You never really know how close you are to the end of your tether until someone or something starts hacking away at it. To the outside world it may seem like an overreaction to something innocuous, unimportant or even frivolous; but for those of us hanging from that tiny thread, it is the whole world – or at least the only sliver of the world in which we feel we can survive in.
I may have mentioned this before (I honestly can’t remember – fibro-fog, sue me…) but existing inside an unpredictable body means that order and stability are often sought outside of oneself. Even though change is the one true constant, having some sort of order or routine can make the difference between maintaining a level of internal equilibrium and the sense of losing control.
It’s one of the reasons why the chronically ill get nervous when their regular consultant gets replaced by a ‘member of the team’ or when our prescriptions are being filled by a ‘guest’ pharmacist.
Recently I experienced one of these ‘moments’ that, even by my higgledy-piggledy standards looked decidedly like a ridiculous overreaction. The entire episode was weirdly disconcerting – I say weirdly because the thing that threw me for a loop was a sudden change in the schedule of a television channel. Yes, you did read that correctly – the walls of my psyche started to crumble because of a TV show.
I’ve written briefly before about the free to air sports channel Front Runner – the place where I unexpectedly found televised British Ice Hockey (and what a wondrous find that was!) – but at the time of discovery, I had no idea how integral that channel would become to my life. Nonetheless, there was one small problem – the controllers tend to play a little fast and loose with their line-up.
I had managed to get around these fleeting changes by trawling through their listings every Sunday and setting timers for the shows I didn’t want to miss. So you can imagine my surprise when I stumbled, in pain and bleary-eyed, into the living room at 8.30 am to discover that my much anticipated, and desperately needed, American Misfits had been replaced by Built To Shred. Now, anyone who knows these two shows understands that Built To Shred is essentially an offshoot of American Misfits (and I have a feeling that the people at Front Runner think the programmes are muchness-muchness) but that doesn’t alter the fact that they are DIFFERENT. And as such, they have completely different effects on my brain chemistry. Built To Shred inspires me to make (although I’m mainly a sewist, I do know my way around a press drill and a soldering iron) whereas American Misfits inspires me to skate (albeit in eight wheels, not four) and so had become an almost essential motivational tool.
And, no, this has nothing to do with me having a monumental crush on Laban Pheidias…
In an old post, I wrote about the neurological elements of fibromyalgia, and I believe that this particular TV show may be causing the same neurotransmitter activity as watching Ice Hockey but without the additional shot of adrenaline. Although the effects don’t last as long as the ones created by a speeding puck, I would get enough of a boost to keep me going for about five hours – which is approximately three full days in Martian time…
So that morning I dutifully watched Built To Shred as I do actually enjoy the show, but it didn’t set me up for the day as I hoped it would. My skates felt heavier, the uphill walk to the park seemed steeper and my endurance was greatly reduced.
Had this happened at another time the ‘scheduling nightmare’ may have merely registered as a mild emotional irritant. But having this ‘event’ arrive at a time when I had been bleeding for 24 days straight, getting all the side effects of my current treatment but few of the supposed benefits, dealing with the sun rising seemingly an hour after it had set, plus all the general crapola of day to day existence, meant that I was left feeling like a helpless child who had just witnessed an adult seeing fire to her favourite toy.
And before anyone asks, yes I have scoured the internet for full episodes, but Fuel TV has got that show ‘on lock’ (to use a South Londonism) with only snippets making it past the copyright paywall. Which is fine, by the way – there is no reason why they should be providing anything for free.
However, internet bungles and Front Runner’s illogical behaviour did still leave me with the self-inflicted dilemma of replacing an unexpected motivational mechanism.
So, this was my solution:
Yes, I made my very own lavender filled Laban cushion! He will sit on my dresser so that when I am able to wrench my eyes open in the morning, I will be reminded to fight the pain and fatigue as much as I can and get my skates on!
And, no, it is not in any way creepy….