Do you ever have those things you long to get back to, but no matter how much you try to marshal your energy, it doesn’t happen? Writing in my blog is one of those things.
I actually have written in my blog – since my last entry on Christmas Day, 2014 (I can’t believe that!) – but I wasn’t ready to publish what I’d written, and I was in a crappy place. Not that I promised to always come here full of light and energy – that’s not real life with a chronic illness – but at various times in the past year I’ve been deep in the hole with depression, thrown about like a stuffed doll by a malady I didn’t even know I had – anxiety, and for the past 4 or more months… maybe longer… wracked by increasingly intense migraines that have left me bedridden half my days.
Despite all that, I achieved some important things last year, and I’ll write about them sometime, as well as struggled to be okay with my various illnesses. No, it isn’t always easy, but sometimes, it’s the only sane thing to be okay with what is. Trying to be anything else can make us crazy.
So here I am in one of the worst flares I remember in a while. My body is producing some of those little cigarette-burn lesions it produces when I am either really sick, or removing toxins. I’m not sure which one it is. I have been trying to greatly reduce carbs (grains, breads, pastas, flours) in my diet, in a last ditch effort to beat the migraines. I am on the 8th day of being migraine free. That’s a small victory. It doesn’t mean I’m out of the woods yet, but I hope.
The main problem with this dietary approach is, what do you do when you’re too sick to prepare food? It’s a common problem faced by many of us with chronic illness. I got up at noon, feeling wretched, but hoped to make something to eat for dinner. Got half way through, realized I didn’t have all the ingredients. Walked to the nearest shop. Got back, shattered. It’s just after 2pm, and I want to go to bed. I’m hoping to finish throwing together the rest of this meal, save it for later when I’m well enough to eat it, and do just that.
It’s just after 2pm, and I’m having my first meal of the day – a prepackaged green smoothie, my meds, and my day is done. I’m okay with that, really. Some days are like that, you only get two good hours to do what you need to do.
The problem is, how do you represent your day to people when you’re torn apart by invisible illness? One of my chair yoga students asked me what I meant by “invisible illness” – I’m realizing that’s not a term that’s gained wide currency – and I was too tired to explain. I said, it’s the same as a chronic illness.
Except it isn’t. Noone can see what’s wrong – why this girl who seems to be in one piece can only get two good hours some days. And I’m one of the lucky ones. I read about people with ME/CFS, Lyme disease, and others in my social feeds when I can – people who are bedridden 24/7 – and I know I could have it so much worse.
I was able to get up today. I was able to walk to the store. To some people that’s like winning the lottery.
Puts it in some perspective.
Okay, time to make sure nothing’s left to burn on the stove. Time to rest.