The boom and bust cycle PIN

I just had an interview and I forget to mention the one thing with fibromyalgia we all do even when we know we should be pacing. And, yes, today I am not at my cognitive best. Sort of migraine and fibrofogy. Anyway, we Boom and we Bust.

BOOM: I feel not too bad. I’m going to do the laundry, get some chores done, go shopping, run a marathon and solve world hunger.

BUST: That was too much and now I feel like death. I will have to now recover for three days.

BOOM: Those three days of recovery did me good. I feel pretty good today. I’m going to do a lot of other random things I shouldn’t be doing all at once and see what happens.

BUST: I did not expect this pain to happen again.

PACING: I feel good today but I will pace my activities because I need to conserve my energy and I know I cannot push myself beyond my limits.

We know the Boom and Bust cycle because we do it. On our good days we feel like we need to be extra productive to compensate for our bad days. And then we bust into a crapton of pain. Which is much worse bad days than if we paced all the time. We just forget that this happens all the damn time. Not to mention we want to be productive on good pain days. Yet, it is actually better to remain consist and pace all the time to avoid significant pain flares. Not all flares, obviously, but Boom and Bust flares.

I am guilty of this. We are all guilty of this at some time or another. I think I forget to mention it because it is much easier for me to pace when not working. I am the pace master. When I am working it is easy to bust just by working alone. Work one day, all good. Step into work the next day, BUST. The day after, your body is double BUST. You have no recovery time. It is just a BUST-a-thon. Get out of bed…BUST. Dangnamit. There are ways to pace and work, but in my case, it is the exceeding pain limits that are a factor with the chronic migraines added in. I am, in fact, pacing fine in a work environment and even by reducing to part time I was controlling the boom and bust cycle. But migraines are not on a boom and bust cycle unfortunately and do not respond to pacing. Sadly. Management strategies on that side of the chronic pain side are different.

I am not going to say don’t do this because it happens. Life happens. I am going to say pacing is vital to chronic pain management and to consider time management of your activities. Consider downtime after activities. Think of yourself like a quarter charged Smartphone; yeah you can use that app, but not for long, sure you can do a couple of things but not too many. Bad example. Point is, your daily battery life isn’t the same as everyone else’s. And if you overextend into tomorrow’s battery life too many times then it can shock the hell out of you forcing you to do very little for days.

See more

Chronic illness and the art of pacing
Enhancing our pacing game
Chronic stress and the body

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