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The UKFibromyalgia Forums • View topic - Slowing myself down - pacing



Slowing myself down - pacing

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Re: Slowing myself down - pacing

Postby carolad » Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:58 pm

It is really difficult....especially when you know there are tasks that just HAVE to be done that day. Some things are optional...but others aren't. So sometimes you just have to get on and do something no matter how sore/exhausted you are, even if you know the best thing would be to rest...
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Re: Slowing myself down - pacing

Postby FluppyPuffy » Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:54 pm

If you can find some areas, either at home or work, or both if possible, where you can include even a little bit, then that little bit extra you're able to gain could be what is needed to help get you thru those times where you have to just keep going.


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Re: Slowing myself down - pacing

Postby carolad » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:55 pm

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Re: Slowing myself down - pacing

Postby Gracious » Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:47 am

All the things that you guys are saying about how it doesn't work, frustrations, boredom etc are exactly what I hear myself saying every day, but I have chosen to bring pacing into my life, not as a cure or solution to fix my FMS/CFS symptoms, they are still all there. Pacing gives me the choice of management of how I want to live with my FMS. You don't have to do it. I was resistant to it for two years. Its taken a while to learn to hold pacing with lightness and not see it as an enforced punishment. I'm not rigid with pacing, I am flexible with pacing. Bringing it in as much as I possibly can. There are times its not possible to pace, but I can then look to ensure I allow times for my Post Excertional Maliase and recovery time. I've learned some activites require more recover than others. Example, Brothers wedding. Now I did not manage the whole occassion, I stayed to the piont of exhaustion and maxing out on pain killers for a day, as I wanted to see and be part of his happy day. I knew I would pay for that and spent a week sleeping and a mouth to recover back to the level I was at before the wedding, I knew that would happen and pacing to me is also about learning to accept the choices we make and the outcomes.

When my niece asked me to make her an Arwen Dress, I knew it would demand alot of my body and mentally too, so I looked at the time frame I had till she needed it. I factored in Migraines (Mine last 5-10days), also rest days I need after going out, which is once a week, time with family, time for my own well being and I also added on an extra two months for unexpected issues, increase pain medication and side affects, I covered the lot. I knew I would only have about two, half hours every 2nd day at the most to do this dress and so 8 months was the time frame. Now in the good old days I could have done this dress in two weeks, whilst holding down a fulltime job. But my body has changed, and I have to work with it not always against it. Now I guarantee everytime I sat to do that dress, I just wanted to keep going, like the good old days, but at the same time I also had thoughts of, this is horrendous, I'm risking migraines, was it worth all the trouble. I could have talked myself out of pacing and I could have talked myself out of doing the dress too. Fact is these are all just thoughts. I learned I am much more than my thoughts and I have choices even with FMS.

Had I not paced I would have caused a crash, created alot of pain anguish, depression, anger etc. Instead I paced, as best I could and accepted my flare ups when they came, I didn't stress or worry, I had time. In the end I managed to create a stunning dress, but thats not all I managed.I managed to be an auntie and do something for my niece, we have become closer in our relationship and she's come to understand my illness and I got to hear all about her new boyfriend. I also learned I can finish what I start if I pace, I learned how to hem chiffon, create my own pattern from a picture of a dress, how to do a drapped medival sleeve, it woke me up and challenged my fogging brain. I learned by pacing that I was not dead, not useless or worthless. Infact I am very much alive, I have a natural talent for creativity, and I am useful and I can reach my goals afterall. To think a year ago I sat holding all my pills, sobbing and ready to end my life, what a waste that would have been.

Heres my wee tip for pacing, make some lists, things to do that you value for good days, for when your pacing, and when in a flare. I found it really helpful to have these lists. In my pacing list I have all sorts, Mediation, Restorative Yoga, Yoga relaxation mediation, reading, having a mindful cup of tea, watch tv, etc. My pacing list is extensive. For flares I have things like, bed rest, eat, watch easy watching TV, mindfulness exercises, noticing my thoughts. Defusing from upsetting thoughts feelings and emotions (Leaves from a Stream Exercise) Noticing five things I can see, smell, feel and hear. These all help to reduce pain stress and the mental agony we get from being unable to do what we want and also give pacing a sense of purpose to it, rather than just forced rest/boredom/punishiment. The list helps because you can just look through it and decide what would you like to do while pacing for the next hour/s.

Its taken me a while to get a handle on pacing, and it is mostly about mindset. Some days I flare with no real explanation, but thats okay, I have a choice, continue to do what I had planned for that day ifI can and become more ill, or adjust my day and my pacing. Depending on what I have planned will depend on what choice I make, but if I choose to continue with my plans when already feeling more poorly. I am also choosing to be accepting that I will be in more pain, feel more fatigued and risking a serious flare up.

Start to look at what is of true value in your life and then see where pacing could be helpful to being well enough for the things you value.

Just remember Pacing is an activity!

I hope this is of some help
With loving kindness
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Re: Slowing myself down - pacing

Postby rich44 » Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:25 am

I'm sure for some it helps a lot and at home I do get lots of rest but take yesterday it was the annual school uniform run.

All I did was the driving it's 30 miles each way then round the city and today I can't get out of bed in fact just holding my phone is agony.

I can't really see what I could've done yesterday any different and it's often the same.

Home is relatively easy to follow pacing it's anywhere else that's a nightmare
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Re: Slowing myself down - pacing

Postby Gracious » Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:13 pm

Rich, today your pacing, yesterday, was a "I have to do this task" and there will be a knock on effect as a result, so I will have a recovery time planned and do as minimal as is possible and take more time for rests and you may need to adjust pain management, be that medication or warm bath, sleep, bed rest, stretching etc. While resting you could be watch a film, listen to music, meditate, mindfulness. Pacing is just as much about doing, but with the key focus being on your well being.

I did too much yesterday, and I am paying for that today, whole left side of my body head to toe with pain, cramping, skin burning, feeling swollen and tight. I took an extra 2hrs bed rest this morning in a nice dark room, then got up, but found I was extremely light and sound sensitive, even my own voice is painful to hear, my body pain intensifying. So sat up for as long as I was willing, then back to bed, watched a tv programme at a very low volume. Then felt up to checking my emails, and updates. But as soon as I am done with replying, its lights out, earplugs in and a maxalt and rest for a few hours, for the migraine thats starting . If the Migraine doesn't take hold then great tomorrow I will plan to shower as not up to it today, and I know I need an hours rest after the shower before I dry my hair etc etc. I will manage tomorrow to sit a bit more, make food to eat, dishes, chatting with mum and dad, but thats it, as I want to ensure I am well enough for Saturday to spend time with my Sister and nephew as they will be visiting. And yes Saturday evening and all of Sunday will be about care and recovery so I can get back to on my feet. Planning recovery time is just as much part of pacing as structure activity time and rest for daily living.

I'm sorry to hear your having a painful day, but yesterday you achieved so much You set out to do what was important and today you can work on your recovery, in what ever form you feel is best for your wellbeing.

I'm not happy with being in pain today, I would prefer to be FMS free, but I am not and I choose to work with what I have and keep in check all the negative, and unhelpful thoughts feelings and emotions that come with illness. Today I will need to be mindful.

Be kind to yourself today, look after your thoughts, feelings and emotions as they can make pain feel so much worse.

With loving kindness
Last edited by Gracious on Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Slowing myself down - pacing

Postby rich44 » Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:23 pm

Thanks I'm trying but had to go out to get the school trainers sorted but only locally not back into the city.

Got another must do job this week the brake pads on the car need changing and can't afford a garage so just getting stressed about so many jobs and taking time to slow down is a bit awkward iykwim?

It's not as busy as yesterday tho so that's good. Just dropped everyone off at the woods to walk the dog. Wife was trying to persuade me to borrow one if their free scooters but decided to sleep in the car instead.

If it's not raining tomorrow I'll have to do the brake pads as there's almost no friction material left. Shouldn't take more than an hour or 2 so it's not too horrid a job then I will soak in a bath with 500g of Epsom salts in.

Mon my parents are picking the kids up to dinosaur Park for the day. It's ironic my parents have more get up and go in their 60s they foster and have in their house

My nan 87
Sister 19
Brother 13
Sister 11
Brother 6

Theyre all permanently placed with my parents now. I don't know how they do it.

My dad's had cancer twice last time had a kidney removed because of a tumour.

They're both pretty heroic imho.

I'd love to be able to do what they do, well maybe one day...
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Re: Slowing myself down - pacing

Postby SchroedingersCat » Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:49 pm

I think maybe pacing might be easier if you don't work full time? I certainly struggle to not just get on with things, I'm always so short of time....
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Re: Slowing myself down - pacing

Postby rich44 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:15 pm

Yeah I expect it probably is, doesn't help stressing about money etc too.
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Re: Slowing myself down - pacing

Postby FluppyPuffy » Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:51 pm

Being at home all day does make it easier to plan what I'm going to do and when, esp the regular things that need to be done. It's not 100% foolproof tho, there are still times where Kevin decides to kick~off, just because he can. To me, it's another tool to be used to help get thru each day.

I can appreciate the frustrations that will be stirred up when trying to fit it into a working day, deadlines are impatient and don't like to wait until someone is feeling a bit more able to do what is necessary, they want to be sorted there and then. Knowing how a working pattern can flow, with periods where there can/tends to be lulls/quieter times, these could be possible chances for an element of pacing to be utilised in some way, shape or form. Any little bit than can be done could prove helpful later in the day when a little extra push may be needed to get thru.


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Re: Slowing myself down - pacing

Postby Catwoman81 » Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:19 pm

Hi all, sorry it's taken a while to get back to the boards.
Trying a lot more with pacing, even though it frustrates the living day lights out of me lol.

I used my wheelchair for the first time this weekend as we were away. Hated every minute of it,frustrated, angry, sad, couldn't watch kids like normally do, couldn't steer well, burned my hands, arrrgh! Will maybe have to practice a bit more.

Lots of pain today cos I've overdone it. Back to the pacing drawing board for me
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