Breaking routines and pushing boundries

April 16, 2012

After many months at home, I finally got out of town this weekend.  Aside from being too short (as always) the trip couldn’t have been better.  The weather was fantastic, better than anything I’ve seen this time of year.  I had good company and a great atmosphere.  We ate healthy food and took many walks.  That last part was the most amazing part.

For many months I’ve been fighting fatigue.  I’d love to say that the fresh ocean air was enough to fix everything, but of course it wasn’t.  Still, it helped a lot.  Getting away helped.  Getting out of the city helped.  Being pushed to do more by someone else helped.  And somehow, yesterday, I actually walked 3 miles!  Now, I won’t pretend that I could do that every day.  And afterwards I was so exhausted that I took a nap (with the dog, who was even more worn out), something I haven’t been doing as much anymore.  Still, I walked 3 miles!

We stopped to rest a lot, and we didn’t walk very fast, but we made it.  One great part was the exercise.  Another great part was the fresh air and beautiful views.  But there was something even better: knowing that I was able to accomplish this.  The last 6 months have been so demoralizing that this long walk, even if it was just a one-time thing, was a reminder that in some way, at some time, I am still capable of it.

I don’t know when or if I’ll be able to do that again, but for now I know that this weekend, I was able to walk 3 miles.  This weekend I felt good.  No, it wasn’t perfect.  I had nausea and back pain and whatnot, but I walked 3 miles.  Whatever happens next won’t change that.


Getting away at last

April 10, 2012

Peace.  I’m mostly looking forward to the peace.

I love living in the city.  I love being close to friends and activities.  I love being able to get places on public transportation.  I love the opportunities.  

But then there are the downsides.  There’s the ridiculously high cost of living.  There’s the noise and the crowds.  There’s the horrible traffic and lousy drivers.  There’s the lack of nature (in my neighborhood even more than in many others) and the constant bustle.

And that’s what makes this weekend especially great.  I get to keep living in the city, but spend 4 wonderful days away from it.  For a long weekend, I’ll get to take long walks, enjoy fresh air, gaze upon beautiful scenery, and revel in a lack of internet access (only because the place I’m going to doesn’t pay for internet, not because I’m going anyplace *that* remote.)  For several days I can enjoy nature and quiet and peace!

One of the downsides of my current health problems has been that I haven’t been traveling.  If my health had been better, I would have left town at least a few times in the last six months.  I would have visited a friend in western Massachusetts.  It’s a short drive, but I just don’t have the energy to do the trip and then keep up with her and her kids.  I would have gone to New York to visit family.  But that’s way too far for me right now.  I would have probably gone abroad, just because I hadn’t done it in a long time and I was saving up the vacation days at work so that I could go.  Instead, I haven’t left the area in the last six months and it’s really getting to me.  I used to leave town at least 8 or 10 times a year.  Some of the trips were large (Europe!) and some were small (a drive to visit the grandparents) but they always provided a change.  I could really use some change right now.

So at this moment I am counting down until I can get out of town.  It will be a bit tiring, but someone else is driving, and the place I’m going to will be very relaxing.  Plus, I’ll have the company of my favorite guy.  And in the end, I’m absolutely certain that it will be worth it.  I can hardly wait!

How do you handle travel or a lack thereof?  I’d love to know!

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If you can relate to this, please pass it along and share the camaraderie!  Thanks!


Thankful for a better day

April 9, 2012

My definitions of a “good day” and a “bad day” have changed a lot over the years, and even over the last few months.  What I used to think was horrible I now consider to be pretty good.  But what hasn’t changed is how it feels to have a “good day.”

Today was a good day.  I didn’t do much by some standards, but I did a lot by mine.  I did laundry.  I paid bills.  I took a walk.  And I felt ok.  For me, this was good.  Not only was this a good day, but it wasn’t a bad day!  I’ve had a lot of pain and nausea over the past week.  Oh, and then there’s the fatigue, too.  Actually, I’ve had a lot more nausea than usual over the past several weeks and it was really getting to me.  But today I didn’t have any and it just felt so good!

I think it’s important to always appreciate what we have, but I know that can be hard.  It’s so much easier when there’s a stark contrast.  When one day sucks and the next isn’t horrible, it becomes clear how important the little health victory moments really are.

I don’t know what tomorrow will be, or next week, or next month.  I’m just glad today doesn’t suck.

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If you can relate to this, please pass it along and share the camaraderie!  Thanks!


How many ways can you define nausea?

April 5, 2012

I’m guessing it’s like morning sickness, but without the fetus.

I’m at that age, in my thirties, where many of my friends have been having children lately.  I’m close with many of them, which means I hear a lot about pregnancy symptoms and, later, child-rearing experiences.  A couple of them were telling me during their pregnancies about the morning sickness they were dealing with, which can last all day.  It sounded an awful lot like the nausea I get, but of course, for me there’s no pregnancy.  Which means it’s not going to end any time soon.

We all know how hard it can be to describe pain.  It’s hard to describe nausea, too.  The morning sickness comparison is probably accurate, but since I’ve never been pregnant, I just don’t know.  I need some other way to define it.  I was trying to explain to my doctor today how there’s the low-grade nausea I feel just about every single day.  Then there’s the worse nausea that makes me feel completely miserable.  And then there’s the level where I start thinking about dying.  Luckily that level never lasts for more than a few hours, but it’s pretty bad.  But how do I explain the actual feeling?

There’s no good answer right now.  There’s also no treatment that we’ve found.  But I’m working with a nutritionist and I’m hoping that, in time, we can lessen the nausea.  If we can’t do that, then I’d love to at least lessen some of my other GI symptoms so that I might be able to take some of the anti-nausea drugs.  Ah, that would be heavenly.  Oh wait, how should I define “heavenly”?

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If you can relate to this, please pass it along and share the camaraderie!  Thanks!


Ready to be done

April 4, 2012

Ok, I’m done with these illnesses.  I’m ready to move on.  I’ve had it.

It takes a lot to make me feel like I’ve reached my limit.  And then I continue some more.  I’m stubborn and I don’t give in easily, even when I should.  That’s why I stayed at a bad job longer than I should have.  It’s why I stayed in a bad apartment situation longer than I should have.  It’s why I tried to make things work in a romantic relationship longer than I should have.  Ditto for a family relationship.  And hell, I didn’t even give up on my crappy car when I should have (but at least I didn’t go too long on that one.)

The point is, I keep fighting.  I keep fighting, that is, until I just can’t take it anymore.  Then I quit the job, moved to a better apartment,
gave up on the ex, stopped talking to the relative, and sold the car.  Those all make sense, right?

But what can I do now?  I’m feeling very done with all of the health crap.  I’ve done this for 20 years and I’ve had it.  I’m ready to move on to the next phase, but there is no next phase to move on to!  Or at least, there isn’t one that I have any control over.

We all get frustrated, and I know that for me this will pass.  Last night was a bad night of pain, nausea, pepto, movies, inability to sleep, and more pepto.  After a day or two of feeling ok, I’ll be less frustrated.  Then I’ll have a flare or something, and the frustration will return.  I just wish there was something I could do about it.  I wish I could walk away from this health crap like I walked away from that job.  Wouldn’t that be nice?

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If you can relate to this, please pass it along and share the camaraderie!  Thanks!


Physical therapy: 8 out of 9!

April 1, 2012

There’s really nothing wrong with my physical therapy exercises.  They’re a bit inconvenient.  None are painful.  Some are boring.  Most involve effort I just don’t want to expend.  Still, even when I have nothing else pressing to do, for some reason I try to avoid PT.  I’m sure there’s some great psychological reason for this, but I’ll ignore it for now.  The point is, I suck at doing my exercises.

I stopped doing my exercises a few months ago when I was feeling especially fatigued.  I know this was legitimate, but it still meant that I suffered a backslide and I now have to make up for it.  I am attending PT again, and am supposed to do my exercises at home.  I decided that for me, the best motivation was to track it.  I might feel a little bad if I thought I’d missed a day or two recently, but I’d feel really guilty if I knew I’d missed 2 days out of the last 4.  So I went online and printed out a little calendar.  I bought some start stickers and I give myself a star every day that I do my exercises.  This is working great!  I felt much more guilt today than I normally would, since I knew I’d missed Friday, so I did the exercises at 9pm.  Normally I’d have decided it was too late to bother by that point, but I did them!

I should have started tracking a few weeks ago, but better late than never, right?  So in the last 9 days of tracking, I’ve done my exercises 8 times!  2 of those times were at the physical therapist’s office with her, but still, I did the exercises 8 out of 9 days!!

This may not seem huge to some people, but I’m guessing many others understand.  I’m going to do my best to keep it up, because I know these exercises really will help.  It’s time to aim for the stars!

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If you can relate to this, please pass it along and share the camaraderie!  Thanks!


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