Recovery time

I thought I knew all about pacing: 2 hours work, 2 hours rest, spacing necessary jobs over the week, taking my meds, not asking too much of myself etc. etc.

Just over a week ago I walked, slowly, carefully, up the slight incline from the beach to the house. Suddenly, halfway there I had so much pain in my hips, back and legs that I did not think I'd make it to the back door. My heart was racing and I was falling forward as I moved then the fibro fog descended.

I did make it, just, and had my heart checked by my GP that afternoon. This was a wake up call.

Since then I have been either in bed or in my chair watching the Olympics and reading. I have moved very slowly, my dear husband has done all the cooking and washing up and I am lucky to have two lovely people come and clean the house once a week, courtesy of my younger daughter, bless her.

I won't pretend that I'm back to where I was before, but I am a whole lot better. The most amazing thing has been the reduction of pain, which I did not expect. The experience has made me realise how important it is to stay within my limits, accept that I can't cut the hedges or even do much weeding of my pots; perhaps not be able to grow anything at all. That's heartbreaking; I love growing things.

I know I am fortunate to be able to take this length of time to recover, that many of you have jobs, children and responsibilities that in retirement I do not.

I believe that it's crucial to take whatever time we can to assist recovery, though, to prioritise our health at all costs. I hope I have learned this lesson at last!

Take care of yourselves, everyone.


15 Replies

  • Hi Anna I couldn't manage 2 hours it's been a long time but I'm still learning how to pace myself I find it very hard to do when you wake up and you think oh I feel not to bad tonight like me the other day so up I got did dishes and put them away put a load of washing in striped my bed 😔pain every were from toes to my head wish you well Carol ☺

  • Thank you Carol. That picture looks very familiar!

    Take care and gentle hugs.

  • Hiya Anna, thanks for a great post, it's made me think.

    Sorry you had such a bad flare- it must have been scary.

    I think I need to accept some things I just can't do as well. Like I've just moved and the garage needs sweeping, but it's just not going to happen. If I forced myself I would be ill. I think we all have to constantly remind ourselves we are not 'lazy', we are ill. And if other people don't understand that then we just have to ignore their ignorance.

    Sounds like your family isn't like that though- they sound great. My family are sometimes really helpful , and then sometimes they'll pressure me to do something because they think I 'need the exercise'. They are intelligent people but they just don't get it, and they never will because I've had Fibro over 15 years.

    Oh well. Well done for resting you're doing exactly the right thing.


    Ps. 2 hours of work is quite a long time, maybe do more frequent rests? I have to do tasks in tiny bits throughout the day. Normally only like 15 minutes if it is something like tidying which I find quite hard. Then I reward myself with going on Facebook or something.

    You will work out what's right for you though. 🙂

  • Thanks for your post albinohedgehog. It's so good to know that I'm not alone with this, that the people on this forum care and have advice and support to share.

    Some of my neighbours think I am lazy and unsociable which is hard to take, but my husband and family understand and help when they can. My children phone regularly and that lifts me no end. I'm sorry you are still having to live with being urged to take exercise by those who don't get it. Living with an invisible illness is really no fun.

    Leave the tidying, sit down and read a book or go onto Facebook. Take care of yourself.


  • Hi Anna - I just think 2 hours work is a long time for a Fibro - I don't do chores, walks, etc for longer than an hour - otherwise I have a "flare" - maybe pull your "do" time a bit shorter - I have learnt to read my body quite well and sometimes I only manage 20 minutes then a break - yes and I can't seem to do any gardening. - have tried and always become ill, I miss that 😭. - I am retired too. But I hate watching my other half struggling in the garden and I just can't help (guilt) take care of yourself - Neese x

  • Hi neesey,

    You're right, these lessons are being impressed on me in no uncertain fashion and I am trying to get it right. I find that what is 'right' for one day does not necessarily work the next!

    I know what you mean about gardening. I too feel guilt watching my husband, who hates gardening, having to cut the hedges and clear the terrace flagstones of weeds. Even weeding the pots is really heavy work for me. I can just about manage a bit of pruning and deadheading :D

    Take care of yourself, Neese. x

  • Sometimes the wake up call is a bad flare. Like the others I think blocks of 2 hours is really pushing it for us fibromites. I am trying a half hour on half hour off and using a timer. I might do a physical job and then some paperwork or phone calls them something physical.

    I do gardening but none if the heavy jobs and am trying to make the little garden we have easier to manage with a few tubs for annuals but more perennials and shrubs to cut down on work. I make sure I take a few magazines or my tablet out with me and a couple of soft cushions and put them on the little bench I have. Do some dead heading timed again and then a reward if a sit etc and seem to be in a bit less pain.

    Hope that you don't have another flare like that, take care of yourself.x

  • Thank you, Rosewine,

    Yes, I really must mend my ways. I tend to be impatient and convince myself that I can beat this! Another message from the universe :D

    Gentle hugs x

  • I agree with others about shortening your times. Sometimes I even just do 5-15 minute rounds. Sometime it hurts too bad to sit more than a few minutes or walk for too long.

    I know your fear of gardening. It is very important to me. I am thinking of doing a couple potted plants next year, no weeding as long as I keep them off the ground. I have to have something.

    My poor lavender plants have had a bad summer. I haven't had the leg strengthen to trim them and I thought they were all going to die last year. Transplanting them was hard this year. They are hard to grow in my area but I love them so much and have worked so hard to keep them, it breaks my heart to see them in the condition they are. But they are too large now for me to get them out of the rain, so I just have to hope they can pull through.

    I hope you recover soon. Take your time.

  • Thank you Nikki. I really should have learned that lesson by now!

    Gentle hugs x

  • Hi. Your username is a bit confusing; had to say it a few times before it felt comfortable to say. Then I realised it was an anagram!

    Thanks for your post. It is so lovely that everyone contacted me as soon as they saw mine, and all gave me very good advice along with caring and love.

    Nice to meet a few here who are grieving the loss of gardening as well as me. I realise that even the little I can manage is not enough and I have to cut down on what I sow when spring fever comes. Sowing is the easy bit, it's the aftercare that is beyond me.

    I sowed cosmos this year in huge pots: they're now 6 feet high and so beautiful :D

    Working with OH on plans to reduce garden chores to hedging, strimming and cutting the grass. I am allowed a few pots!! Must take some cuttings of a beautiful orangey-pink pelargonium I bought this year. Hope the cosmos stands the winter and gives us another show. Oh, and I must net the blueberry before the birds make off with the fruit! You only have to look round and another must-do presents itself!

    Must go to bed. Take care of yourself. I send you gentle hugs.

    Anna xx

  • peter & myra backwards :D

  • Lol i was going to ask that question😃😃

  • Hi annacruachan

    I am so genuinely sorry to read this my friend, and I sincerely hope that you feel better soon. I personally could not work for two hours without a good long break. It would just simply be too much for me. I want to sincerely wish you all the best of luck, and please take care of yourself.

    All my hopes and dreams for you


  • many words of wisdom there and i hope your recovery proceeds apace (unfortunate term there) :)

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