Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Routine "A-ha!" Moment: Can you guess what it is?

Incandescent Light BulbsImage by waltarrrrr via Flickr
I can't believe I didn't think of this before, but thank goodness I thought of it now! As part of the Cedars Sinai Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia Program, I learned about energy management and the analogy that was used was marbles. If you click here, you can read my Saturday May 13, 2006 post with the story. Basically the gist is:
  1. You only have so many marbles each day.
  2. The number of marbles you have can change during the day, either up or down in amount.
  3. When you run out, you crash.
  4. You need to match what you do during the day with the number of the marbles in your bowl.
There is also the Spoon Theory, part of the" invisible disability" themed website But You Don't Look Sick, which basically explains this energy management concept using spoons instead of marbles. You can click here to read my Wednesday May 9, 2007 post with this story.

Well the stories are creative, illustrative and informative but hard for me to apply to my day-to-day life.

Then yesterday, after I wrote my post about my current pain and fatigue level, I realized I need to keep a running total of the amount of time spent in activity each day and keep in between 2 and 4 hours. Duh! So I applied this easy to apply system over the past 36 hours and found it really works. So far, I have found that the first two hours go fine, but over 2 hours I must check in with myself very closely to avoid overdoing it. Of course, as
I mentioned yesterday, that doesn't mean I can do any activity for 2 to 4 hours straight; I can do about 15 to 30 minutes of an activity before I need to stop and rest for anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours.

This is a huge discovery and will benefit me as I get down to the business of creating a routine. I think where I go from here is treating the first 2 hours as time for scheduling the daily routine I want to create. Then, whatever is left over plus the next two hours, I can schedule the items I want to accomplish weekly and/or monthly, since these items are more flexible in there due date and don't necessarily need to be done every day.

So tomorrow, I promise, I will answer the question:
What have I learned so far about minimizing these symptoms?

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