Wednesday, December 12, 2012

When Your Body Speaks, Listen. Otherwise It Might Shout

Well, I didn't intend to disappear again. November came and with it came the first round of winter sickness.  I know, with my crappy immune system, that I will catch something.  This time it was a flu-like virus that was miserable.  I didn't get to show Jude or do anything I planned around that time. Of course, since I'm stubborn, I got out of bed and back to my routine before I was totally healthy.  I had a few days of feeling decent then, right at Thanksgiving, that virus led to bronchitis.  Some steroid injections and a 5day course of high power antibiotics later and I decided to try and go again, only to have things come back worse.  Now I'm halfway through a 10 day course of steroids and an even more powerful antibiotic and I'm trying to take it slow.  I'm healing but the progress seems to be a snail's pace.
Listening to my body has never been one of my strong suits.  Even after a lifetime of severe, chronic asthma and years dealing with my other host of issues, I still have that problem.  Part of it is my personality.  Like my mom, I can't sit around doing nothing (even reading wears on me after a week) for long periods of time.  I've gotten worse since I started working on my walking.
With my pain, I've gotten better at stopping and hearing what my body is telling me when I'm pushing too far.  I have many fewer days stuck in bed, unable to get up because of the pain than I did when I first got sick.  I've learned my limits and even when they change, I don't need my body to hit me over the head with a sledgehammer for me to understand that I'm going too far.
Dysautonomia presented me with a different challenge because I often get serious brain fog when I've gone too far and don't realize how close I am to trouble.  I have some warning symptoms but I do, mostly unconsciously, ignore them when I'm doing something.  I've gotten better at stopping before I faint but not before I'm feeling terrible.  Cole has been the biggest help here.  He listens to my body much, much better than I do and will flat out refuse to do something if it might put me at risk.  I tell people we are partners because we are.  We work together and sometimes I'm not the one in control.  I listen to him because sometimes, he hears my body better than I do.
And then there are these incidental illnesses I get.  Because they aren't chronic, I can't seem to get in the habit of not pushing myself too far.  In the winter, one virus hits and it seems to spiral out of control.  This year my doctor flat out told me to avoid crowds because my already strained immune system can't fight everything people carry out with them, so I catch it all.  The more I get, the more likely I am to get something else.  When I'm feeling crappy, it's easy to stay home and in bed. But once I start to feel better, cabin fever starts to set in.  I can't force myself to read any more books, I don't want to watch another movie, I just want to do something.  So I go out and the cycle starts again.  This time it took 3 weeks to get to the point I'm really healthy enough to start going back to my version of normal.

1 comment:

  1. So glad to hear you are finally on the mend. Listening to our bodies is tough. I only get migraines, but even with them, I know I should take a pill when I begin to feel the pain, but I usually ignore the signs and keep going and hoping this time my body will deal with it on it's own. I think it's just tough to give in to something so frustrating as pain, when we know there is something we'd rather be doing.


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