Today was my first day in a new office, which can almost make it feel like a new job. We have been growing so fast that it’s been hard to keep up with all the space we need. We were crammed in a small office with just enough room for everyone, and one free desk. I had the biggest desk out of all of the Account Managers, and for that I was grateful. I needed the room for training new hires at my desk, as we had one small conference room between three departments and I was often booted for random reasons. Not the easiest to work around when I need to train, all the while Sales needs to do their up-training, and then Fulfillment needs to review tasks at hand. All of who need the conference room and the projector. So I was SOL off and on for the most part, as I was the smallest training group (usually only one or two people – My largest group was only 7). In the new office I have a smaller desk, but we have SO much more space. We have combined multiple departments from multiple locations that will benefit from being in the same building and put together the new office. The location is much closer to me, and overall a better place to be. Each department has their own training rooms, meeting rooms, and extra desks for growth. And by extra, I mean half the desks are empty. We are ready for growth! I am incredibly happy about this change!
On my way to work this morning I saw a silver Infinity, and the “Horse” came to mind. Usually when he crosses my mind (especially with a visual aid) I get a twinge of hurt and regret, however this time was different. As the car passed the one way stop I was at, I thought of his face. No hurt. No regret. I didn’t get the feeling in the pit of my stomach I used to get, and I didn’t get.. feelings. Nothing. None. If anything there was a lingering indifference. I thought about my time with him, and if I would want to do that again. No. I don’t. In fact, I would be fine if I never spoke to or saw him again. I would almost prefer that I never have interaction with him again. I know it is odd to linger on this feeling, but it honestly surprised me. I have had so much going on recently that he hadn’t crossed my mind in… well… possibly a few weeks. I have been focused on other aspects of my “roller-coaster” life, my heart in other places, and my mind pulled in a million directions. But not to him. Does this mean I am free? Does this mean it is over? I sure hope so!
Once I was settled in I realized that I lacked both coffee and food. I looked around the office since we were supposed to have a coffee maker in the new break room, but alas, there was no coffee. There is a soda machine that provides free drinks, an ice machine, and two HUGE empty break rooms. But no coffee. OH! WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME!?!? Settling for soda for my caffeine intake was a battle I could only blame on myself. I generally try to steer clear of the stuff, as sometimes it can make me stiff and sore. I opted in for a Gatorade and a bottle of water with the soda. Had to wash the gunk out of my system somehow. That was the closest I was going to get.
As my day went on, my body began to shake. I couldn’t decide if it was the sugars in the soda, the Gatorade, or what was going on. I chalked it up to the lack of food, and at lunch consumed a large amount of banana/apple/honey/raisin granola with pineapple and a bit of sugar free jello. My shakes went down and I figured they would eventually stop. I worked through all my daily tasks, stopping now and then to stretch my shaking hands. Every once in awhile I would notice the full body buzzing inside my skin, and eventually the ache that came with it. Two tylenol and a bunch of water. Try to prevent the aches before they require the harder pain meds that I try so hard to keep in case of a major flare. I am only given 30 a month, and at times I require them three times a day. Today did not seem like a pain prescription day, so I carried on! Work chatter. Laughing. Chatting back and forth. Sending each other gifs of creepy faces. Clients. Audits. Work, work, work! My day went on without much of a hitch, but the buzzing inside never left. My hands shook slightly, and sometimes a lot, depending on how I held my arm. This was odd to me, as I didn’t have enough Dr Pepper to do this to my body. I drink HIGH amounts of caffeine on a regular basis, so having it give my body an uncomfortable buzzing feeling was just not possible. Then it hit me… Fibromyalgia. My ever lingering illness! Hiding just below the skin and waiting for the chance to remind me who is really in charge!
I often forget about some of the symptoms that don’t linger as often. This “buzz” or “tingle” is one of them that tends to come when I have high pain, so having it come without pain first is weird. My Dr recently started me on a new arthritis medication, so perhaps that is what is going on. Maybe it is helping with the pain, but the “buzz” from the fibro is still there. Lingering. HAUNTING. Being a pain in the ass, to put it bluntly. But what caused this buzz? I hadn’t done anything different, minus the lack of coffee replaced with soda in the morning. Once again, it hit me. We are in an new office, and the lighting, air, and all of the components of my day to day environment had changed. This can often set off a Fibro flare, and cause symptoms to arise. Sensitivity to the light change could even cause the ridiculous feeling I was having. Reviewing online I found that I was right in my assumptions. Now, just to cut in – I know that I have been like this for a few years, and I should know my symptoms by now, but it is so easy to assume or remember incorrectly. I like to double check my assumptions if I am not 100% sure I am correct. Sometimes my symptoms are a warning sign for something bigger coming, and sometimes just a reaction. I like to review and update myself on the differences, as it keeps it fresh in my mind. Never can be too careful when you have so many different things going on inside you.
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome of chronic widespread muscular pain, achiness, non-restorative sleep, and severe fatigue. The genetic component present in Fibromyalgia negatively affects the brain’s ability to process pain normally by altering the pain threshold. It is not uncommon to find hypersensitivity to touch, heat, cold, chemicals, light, sound, and smell. In Fibromyalgia this translates into pain. If genetically predisposed, a trigger usually occurs to initiate the disease. Subsequent triggering mechanisms such as accidents, trauma and or stress may increase symptoms. The good news is that Fibromyalgia is not fatal and can be controlled with proper diagnosis and a wellness regimen.
Yes, just a reminder that even changing offices can cause a flare. Isn’t it funny how I can be so pleased over such a positive change, all the while my body is throwing a mini tantrum? Where is the time out corner for my immune system? No fits allowed! I decided to just settle in and deal with my buzzing, plugging my headphones in and shutting out the world. The sounds of the more open office space may have even triggered this odd flare. There is a cooling vent directly above my desk, and I kept going back and forth between freezing and burning hot. No temperature control as well. Oh, body! You are such a delight! I sometimes forget the symptoms that I can get, and ones that others suffer through daily. Though I am in pain daily, I am also lucky to still be well enough to work. To even sometimes be able to plug in, take some tylenol, and shut out my pain. Others are not so lucky. Some of the symptoms that people suffer through daily are:
- Sensitivity to medications and foods (often lactose intolerant)
- Sensitivity to odors, sounds, and bright lights
- Early morning stiffness
- Tender points (see diagram)
- Trouble finding words
- Burning mouth or tongue
- Decreased concentration and memory
- (creating “Fibro Fog” read definition)
- Sensitive Skin
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Dry eyes
- Muscle cramping
- Muscle weakness
- Regional Muscle pain
- Myofascial Pain disorder
- Sensation of vibration
- Generalized weakness
- Weight gain
- Sensory overload
- Exhaustion after minimal exertion
- Swollen extremities or sensation of swelling
- Special instability and perceptual disturbances
- Immune system dysfunction
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Irritable bladder syndrome
- Diminished stress tolerance (emotional and/or physical)
- Unexplained bruising
- Low Blood pressure
Though I suffer from over 90% of these symptoms, it could be SO much worse at the end of the day. After work I stopped at the grocery store to buy a bag of potatoes and a box of ramen noodles. (As requested from my teenager) I made it into the store, grabbed both items, zoomed through the self checkout and was back in my car within 5 minutes. As soon as I closed the car door I realized I was having an asthma attack and was shaking twice as bad as I had been all day. Grabbing for my inhaler, I leaned back and took it all in. Sweat poured down my face, though I had the windows open and a cool breeze whistled through the car, I was sweating. My hands were shaking and I felt incredibly weak. Getting the focus to drive the short few blocks to my house, shaking and sweating the whole way. Once home, I jumped out of the car and hurried myself into the house, telling the teenager she needed to retrieve the items from the car.
Here I am two hours later, still shaking, but now I am freezing. Covered in a blanket, blanket on my lap, shaking and freezing my ass off! My children in tank tops and shorts, the temperature the same 70 degree it always is, but I can’t stop shaking.
At the end of the day, today was actually pretty decent. Though I felt like my body has not been at rest at all, it has been so much worse before. I realized that my feelings for Horse have left. I have a good job with a nice new office, though Fibro flaring, I am sure it will pass. I have a home, and kids that love me. And as the Beatles say, “All you need is love..”, right?
I am ill. I am limited… but I am ok.