I have dealt with chronic illness for about 15 years now and after all this time, I have come to understand this truth...
The problem with chronic illness is that you get sick.
Profound, right? Ok, let me narrow it down a little more:
- symptoms you thought you conquered ten years ago suddenly come back with a vengeance.
- just when you think you have experienced every symptom in the book, a new one pops up.
- one day you feel great, the next day you wake up feeling like you were run over by a rice harvester. For you city-folk, a rice harvester looks like this:
- even "fun" events can trigger illness.
- your previous diagnosis suddenly doesn't fit anymore.
- your best laid plans are pointless because you have no idea how your body is going to feel next Tuesday.
- medicines or treatments that used to work suddenly do not work any more.
- you want to go out and do fun things with fun people BUT INSTEAD your body will only allow you enough energy to drive home from work, plop down on the couch and cry.
- your. brain. is. dead.
Last fall I was feeling better than I had felt in a long time. Not perfect, but much better. Then right in the middle of my 31 Day series, it all slammed back at me again. I knew this might happen, after all, pushing myself physically or mentally wears me out and always makes me "flare up." But this was more than a few days of tired. It was a complete resurgence of every bad symptom that started 15 years ago.
I thought I could just take a few weeks and rest then things would settle down. They didn't. So more tests, more meds, more protocols. More research, lots more reading. Lots more rest. And I re-read my own advice from the 31 Days. It was such a great reminder of what I needed to do, or not do, to survive the storm.
Today I'm a little better than I was over the winter. I think the warmer weather and longer days help. I'm also figuring out which foods cause which symptoms so I've been playing with my diet a lot (If you were wondering what happened to the Friday Recipes, I'm not doing much cooking right now). Although I'm still not able to work out much, I have a new physical therapist and saw significant improvements in my knee from the very first week.
And my garden... my beloved garden. The garden is so therapeutic for me, perhaps because my mother and I spent a lot of time in it, but I do so much love puttering around out there, watching things grow. BTW: you can catch the play-by-play garden fun over on Instagram.
Happy weekend everyone, do something that makes you happy!