Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A weird and wonderful day

Today is the strangest day ever!

It's hubby's (K) b'day today.

No, that's not what's patient folks...

Anyway, as I said, it is K's b'day. So, of course, I was planning the usual cake, champagne etc. But yesterday K asked me a strange question. "Do you want to give me a birthday present that would rly mean the most to me?"

Of course, I said.

"Then, just for one day, see yourself with my eyes. Love yourself the way I love you. Treat yourself the way you know I would like you to. If you want to do something, think about whether you're rly doing it for me or for yourself. Pls don't clean the house. Think of how that would drain your energy, so you won't even be able to talk to me in the evening. You don't need to dress up and get tired. I'd rather see you laughing in pajamas. My ideal birthday present would be to see you lively and energetic, even if the house is dirty and there's no cake and you couldn't plan a party.  " (or something like that).

Heavy, eh? Yeah, I mean who would be ok with no cake on their b'day??!!!

Ok srsly, I decided that if that's what he wanted, then that's what he'd get. After all he was the b'day boy (

And today has been the wierdest most wonderful day ever! I feel like I'm on vacation. I want to wash my hair so it looks nice for tonight, but I know it'll tire me. Normally I would have managed to convince myself that washing my hair wasn't optional, it was obligatory. And that somehow, I could summon up enough energy to do it.

But looking at it with K's eyes? Now that was a whole different ball game. He would say - Conserve your energy. Save it for when we're together. I don't care if your hair isn't washed, you're always beautiful to me (ok, so I put in the last part myself, but I know he would have said it!)

And so the decision has been made!

No hair washing today!
(for those of you who are wondering what the big deal abt washing hair, see  photo!)

I used this technique on everything today. And it was fantastic. So I began to wonder why it made the difference it did, and I came up with the following:

1. I usually decide that everyone's wants/desires are the same as mine. I often try to tidy the house before K returns from office. But I realized that I do that because I would like to come back to a clean home. If he had to choose, he would choose an energetic wife over a clean house any day! So I'm rly doing sit for myself - I can't pretend it's for him.

2. I am not realistic about my energy levels. I can easily convince myself that I can do anything with "just a bit more effort", until I reach the point where I'm bedridden. Looking at it through K's eyes, made me think - If he were here would he like me to use my limited energy on this task? And, I realize that it's ok to stop because I'm tired. It's ok to listen to my body.

3. Obviously that demands the question - why can I stop when K thinks I should, but not do it for myself? Guilt. Yup, that's it the culprit - guilt! To myself, I'm 'lazy' if I don't do something that needs to be done. To K, I'm genuinely tired - something that I'm not willing to accept.

It's odd that I've had CFS/fibro for almost 8 years, but I still haven't learned energy management. (Hriday, I know that this is just asking for it, so go ahead...). But better late than never I always say!

Stay tuned for whether I am able to incorporate these changes into my daily habits....


  1. What a beautiful post! And what a wonderful husband. I think it's interesting that even after 8 years of CFS, you still haven't quite found the right balance. I feel the same after 3 years of CFS. I might have to try the same experiment and see myself through my loved ones' eyes.

  2. Shelli, yes, I am very lucky to have a husband like that :) About the energy management, I think it's an ongoing process. I'm better today than I was 2 years ago, and was better then than 8 yrs ago. Of course, maybe I'm just slow & you could accomplish this in 4 yrs instead of 8! haha...

  3. Haha, I so needed to read this post. I do all the same things as you and when the boyfriend gets home I'm bedridden for the next two days. I need to learn to see myself the way he sees me.

    I've been sick for 11 years, so I know how you feel like you might never get it through your head!

  4. This is the most insightful post! I'm printing it out to remind me that I do things I think I'm doing for others but I'm really doing them because it's how I want things for myself...and then I pay for the overexertion. I've been sick for almost nine years but I had a lot to learn from what you wrote!

  5. Hello, I stumbled upon your website but I don't know how! Anyway, this is beautiful post that brought tears to my eyes. For your husband to verbalize how he feels if amazing. I am a lot like you...I want the house clean dinner on the table, my hair fixed...the whole thing. And then I end up passed out on the couch unable to watch a movie or just watch the news with my husband. I think he would rather have pizza, a messy kithcen and a rested wife on a Friday night. Marvelous post.

  6. See, K, it's not just me who's a little neurotic...I'm in good

  7. Oh boy. I just saw this post. To all the people that read this blog, let me tell you this. I borrowed F's vacuum cleaner once (heck it was before the CFS), and I spend more time getting her hair out of the damn machine than cleaning my floor. Funny thing is that it sounds a lot more gross when I type it now, than it actually did. And, no, I didn't enjoy it.

    As far as CFS, some red wine should do it. If the fatigue persists, the flogging will begin.


  8. What a beautiful post and what a great husband you have!!

  9. Ms. F ~

    "Stay tuned for whether I am able to incorporate these changes into my daily habits.... "

    Hi. I will be a new stay-tuneder!


  10. Hi Ms.F.
    You are blessed with a wonderful caring and thoughtful husband like my Pete who trys to do so much for me,always there at my side giving me encouragement and has even taken up writing blogs for our site on his role in caring for me. I find sharing my experiences with others helps me feel less isolated and gives me something positive to focus on. To this end, with my family's assistance, we have started our own site. If you visit on the attatched link and like what we are trying to achieve, you might consider exchanging your HTML banner code or your URL so we can advertise on each others sites and hopefully spread the word to a greater audience.
    Julie x

  11. I'm new to your blog - but the words of your husband could have come out of my husband's mouth .. gave me shivers. I think it is so hard to give up on some parts of being a "wife" like keeping the house neat and tidy (might be harder for slightly OC like myself) and just realize that our men want to see us sometimes just rested but happy rather than so tired after doing housework etc. I am happy to see your blog and that you are doing all you can to live WELL while suffering physically. I just started a blog this year on the same topic and hope that all of us can encourage each other in this struggle! Check out my blog if you like:

  12. Oh my goodness, what a wonderful post. I just loved reading it. You're husband is just a wonderful, loving, and giving man. I'm lucky enough to have one of those too. :-) I've also had Fibro/CFS for quite a while (a decade just about) and I still am trying to teach myself energy management and such. And it can be a lot about guilt. Feeling lazy or that I'm not doing enough. Too true.

    It's so ironic, but last night we were talking about birthdays. Our son's is coming up (he'll be 18 and I want it to be great) but I don't have the energy or health to make that happen this year and I feel horrible guilt about it. And when I mentioned my husband's coming up in a few months (we share out birthdays :-) all he told me is that the greatest gift he already had. Me. He didn't need anything. Didn't want anything else. Just me to be with him. We have two totally fabulous husbands, you and I. We're very lucky.

    Blessings to you and gentle hugs,
    Susan @ Walking the Fog Covered Road

  13. hope your still around. i liked reading your blog. i have cfs too and dont really blog at all but joined this site to read your words. i hope you are doing okay.

  14. Thanks for ur comments Susan n Hayley! I haven't been blogging for quite a while, but plan to get back soon...don't give up on me...

  15. I've not been able to visit blogs in so energy conservation program in action...but am glad I looked today and saw this post. Yes, you are lucky to be married to such a loving man. Energy management is difficult. I still struggle with it, too, but do try. Yes, see yourself as he does and give yourself more attention, not the house.