Monday, May 5, 2014

How Chronic #Migraines and #Fibromyalgia Changed This Morning Person

I was born a morning person. All my life I have been the first person awake and I'm talking the first by at least 2 hours, frequently more. When I was really young, I would get up and watch old sitcom reruns of Donna Reed, Mister Ed, The Patty Duke Show, I Love Lucy and Leave It To Beaver on Nick-At-Nite. Then I would play Super Mario Bros and get ready for school.

Sleep overs were always a double edged sword. It was all fun and games until I woke up at 3:00 or 4:00 am, a good 6 hours until anyone else would wake up. I was convinced that I was the only teenage girl in the world who couldn't sleep all day, certainly the only one among my peers. This made the mornings after quite boring and frustrating.

When I was older and living on my own I would often venture out to do my grocery shopping in the wee hours of the morning. I could get groceries, hit the laundry mat and clean my entire apartment before 10:00 am on a Saturday. Leaving me full of satisfaction and feeling ready to take on the world.

That's the thing about being a morning person. It is not just that my body naturally always woke up early, it's that there were psychological consequences (positive and negative) associated with what time I woke up. On the rare occasion that the sun rose before I did, I felt like I had already missed out on the day. Things were happening and I was going to miss them because I was sleeping. Doesn't sound like a big deal but it felt like it at the time. I liked being the first one up. I felt like I was able to get a jump on the day and have some time to just do whatever I wanted. Early mornings are quiet, peaceful and full of possibilities. Being awake during this time made me feel prepared, fresh and ready for whatever was to come.

Yep, I have a long and beautiful history with the early morning hours.

But something happened.

Years of living with chronic pain has taken a toll on my ability to enjoy this sacred morning time. I blame it on the accumulative nature of my chronic migraines, fibromyalgia, pills, fatigue, poor sleep quality and difficulty falling and staying asleep. It took years of this crap to change what was both a natural function of my body and a deeply ingrained, beloved habit. But change it did, slowly over time. Unfortunately, after 8 years there is no trace of the woman who used to wake up and be propelled out of the warm, comforting embrace of bed by the excitement of tackling the tasks of the day. Instead, I wake up sore literally from the the tip of my toes to the tip of the hairs on my head and every spot between, as though I had just spent the hour prior to waking running one of those American Ninja Warrior courses. In addition to the daily pain and soreness that greet me each morning, I also wake groggy and tired as though I had been awake all night and only just fallen asleep 45 minutes ago.

Waking up feeling rested and refreshed is now just a distant memory. I'm still a very disciplined person and so I manage to get myself moving every morning despite serious urges to the contrary. I feel like it is important for me - for this early morning soul that I'm certain still resides deep inside me - even if getting up and getting some food and pills is the only thing I can manage before laying back down.

Let's just add this to the long list of major life changes that chronic pain has brought about.

1 comment:

  1. I have never been a morning person but the time I get up in the day is rather ridicules but since, like you, I ache all night long and wake up every couple of hours, I stay in bed as long as possible. I have to just to function the few hours I am with it and awake. Pain has taken much from me.