Friday, November 30, 2012

Frightful Friday for MM, no just cleaning, AGAIN!

I'm listening to Holiday music and cleaning my house. Today is my daughters birthday and over the weekend we will have a fun "Celebration of Sheela." Really, everyday is a celebration of both of my daughters but the month of November is Birthday month for my oldest and tonight we will have a slumber party with two of her closest friends.

As I clean my house I have to carefully modify what I do, I can't lift more than 10 lbs at a time or I will cause soft tissue damage in my back and neck to flare and be in pain for the rest of the day. If I really push myself, I can end up in bed in a few hours. Over the years I have developed a system of my own "reasonable accommodation" around the house so I can still accomplish what I need to without hurting myself (or getting so frustrated that I want to hurt someone else!). Today that meant that before she left for school I made sure that daughter brought her laundry to the machine so I could wash it. A wonderful side bonus of my dis-ability is that my husband has been present in physical therapy sessions when I was strictly forbidden from ever using a vacuum, mop, or broom again. Something about the motion is ergonomically a pain sentence for my body.

I love my spouse. This year we will be married for fifteen years. One year he bought himself a Dyson as his big birthday present. I try to put blinders on so I don't notice how dirty my floors are because I know I can't clean them. Often I want to get out my craft supplies and make a sign for our entryway that says "Disabled Mom: Can't Clean Floors, Please Don't Look Down!"

A blessing or curse I inherited from my father is a good attention to detail. Before I sat down to write this blog I was in the kitchen cleaning. We have a wall of windows. It is a lovely sunny day. Light is flooding the room where white painted cabinets and white appliances are all mocking me. Last night I made spaghetti. I think you can guess where I am going with the rest of this story. As cheerful Holiday music and sunshine fill the room I am noticing more areas that are alarming filthy. The floor is profoundly upsetting.

This morning I woke up with a bad headache, it's bordering on a migraine even as I type but I don't want to take a migraine injection because I didn't remember to refill a secondary medication that I need. I have already taken my break thru pain medication and it didn't help. So I am balancing a headache that is about a 6 or 7 on my pain scale with whatever combination of guilt, shame, pride or purpose drive good mothers to want to have a clean house before a slumber party. Honestly, I wish I remembered what my attention to detail was like when I was turning 12. My daughter doesn't seem to notice that her room or bathroom are dirty. Her friends are really lovely young people and I am picking them up so their mothers won't come to my house to judge, there is a very real possibility that I don't need to clean at all.

Ultimately, having a clean house to me is like all ethical things. I was talking about something to my daughter and was explaining that you always know if you do the right thing. When my house is a mess it upsets me. When I am upset it triggers more fibromyalgia pain. Cleaning also causes fibromyalgia pain. Having a particularly severe case of fibromyalgia is keeping me out of the workforce and preventing me from hiring someone else to clean my house. What a sad vicious circle.

As time passes I find that much of life is filled with these choices of impossible things. I know I have a limit and shouldn't lift over ten pounds. My baby is now fifteen months old and about twenty pounds. Each day there are dozens of times I pick her up for all her little reasons. Precious moments when she needs to be held. I cherish them. Looking at her big sister, I know how fast these baby moments will pass by and whatever pain they may cause will be worth the memory of my darling in my arms. Already she is moving from learning to walk to learning to run and wiggling away. 

So I am taking a break. Making a cup of tea. Writing this blog. Reminding myself how blessed I am that I am able to write a blog and move around the house at all. Briefly flashing back to the days and months when I was completely bed ridden and would have given anything to be able to complain about a dirty kitchen.

Also, in my impatience with the floors, I have decided to clean the bad spots using my socks and some spray cleaning. Our goal in starting this blog was to make a community for all Mommies living with one of the many forms of chronic pain. If you are reading this and have created your own methods of cleaning around your pain, please share them in the comments section. I have never liked cleaning so I don't lend my creative energy to coming up with a better method. I can use help here!

 If you are a Myalgia Mommie and need a note to your spouse that cleaning hurts, let me know, I'll be happy to write them a letter.


  1. I have a hard time keeping my house clean too. I do have a friend whose daughter often brings down my laundry and cleans my tub for me since I really have a rough time with that. I have to limit how much I can vacuum and I am so glad for swiffer wet clothes as I can clean the floor with them, but only one room at a time.


    1. Hi Heather,

      Thank you for taking the time to reply. I looked at your blogs, hooray for another Chronic Babe!

      I'm relieved to know that I am not the only one who struggles with a messy house. When I am not feeling well and I look around at a messy house, it makes my mood worse. The tips helps. I stopped buying disposable wet wipes to save the environment. Some people tease me that I over think everything, this is very true.

      If you would ever like to guest blog for Myalgia Mommies, please let me know.

      Enjoy your Count Down to Christmas!


  2. I just have to say, that I just discovered your blog and I enjoy reading it. I too have fibromyalgia and a young child and sometimes cleaning takes a backseat to everything else. My quick kitchen floor clean up is this: take a disinfecting wipe, throw it on the floor and use your foot, in a shoe, to go over the messier parts. If that's too difficult, you may be able to talk your 12 year old into it.

  3. Hi Katie,

    Thanks for the cleaning tip. It comes at a good time for me, once again, my house is a disaster.

    I just checked out your blog. Would you be interested in posting your "The Sanctity of Tuesday" on Myalgia Mommies? It's a great bit of advice for all Myaglia Mommies and I would love to share it with a wider audience.



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