A life of constant experiments

When your health changes constantly and you’re trying to improve it, sometimes there’s no way to know what will help versus what will make it worse other than to try. It can be difficult, frustrating, and exhausting to have to constantly try things out, knowing they could make you feel horrible, but what choice is there? Sometimes, all you can do is experiment.

A few years ago I hated the constant experimenting. I was nervous about each one, and so many either had no effect or made things worse. It was overwhelming to be constantly thinking about which experiment I was in and which I should do next and how to control the variables.

I’ve been noticing a big difference lately, as the number of experiments has gone down. There are still a whole lot to keep track of, but over all, it’s less stressful. I try to only do one at a time, so the shorter list means I no longer have a year-long list of them waiting. Still, I get nervous.

Last month, my experiment was to start walking almost daily. More recently it has been getting my new CPAP setup to work for me. That involved further experiments with different sleep schedules. Then last week, I took a short trip. I have 2 new supplements to try and 1 prescription to start. Walking seems to be working, as long as I don’t overdo it. The CPAP setup experiment is a partial success. There’s more to be done. The new sleep schedule is a success, though. The trip was mixed, but overall it showed me that I need to improve more before I travel again. I’ll start one of those new supplements this afternoon, then the other in about a week. The prescription will have to wait until I know where those supplements stand. Maybe they’ll make me really sick, maybe they’ll help me feel better. Maybe both. Maybe neither. And that’s the “experiment” part, because I just can’t be sure.

Having relatively few experiments to do right now is a relief, but it still isn’t easy. I have to constantly think about what I’m doing and about how I feel. Friends think I just take a pill and then wait and see. But it’s not so easy when I know that pill might make me feel really sick. Should I take it today, even though I’m going out this afternoon? And if it doesn’t agree with me, will it ruin my plans for the weekend? Or I could wait. I could put it off, like I’ve been doing for the past 2 weeks. But that doesn’t help anything, it only delays the inevitable.

And of course there’s the juggling act, as I try to figure out which experiments to run in which order. Friends think my doctor decides this but they don’t. I do. My current list of experiments spans 3 doctors, and that doesn’t include the travel. There’s no one person to turn to. Besides, no one knows my body better than I do.

I feel like my own guinea pig. I don’t like it, but it works. Trying new things is the only way to feel better, either for a minute or in the long term. So that’s why I push myself. And that’s why I’ll risk ruining both my afternoon plans and my weekend plans by trying a new multivitamin today. Because despite the problems, it’s worth it if it works. I only hope it works.

6 Responses to A life of constant experiments

  1. Karen J says:

    Here’s hoping with you, CR!
    I’ve just discovered some new information about myself and my “conditions” (in quotes because they’re mostly emotional and psychological rather than physical) that cast a whold different light on what I’ve been living with most of my life.
    I’m taking inspiration from your perseverance, here, and your tactics!
    Thank you for keeping on keeping on 🙂

    • chronicrants says:

      Oooh, I hope your new information turns out to be really helpful, Karen! Please let me know how that goes! Did you find it on your own or with the help of a medical professional? (Or maybe some other way?)

  2. Lorna says:

    I hope it works too! Everything in our life is a carefully thought out plan. It has to be because of how we are. At the moment I am trying out this new vitamin supplement supposed to be good for the immune system. Before taking it, I had to think of what was the best time to take it, can I take it with other tablets, should I eat? People who are not I’ll do not realise the daily questioning we do over most things.
    Hugs xx

    • Karen J says:

      So right, Lorna! And all that questioning can lead to “decision-overload” – which is exhausting.
      Wishing good results for you with the new supplement!

    • chronicrants says:

      Good luck Lorna! I hope the new vitamin helps you! I wanted to write about that, too – but the concept of having to question everything was just a jumble in my brain and I couldn’t get it out. My brain fog is so much better, but sometimes it’s obviously still there….

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