Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Budget Cuts and Fibro Flares Oh My!
Some days are harder than others. Some days, or weekends, I spend most of my time in bed recovering from having done too much or from other things, like the weather, triggering another Fibromyalgia flare. Having both Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a double whammy and makes life that much more challenging for me. There are times when I look at where I have been in the past with this compared to where I am now, and I mourn for the loss of my independence, energy, clarity of mind and the days of low pain where I felt almost normal. I see the changes in myself and rereading this blog, I reexperience so many moments in my life, both good and bad.
This past weekend was a rough one. I did not sleep at all on Thursday night into Friday morning. Jeff was keyed up after getting home Friday morning and could not sleep so I got up and showered. Jeff and I ran some errands after reworking the budget since his paycheck was less than expected due to some changes going on in the way that they are doing things where he works. I crossed some things off my grocery list that were not "must haves" and we had to rewrite out a check for a lower amount to put as a payment on our Les Swab account. We have been trying to make higher payments to pay it off sooner, so this is a big setback for us and not a welcomed one by any means.
The lack of sleep, combined with the stress of this caused me to go into a flare and put me into bed for most of Saturday and Sunday. I wish I could say I slept most of that time, but that would not be the truth. It was rather a matter of napping for one or two hours, then waking and laying there. At night, when Jeff was sleeping, I would get up and roam around the house or sit in my recliner so that I would not wake him. My pain levels were extremely elevated all over my body and nothing, and I mean nothing, seemed to help alleviate it. Sunday night I was able to concentrate enough so that we could watch a movie, so I consider that progress. We also talked about our options and how we were going to handle the changes coming our way both work, health and financial wise.
Monday found me in the kitchen making two loaves of homemade bread, baking some acorn squash and also making a double batch of biscuits while Jeff slept in the afternoon (I had slept until 11:30 a.m. since I did not fall asleep until around 6 that morning.) Jeff had called our orthopedic surgeon's office earlier that morning to find that they were able to get him in a month sooner than planned to take a look at his torn meniscus and make a plan for surgery, so now he has an appointment for the beginning of February. I love our doctor there, he is opening up the office that day to see Jeff. It pays to have three generations of our family have formed tight bonds with him over the years. That was good news and it helped calm my nerves a bit. I rested for the afternoon and early evening before getting up and making a double batch of homemade sausage gravy to put over some of those delicious biscuits. Try as I might though, I was still unable to sleep once again at night so I was still up when Jeff came home at 5:50 a.m. Tuesday morning.
I've been trying to use the time I cannot sleep to be productive though. I took inventory of our pantry and our supply of flour, sugar, rice, beans, lentils and split peas, along with pasta, that we keep in big food safe buckets and bins. I also looked at our spices, salt, oils, vinegar, condiments and popcorn supplies. This got me to planning menus based on what we had on hand and what we needed to use up first. An example of one of those meals came together for our Tuesday night dinner. Jeff had pulled a fully cooked rotisserie chicken that we found on clearance at Walmart out of the freezer the previous day. I cut that up and served it with some wild rice mix that I had in the pantry. I had some of the cooked squash with mine. This was a quick, easy and semi healthy meal and was a Godsend since I was still pretty tired from very little sleep and still trying to get laundry done along with clipping Caesar's claws.
Another way I am trying to be productive, especially when I am not feeling well, is to work my points programs. I got out of that habit and am now returning to it since I can do it while relaxing in my recliner while watching shows on YouTube to learn new skills. I can also do research on ways to lower our bills even further, and find the latest information coming out on both Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, hoping and praying that they will find a cure or at least something that will help improve the lives of all of us who deal with this. I might as well double dip so to speak and earn points towards much needed gift cards now that our budget has been cut. In the past I was able to earn enough to get Walmart gift cards and cover the cost of the dog food for Caesar and am hoping to be able to do that once again. We do still have one $25 gift card to Texas Roadhouse, so we will use that for a special treat in the future.
Looking down the line, there will be more budget cuts to come as life changes and medical bills come in that will need to be paid. Trips to the thrift store will be few and far between because we really don't need anything at the moment and we need to save the money anyway. Eating out will not be an option as every penny will be needed. I'm not going to get down though as I am looking forward to Spring when I can plant a garden, hang clothing and other laundry out to dry on the line and work on a few projects that have been put on hold due to the weather. I know that we are blessed with a wonderful family, good friends, fur babies that brighten our days, a paid off home and a full pantry and freezers. Yes, this is a setback, but we have gotten through worse in the past and we will get through this too. As long as Jeff and I have each other and our family, we can get through anything.