For now I got a very ‘loud’ subject, my problem at hand. For about 1.5 months the peace and quiet my fellow Hippo (my partner) and I really care about is gone. Apparently some of the neighbours in our apartment building are refurnishing or rebuilding their house. I actually think they want to completely rebuild the entire building! As you can probably imagine, the noise is.. (how can I put this nicely?) very present. We can’t hear each other speak (while we’re next to each other) and we can’t hear ourselves think (although I’ve been doubting over the past few years if I can still think with all the brain fog and concentration problems etc.). Oh and it gives major headaches of course.
[Image of the traffic sign of someone digging and next to it the text work in progress]
But for me, the real problem is the time they start doing this. Usually around 8 AM, but yesterday they started at 7. For me, this is unimaginable. How can people be up and working at such a time? Many years ago I had to start school at 8AM, but now.. I can’t rise early, because of the chronic fatigue which I think is from the fibromyalgia. My partner has this too, because of his CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome – in Dutch CVS, chronisch vermoeidheidssyndroom). Does anyone else recognize this too? When we have to get up too early (before 9 AM, but preferably at 9.30 or 10) we can do a lot less on a day. The fatigue gets a lot worse and fainting (and possible temporarily paralysis) is a lot more frequent. We can’t get up too late either (then my fellow hippo gets sick too, I’m not sure yet if that’s the same for me).
However, when I try to talk about this subject I encounter a lot of incomprehension. People act like I’m just some lazy pig who wants to sleep a little longer. Well, of course I’d love to sleep a little longer, since I hardly sleep at all because of my sleeping disorders, but I don’t let that interfere with my life. I can’t afford to, because I already can hardly do anything because of my illnesses and that I can’t choose… (my body often gives me a ‘kind’ reminder of that).
I find it sad that so many chronically ill people encounter so much incomprehension; people thinking they have so much free time to do whatever they like… That’s just not true. We would love to do the same things a ‘normal’ person can. For example being able to work 8 hours a day, sport 2 hours and do nice things in the weekend, wow! I’d love to study a lot. But that’s just not in it for me and most of the time I’ve accepted that. Taught myself how to deal with it, but sometimes other people make it a lot harder for us (for example forcing you to do too much) to accept our bodies with its diseases.
What I’m wondering though, is should I try to say something to the neighbours (I’m not exactly sure which one is destroying their house and rebuilding it)? Because my fellow Hippo and I are worried that it are ‘those’ neighbours, the only one we got in an argument in. And she got angry because we weren’t ‘ready’ to talk to her at 8.30 AM (for the record: it was a surprise visit). That, plus my other experiences how people often react to the ‘early bird problem’, makes me wonder if it would help at all to ask them to start later. I actually think they might be able to, because they often stop for a couple hours and then return making little earthquakes later in the afternoon (such as 3PM). I’m just afraid they won’t understand, and at the same time I don’t want to bother them with our problem. If we were just normal, it wouldn’t have been a problem, right? (although I do find it disturbing that they never warned anyone that they were going to be this loud for 2 months – or maybe more).
Something I find very linked to this problem is the ‘brain fog’ problem. For the people who can read Dutch: I think this is a good blog post about it. For the non-Dutch speakers: brain fog is about the ‘fog’ people with fibromyalgia often experience in their heads. Making them unable to concentrate or remember things. I find it very linked to this problem, because I think the chronic fatigue is linked to lesser mental abilities and because of the incomprehension on all three subjects (chronic fatigue, brain fog and unable to rise early).
Do you encounter these problems too? What would you do in this situation?