Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ask Lucy.

Ah yes. Isn't fibro beautiful? Actually, I'd love to be able to get into this position, but I probably wouldn't get out again.

Another gorgeous sunshiney morning. More rain has been predicted for days, but God keeps foiling the weathermen. It was supposed to pour yesterday, and I've been braced. But don't we just know that bracing ourselves for dreaded events is almost worse for our fibro than the events themselves?

So, ever the optimist-in-training, I drove into town, just because I could.

And since were no showers after all, what a relaxing morning it was! Cappuccino at my cybercafé and good progress on my essay contest submission (deadline moved to this Sunday). Nevertheless, it wore me out and today I'm lounging around in my peach negligée, waiting for a photo op.

Exhaustion and fog. These are the hardest parts of fibro for me. The best remedy I've found (when I don't have to work and I'm too stubborn to nap) is just to do something I love. So I write, or weave, or crochet. I'm still tired, I still can't remember what I just did, but it renders me basically harmless and sometimes I even get something done.

Today, I'm going to write. I have an essay to finish and some similar writing things to do. Later this evening, I'll watch the first hours of 24 I've recorded and work on my El Niño blanket , crocheting little hurricanes and giving thanks for being dry.

And that's the easiest part of fibro for me. Boy, do I love to have an excuse to take it easy! How silly is that?

FIBRO-TIP: Don't wait for an excuse to take it easy. Just take it.

Anyway, that's what Lucy says.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

What to do when it rains.

The sun is electrifying northern Baja this morning, but I am not fooled.

Rainstorms pounded us the entire week. Wednesday night I astounded myself by mopping and wringing out towels for fourteen hours straight, overnight, with no sleep -- and part of that time by candlelight. Over the course of three days, I closed my eyes for maybe four hours. I lived in my sweats and pulled a blanket over my weary body in those rare moments when I could leave that one stubborn leak alone for more than five minutes. My hands are blistered from squeezing wet towels and I'm still so tired my head is buzzing.

Then last night, the storms began to abate. I actually slept for six hours last night, urged out of bed at 7 a.m. by a hungry kitten.

Today, the sun is pouring in, not the rain, and it should hold for a few days at least. I'm hopeful, but weather reports are mixed. I'm doing my best to devote the day to resting and recovering, despite the three-man crew jackhammering and drilling immediately outside my window. They're building walls and digging ditches in an attempt to divert the water from my house.

These annoying sounds are comforting because I know they may be successful. But my body and mind are exhausted, and I can hardly imagine what I'll do if they fail.

My physical exertion of this last week falls into the "Did I Really Do That?" category. If you had told me two weeks ago that I would have the fortitude to do what I did, I would not have believed you. Although this was one of the hardest weeks of my life, it showed me yet again that when I think I have no more stamina, the only thing to do is pray, because that's the only thing that will work.

But hey, the sun is shining. And, by the way, some of us actually don't mind if the floor is wet and our houses are a little cockeyed:

Anyway, here's one more thing you can do when it rains. Click here and scroll down to the little wheels. Ever industrious, that's me. And Lucy.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

When blessings pour in.

This is not a picture of Mexico, but it could be. Rain poured down on us last night and more is expected for the next ten days, with a brief respite over the weekend.

Rain poured into my house last night, as well. In fact, last night my house looked very much like the entire rain-soaked week after Thanksgiving, when I first learned that I was living in a  sieve. Towels, mops, buckets, plastic tarps...Well, this is a converted garage, after all. Every time one leak got plugged, another popped up. It was like living in a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

I dozed on and off until after midnight, getting up every half-hour to check the floor with a flashlight. The rain seems to have abated after that -- or maybe it was the patch job -- and I finally got some sleep.

This morning, the living room looked like a Mexican thrift shop. Rocker on top of easy chair, kitty tree on table, and everything (especially tapestry loom!) shoved as far from the water as possible. But a dry floor, and I thank the Lord for that.

Fibro just loves it when you mop and wring and stack furniture for hours long after your bedtime. Whatever measly adrenaline I had on store I used up last night. Now the pain is setting in. So here I am, in the rocker (which is back on the floor), enjoying a frumpy sweater day, taking my work very, very slowly, and hoping I'm ready for the rain that's sure to come again tonight. No self-recrimination or fear of the future, just listening to my body and knowing that everything will get done in God's own time.

FIBRO-TIP: Don't live in a leaky house. Oh yes, and thank heavens for small blessings:


Friday, January 15, 2010

It was the darnedest thing.

It's funny how death can turn your life upside down. On Thursday, January 7th, my beloved 12-year-old cat Willy was put out of his misery. Want to start up a flare? There's an idea.

For days beforehand, I did my share of crying, and a bit more. Willy had been the most constant earthly thread in my life since 1997. Big, black King Willy. He was my friend and my comfort, and a very good boy.

Next morning, I went into town for my weekly date with myself at the cybercafé. After coffee and a bit of half-hearted work, I stopped by the vet to thank him again for the kind help he had given the night before, driving all the way out to my house so Willy could die at home. Dr. Jose was out visiting a sick dog, so with the ten minutes I had to wait I wandered around the dismal pet store that always seems to be attached to a Mexican veterinary practice.

Mexican pet stores are heartbreaking affairs. Piles of cages filled with discarded animals line the walls. These are the lucky ones, because kind people feed them, but it's not a sight for the fainthearted. Normally, I avoid these stores like the plague, but my heart was broken. I idly scanned the wall to see who I could pet, for both our sakes.

My eyes roamed past countless chickens and rabbits and a lump of sleeping puppies to a little black hair ball all alone in a cage. I couldn't see a head so I gently poked.

"It's dead," I said to the clerk.

"No, no," he said, and handed me this:

Meet Lucy. She walked into my house on January 8th and took over my life. She fits in a teacup, sleeps on my head, and isn't afraid of anything.

When God has plans for you, there's really no way out. I knew He wanted me to move on. I asked only that it be black and lovable.

It was the darnedest thing.