Christmas lights in July 🙂 I can hear ya thinking…..what is she talkin about? It’s not even halloween yet and she is already thinking of Christmas….well I am not thinking of Christmas but the aches and pains that make me feel like someone has turned on the twinkly lights in my body.
I have always used the christmas light analogy to describe the FM pain to G, my friends and family…….they have a good visual of how the pain travels when I am in constant pain esp. during a flareup. Those of you who know me and/or have been following my blog know my struggle with FM and FM meds (READ: Blindside(d) – my struggles with prescription drugs, From being hooked to meds to getting myself unhooked) and how I have been trying to manage FM without any prescription drugs since Feb 2015 (READ: Celebrating my pain……..free from FM meds for 12 months). But that comes with its own set of challenges meaning there is no in-betweens……..it’s 100% pain, 100% of the time.
And for the most part, I manage to go about my day in a somewhat normal way (as normal as it is for me) despite high levels of pain and fibro fog……. if you have just met me, you would never know that I am in pain, I do such a good job of faking how I feel, that I sometimes feel like I walk around with a mask. But when you add in the fatigue, it is a completely different and debilitating story and it is difficult to explain (even to myself) how I can feel tired ALL the time, even if I was in bed all day. At least with the christmas lights, you can imagine pain traveling all over your body but how do you explain the constant fatigue especially after a day of complete and total rest. And this is where the Carbon Bathtub analogy comes in…..What in the world is Carbon Bathtub you ask?
This spring (2016), I took an elective class called Climate Change, Global Governance and Justice at Heller where the concept of a “Carbon Bathtub” was introduced by Prof. Miheala Papa to explain the constant increase in CO2 emissions. The concept is used to illustrate that we are putting in more CO2 into the atmosphere faster than it can drain out of planet earth.
So applying the carbon ‘bathtub’ analogy to FM:
FAUCET = Sources of more pain and fatigue such as weather, stress, flare-up…..anything
DRAIN = My pain management strategies without the aid of any FM meds – walking, music, strengthening exercise, family time, Rocky time, and other new things
And here is my Fatigue ‘Bathtub’ theory: The speed at which my body accumulates pain and fatigue (as a faucet) is WAAAAY faster than it is able to drain the pain and fatigue with the aid of the strategies I use……..in short, my body is a better faucet than it is a drain.
You may wonder what I achieve by developing analogies…….believe me after 10 years or so of explaining (or trying to at least), it definitely helps to provide a visual and yet another approach of explaining this annoying, literally pain-in-everywhere condition/disease/illness to yourself and others…..cos
One good analogy is worth a three hour discussion ~ Dudley Field Malone