10 May 2013

L. R. A. or how I deal...

In my current life experience there are three very important words - Learning, Recognizing and Accepting.  I live with a chronic illness.  For those of you that have been reading my blog for a while, this is not news.  For any newbies, it is news and it might explain a few things (for everybody really).  I have chronic severe headaches.  I have not had a single moment without severe pain in over six years.  Prior to that I would go for days and months with severe headaches and then they would lessen and sometimes even stop for an hour or two. 

I have seen many doctors, had tons of tests, surgeries, been on more medicine that you could find in a pharmacy and still they can find nothing to explain or even give a bit of relief.  All of this has been taking its toll for a while now.  I had to leave work and have been on disability for a few years.  I am unable to socialize very well (not that I was that great at it to begin with, but...).  I'm extremely sensitive to sound and sometimes light.  I don't know if it is the constant pain or all the medicines, but my cognitive reasoning and functioning is becoming much more difficult.  To add to all this, the past month or two I've started having panic attacks again.  Fifteen years ago I was in a constant state of panic and even locked in my home for 3 months.  But I got past it with Paxil and therapy.

Hmmm... I have digressed.  Back to LRA.  With a chronic illness comes learning limits.  One must learn that they have them, then learn to recognize them (see what I did there) and then of course one must learn to accept them.  I've been having a lot of problems with this you see.  But I think, maybe, I've finally caught on.  Today I had a breakthrough or epiphany.  Today, I recognized my limits and I accepted them.

As I've written recently we've had loads of cold, wet days.  Yesterday was our first good day of warm sunshine in a while.  I would have loved to head out to the garden and weed (it is very meditative for me), everything was just too wet.  So, I sat on the deck in my pretty blue chair and soaked in some vitamin d.

Today, it is a perfect garden day.  So of course, I wanted to take advantage of that fact.  I got the mowing done first and then rested a little bit while trying to decide what garden project needed attention next. 

I picked on of the beds to work on as I want to get angelica, rue, hollyhocks and echinacea planted there.  I worked there for a little while and started to feel nauseous.  Since I hadn't had breakfast I thought maybe my blood sugar was acting wonky again (yes I'm diabetic too).  Went in and checked and it was at a good number but I thought I should fix myself a little something.  I took my half sandwich to my pretty blue chair and was only able to eat less than half before I started feeling even more nauseous and sick.  I drank a lot of water and rested for a wee bit before getting back to work in the garden bed.  In my head I could hear a few different voices (not a thing unusual in that, I assure you).  One was saying it was time to stop, that I could work again on another day but today was not a good one for me.  The other voice chimed in saying to stop listening to the first and to get cracking.  I have so much to do and if I stop I'll never get it done.  Don't be a lazy sod about it all.  (Yes my inner voices are mostly British, Scottish and Welsh accented, tee hee!)

I sat there pulling weeds, bending and digging while listening to these voices (and a few others that chimed in).  I kept telling myself, just get half way done and that will be good. Come on, just a little bit more.  It's a lovely day after all and you really need to take advantage of it.  Keep going, keep going, keep going...

Then it happened... I stopped.  I looked at what I'd done and what I had left to go and I said, Enough.  Of course I was almost at the point of vomiting and passing out, but I got the message.  My body is just not up to it today.   I looked at my unfinished bed (not quite halfway done, but close) and said to myself, it's OKAY to stop.  Let's go rest.

 I put away the mower, took my tools inside and came out for my water bottle and camera and found this lovely little guy.  He's so beautiful and I wish I could keep him close so that when he changes into a butterfly I'll know just which one he is.  I wonder what he'll look like and hope he'll be as beautiful as he is now.

 But here's the thing, he reminded me that we have to stop being one thing, in order to become something else entirely.  For me that means that I have to stop pushing myself to the point of dropping, take that rest that my body obviously requires and then become something again.  It's like every time I am able to step out into the sun and work in the garden I'm taking back a tiny portion of the life I lost when I got sick.  I think it is a good way to look at it and it is a healthy way to look at it, for me at least.

I hope I haven't bored anyone to tears or made you run screaming demanding the past few minutes of your life back.  I really appreciate having a place to share my life (I don't have many friends or people to talk to IRL) and I appreciate everyone taking the time to read these posts.

Monday is new doctor meeting day for me and I'm extra nervous, but extra hopeful too.  I may be a few days before I get back here, but please know I wish everyone a wonderful weekend and Happy Mother's Day!

In honor of the beautiful Miss V, I snipped my one blooming rose bud today and hung it  in the twinkle lights in my kitchen entry.  There is a storm blowing in tonight and tomorrow and if I hadn't picked it it would have fallen apart by Sunday.  The scent is heaven and I'm going to search for more plants as soon as I finish my nap.  :-)

Anywho, thanks for being here, it means a lot...


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