Fibronaut At Home

Really?

This post is brought to you by the letters P, M, and S.

My biggest challenge is learning to not worry about what others think of me.  I struggle with this every day, every moment, no matter what I’m doing or how I’m feeling.  This morning, I awoke to find that Mother Nature’s curse had begun its pillage on my body.  Of course, I am running low on supers, again.  My hubby is sick, so I know that I have to go to the grocery store myself this time.  We live in a small town and the nearest grocery store is in an equally small town.  Our little grocery store has a deli, with chairs and tables.  All the farmers gather there to have coffee.  Can you see where this is going?  When I worked, I worked at the local bank, where we catered to ag customers.  The tampons are a straight shot from the deli, so I went in that door.  I am unwashed, unbrushed, and in my pajamas.  Basically, the definition of a Hot Mess.

As I look up and focus, I see someone I recognize.  Do I smile?  No.  Wave?  No.  Why?  Because I automatically assume that those farmers can all tell why I’m there.  As if I just asked them, “Where are the tampons?”  Which sounds crazy, because it is crazy.  I look down at the ground, which doesn’t look guilty at all (sarcasm, cough, cough) and speed-walk past the seating area.  WTF!  Why am I speed-walking?!  It’s 8 o’clock in the morning!  Get ahold of yourself, Susie!  I start to say, “What other people think of you is none of your business”, except I mean to say it in my head, but I say it out loud.  Cheese and rice!  It is way too early for this.  I then, restart my mantra, but in my head this time.

There I am, speed-walking, through the frozen section (Dear God, I’m going to pay for this!), I find my tampons and head to the registers.  Sort of.  What I actually do, is walk through the meat section (Holy hip spasm, Batman!) and look down every aisle I pass until I see the register that is farthest from the farmer-r-us meeting at the deli.  I limp down this aisle and (Thank you Jesus!) find a register that is open that is not immediately next to the farmer-con convention in the deli.  I throw my one box of super tampons down.

That’s right.  No shame here.  At least, not anymore.  I’m totally bluffing.  I usually try to buy more than the tampons, like maybe a bunch of bananas and a loaf of bread with disguise the bright pink box of tampons and no one will see them sitting there, saying, “Look at what this woman’s buying!  Bet she’s in a bad mood today!”.  The nice lady in front of me smiles sympathetically and I just want to rip her face off.  Don’t acknowledge the embarrassment!!!  The last thing I want to do right now is acknowledge my embarrassment, but when you smile at me in that way, I’m forced to either shrug at you like, “I know, right?” or something else to let you know that I saw your smile.  I look away. 

There is a female cashier but there is a male bagger.  He is smart, though.  He is either married or very well-trained.  After assisting the lady in front of me, he walks away.  I think he might be psychic or he can just see his death in my eyes.  The female cashier ain’t the sharpest crayon in the box.  She puts my bright pink box of super tampons on the little shelf right in front of me.  Put it in a bag woman!  Are you serious?!  I realize she expects me to put them in my purse, but then it just looks like I’m hiding something even more.  And I am super paranoid about being suspected of shop lifting.  I hate to dig in my purse while in the grocery store.  Also, when you go to the register, you should leave with a bag.  Double bag that STAT!!! 

**sigh**

After I pay her convenience store prices for my tampons, I shove them in my purse and make all nicey-nice but I really want to throw them at her head.  I limp out of the door on the opposite side of where I came in, with my head down and my dignity in the frozen section.

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Win Some, Lose Some

The hubby and I decided I am no longer allowed to go to the grocery store by myself.  It is Friday and I am still recovering from Wednesday’s trip.  I’ve had headaches, muscle aches, muscle spasms, skin sensitivity, pain everywhere, nausea and extreme fatigue.  Thankfully, I’ve been able to hold my depression off and I’m trying to be kind to myself.  His idea is for us to go on the weekend.

I’m going to probably try to rest all day because my son has a cross country meet this afternoon and I want to go and support him.  I’ll know later if that is possible or not.  What I really need to do is make friends with another cross-country Mom and see if I can’t hitch a ride.  Of course, the girls would have to come too and that makes it more difficult.  I have a hard time asking for help.  I always feel like I have nothing to give in return, so I’d rather not accept help.  It is automatic for me to refuse when someone asks if I need anything.  I do it all the time.  I sometimes catch myself with family and accept their help, but with acquaintances I am much more likely to distance myself.  I hate feeling like a drain, taking everything and giving nothing back.

When I have all these issues with my health, how am I supposed to be there for someone else?  I can barely handle being there for my family.  If we get invited anywhere, I dread accepting, because I know we will not reciprocate with an invitation.  Besides our parents or siblings, we have not had anyone over to our house in years.  Years!  I take that back.  I did have a Home and Garden Party (I think that’s what it’s called) two (?) years ago.  I can’t even remember what year it was.  We cleaned the house from top to bottom.  That is the last time it was cleaned that well.

Muscles are starting to spasm.  I think I’ll try an Epsom salt bath.

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We Got This Wednesday!

  • I remembered that it was Wednesday and that I was going to make “We Got This Wednesday” a weekly thing.  Then, I actually remembered to do this post and did it, before I could forget again.  High Five!

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  • I went grocery shopping this morning.  You can expect a “Flare” post tomorrow, when I can move again.
  • I learned something new, while grocery shopping.  When buying frozen vegetables, pick them up last, then you can put them on places that ache before you put them in the grocery basket.  I wouldn’t be surprised if I am someday featured on “People of Wal-Mart” doing this.
  • I got inspired on some sewing projects.  I haven’t done anything yet, but I’m super excited to someday get to doing these ideas that are in my head.
  • My hubby and I managed to work a New Kids On The Block song into a discussion with our son on why he needs to just sleep in his own bed, without the hall light on downstairs.  It was epic.

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  • While listening to Paramore and doing laundry, my kids were in trouble for fighting.  “Ain’t It Fun” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDQt4KLRT4M) from their new CD came on.  Both of the older kids were blaming each other for the fight.  As I started to explain how each of them played a part in the outcome, the lyrics below came on.  I just sang along to the kids.  Pissed them off even more.  Payback time!

Don’t go crying, to your Momma, ’cause you’re all alone, in the real world. (Repeat 4 times)

Ain’t it fun?  Ain’t it fun?

Baby, now you’re one of us.

Ain’t it fun?  Ain’t it fun?

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Comment if you’d like with your positives from the last week, or share this idea on your own blog.

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Slow and Steady-Tips for Grocery Shopping without Killing Yourself

As I limped through the grocery store today, I realized something.  I have yet to do a post about grocery shopping with Fibro and CFS.  I’ve mentioned that I don’t do it, but that has changed somewhat in the last year.  I occasionally go to the grocery store.  I am more apt to go when I have the kids to help me or my husband to drive me.  I usually try not to do anything else, especially if I’m by myself.  Today, I had other ideas.  The stupid, I-think-I’m-invincible kind of ideas that only lead to pain and muscle spasms.  I can probably look forward to a headache later as a “special” bonus.

I had my annual woman’s appointment today.  Thankfully, the Physician’s Assistant was very experienced, friendly and forgetful.  Despite having my chart, with my age and number of children I’ve had, and despite asking me if I have children and saying that she was almost twice my age, she was very gentle with me.  Normally, these exams are very painful for me, but today was not too bad.  Having expected to be in a horrible mood after the groping by a stranger that I pay them to do to me, I agreed to have lunch with the hubby so he could cheer me up.  Then I thought, “I really need a couple of things from the grocery store”.  Why I even attempted this is beyond me.  Clearly, I needed the reminder of how I’m not the old me.  Hopefully, my helpful tips with not only help you all, but will also stick in my mind, so I don’t attempt the self-torture I subjected myself to today, again.

  • Don’t drive yourself to the store.  Especially if you are in a flare or if you are doing other errands on the same trip.  If you do have to drive yourself, make sure you conserve energy and park as close as possible to the entrance.
  • Slow and steady wins the race.  Do not walk fast at any time.  I get into this mode, especially when I have a list and I end up hurting before I’m to the first item.
  • Plan on your trip taking twice as much time as you think it will.
  • When you are by the restroom, use it.  If you have children with you, make them use it too.
  • Make a good list.  Put items that you know are close together in the store, next to each other on the list.
  • Ignore the starers.  People always stare at the person limping through the store.  Or, if you really want to freak them out, say “Hello”.  Most rude starers get flustered by this.
  • Walk to one side of the isle.  This allows you to walk at your pace and gives the “tailgaters” a chance to pass you.
  • Ask for help if you need it.  Don’t attempt any heavy lifting.  If you wouldn’t lift it at home, find another shopper or a store employee to help you.
  • When u-turning your cart, walk to the end and pull your cart around.  This is much easier than trying to push it that way.
  • Groceries don’t mind being left in the bags.  When you get home, if you are too exhausted or in to much pain, only bring in the things that can’t sit in your car.  Leave them in their bags, shove them in the refrigerator and the freezer and rest for a while.
  • Remember that even the motorized carts require you to have your arms elevated to push the buttons and you have to stand up to get most items.  The backs are so far back from the handles, you may end up hunched over, causing back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain and headaches.  I have found that using the carts takes just as much energy and makes my muscles hurt worse than walking through the store.  At least when I’m pushing the cart, I can use it as a walker.  I also didn’t like the looks I got when I was in the cart.  I was always so tense because I felt people judging me and because I am not coordinated and would run into shelves and my children and I had many near misses with the people who automatically ignore someone in a motorized chair.
  • Stay alert in the parking lot.  Today, when I was taking my cart back, I was almost hit by a car.  Not my fault.  The girl backing up didn’t even look before she started out of the spot.

I am sure there are many other tips for grocery shopping successfully, but I’m almost dozing off as I type this.  Maybe I’ll add more later or if there are things you do, please comment.

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