Sunday, September 12, 2010

Do You Have A Pattern?

I have patterns in my day. I realized early that if I associate something with what I want to accomplish, I remember to do it. :D Here are some of my examples:

Almost 40 years ago, I went on birth control pills. The doctor explained the importance of not missing a pill, keeping them in order. I placed the pill packet next to my tooth brush...bush my teeth, take a pill. I needed that pattern in order to remember to take my pill.

When I shower, I wash myself in an order. After getting out of the shower, I have a routine before dressing. If I don't follow my order or if I get interrupted, I will forget something. I know no one wants me to forget to wash any parts!

If distracted while baking, I will miss an ingredient. A good example is a few years ago during Thanksgiving, I forgot sugar in the pumpkin pie. The taste was one ate pie. :( I must concentrate!

When Seth and Heather were babies, Heather needed to come off formula and drink 2% milk. I put her bottles on the left side of the fridge and Seth's on the right. When I carried them, Heather was on the left, Seth on the right. I needed an association to remember whose bottle was whose. From that time on, if I needed to keep anything separated, I used the analogy of their position in utero. Many years later, I used the same analogy when my grandsons were born. Although not twins, I place my first born grandson on the right and second born on the left, just as my first born.

To an outsider without Fibromyalgia, these patterns may appear that I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. On the contrary, those with Fibromyalgia Disease, often draw a blank mind. Having a pattern or order of procedure, helps to complete tasks. I even have my vitamins and prescription medication purposefully positioned in my medicine cabinet.


  1. Yes, we have a pattern to our day. We get up around 11:30ish, I get dressed first, then I get Mom dressed. After we come down the stairs, I put her little hoodie on and her shoes. Then we head to Tim Horton's for brunch. AFter that we come home and if she is tired she takes a nap. Then I teach what lessons I have for the day, check the computer, make dinner, and we watch TV before heading to bed. Pretty much the same everyday. Kind of boring at times, but hey, it's better than the stress I was under when we were losing the store.

  2. Deb,

    I can definitely relate to you and I am pleased to see that your organizing regimen works for you. I have been a Fibromyalgia sufferer for over 40 years. And my memory is peeling off like an onion.

    Even though I have always been an organized person myself, I find myself forgetting practically everything in sight or out of sight; never leaving the house without having to come back once or twice. Even if I make to-do lists, I forget where I put the list. I charge my cell phone then I leave home without it. Going somewhere with a purpose in mind and on my way there forgetting the purpose. The only advantage to this sad situation is that it keeps me fit for I have a three-story house which forces me to go up and down stairs about 50 times a day. Not good for my knees or my back but good cardio. Which proves that every bad thing has a silver lining, small as it may be.

    I will try to borrow some of your ideas in the hope of salvaging my sanity. Thank you for your suggestions and feel free to check out my blog:
    and my website:

    I'd appreciate any comment on my blog and please sign my website Guestbook.


  3. Great post. I can relate and I believe many of us humans like structure. It really helps me get through the day to control my fibro symptoms. And, with my holistic approach to my fibro, I find pattern and structure even more know how it goes... Monday's - yoga, Tuesday - massage, morning and evening - walk...and it goes on. Helps keep the brain fog away..even though my supplements are doing a good job of that these days. :-)


  4. Hi Deb,

    I spent 6 debilitating years with Fibromyalgia (I remember the first day I woke up with pain all over) and am dismayed when I see posts from people (like you and Anyes) who have had it for decades. In retrospect, it was the best thing that ever happened to me (yes, I'm serious!). I stubbornly refused Western medicine's "logic" of prescribing prescription meds that only added more symptoms. What Fibro sufferer needs more symptoms??? Anyway, long story short, I went on a holistic health journey and am now pain and symptom free.

    Regarding the subject of structure and patterns in your life, have you ever studied Ayurveda? It was one of the most important discoveries I made and completely helped turn my health around.
    I am highly Vata, as are many Fibro sufferers and when I look back at my life it is all so clear! Check it out online or at the bookstore, it might change your life like it did mine!

    Be well.


  5. Thank you Barbara. I will take a look. Glad you have found answers for you.

  6. Yes, I so have specific places for everything and an order to do things, otherwise I'll forget. Here's a great post from my past (thanks for reminding me to reread it today):

    I also shower in a particular order and have all sorts of routines for getting myself ready for whatever I do. My keys, meds, glasses, everything all have their designated areas and I strive to return them there as soon as I'm finished with them.

    It's not a fail-safe system, but with all the challenges of distraction, having routines down definitely minimizes on problems.