Fibromyalgia and the Sequelae of Stress


Two days ago I had a very stressful day.

It was an intensely busy day at work, with a very short turnaround on the preparation of some complex documentation to finalise an urgent process the next day.  This is what I’m best at.  I cut my eyeteeth in one of the busiest teams in my first firm in one of the busiest times they’ve ever seen before or since.  I excel at very quickly grasping the scope of the procedure, understanding the interconnectedness of the parties, and logically organising and processing multi-party documents.  The way I work also results in me being prompted to cross-check the information several times before the documentation goes to the person / people I’m working for and so improves accuracy while saving time.  My brain goes a mile a second, checking and cross checking, tracking progress on each party’s bundle, planning two steps ahead so the second I’ve finished one, it’s off for checking and onto the next, and constantly finding ways to optimise the process.

It’s exciting.

The next day?  Not so.  I woke up and my legs didn’t quite want to work right.  My hips and knees had poor stability – I had to walk slowly and carefully to ensure each step was solid and my hips wouldn’t suddenly go whoop out to one side and cause me to fall or slam into something.  I could have walked normally, but that would have involved a massive amount of effort, and I did not have that kind of energy.

Getting my food from my plate to my face was hard.  Every movement I made was shaky and jerky, like my muscles would do one tiny portion of the movement and then stop for a microsecond and then do the next tiny portion of the movement, and so on.

I went to work.

I struggled with putting paperclips on paper.  My arms, hands and fingers were jerky and shaking, my fine motor movements inaccurate.  My entire body trembled.  I had a tiny muscle going tick tick tick tick in my right buttcheek.  I had to walk slowly and carefully and ease myself into and out of my chair.  When I re-stocked paper, I couldn’t crouch like I normally do.  Any bending over required additional support to make sure I didn’t topple, and I relied a lot more on counter-balance rather than on my muscles to hold me stable.

And it was a busy day that day, too!  Only have of the procedure was complete, and I had to finalise the other half, as well as finalising another urgent matter, and receiving (optimistic) instructions to start and finish another the same day (we said nope, that’ll be Monday if we’re lucky), on top of the usual end of the month wrap up.  I took no breaks, half my usual lunch time, and left late.

All the while fighting an extreme muscle weakness, nausea, exhaustion and entire body instability.  By the time I got home last night I was done.

This morning I’m still pretty unstable through the hips and legs, and my movements are still a bit jerky, but nowhere near as bad as they were yesterday.  The weather is pretty crap this weekend so it’s going to be snuggle up on the couch and nap most of the weekend away.  Hopefully I’ll have recovered enough by Monday to do it all again!