t do it in a chair, then it doesn’t count as a ‘rest’ it counts as a ‘trigger’). But I can already be pretty sure that 3 hours between rests, no matter how low key the activity is, is too many hours between rests.
I am caught between being productive and taking care of my pain. It’s a tricky path and I haven’t found my footing yet. It’s like every day I wake up, get on my mark, get set and then I have to stop.