I couldn’t remember how I “got better”

It’s not like I’m “healthy” by any means. But compared to 5 years ago, I’m a different person.

If you were reading this blog 5 years ago, you know that I was struggling to get through each day. If I went grocery shopping, I’d be so exhausted that I wouldn’t leave the house again for the rest of the day, or the next day either. I’d rest up for 2 days so I could spend an afternoon with my family, then I’d need 2 more days to recover. I didn’t leave the house much, and when I did it was really tough. I researched my health issues and began to find answers. I would read 3 pages in a book, fall asleep, wake up having forgotten what I’d read before, and have to start over. The brain fog made it hard to understand any of the medical concepts and I often had to read the same paragraph 5 times. It took ages to get through one book, but I did it. And I learned from it. And then I started the next book.

So how did I get from there to here? Here, where I can go to the grocery store, read a chapter in a book, and cook a meal all in one day, while still feeling ok. It’s like a miracle!

Someone asked me today about medications I’d taken. We’d just met, but I’m obviously open about my health conditions and she’s in the medical field, so she was curious. But the thing is, I couldn’t remember.

Later, it started coming back to me. The diets. The supplements. She asked about prescriptions, but those weren’t what did it. Except the thyroid medication. I’d forgotten about that. Oh yes, that helped a lot. Getting rid of the daily nausea did wonders. And the supplements, slowly over time, began to work. Of course, I forgot about the sleep apnea diagnosis. First the CPAP machine, then the ASV machine (similar to a CPAP, but with different air flow) did wonders for me.

I guess the brain fog still rears its ugly head, because I honestly could not remember any of that in the moment that she asked. I think every day about how much better I’m doing. I am so happy, grateful, appreciative. There are a million “What ifs” for how I might not have improved. But I did improve. Thank goodness.

So the next time I can’t remember how I did it, I will remember to read this blog. These 5.5 years of writing are like my medical diary. It covers all of the big moments, good and small. Not to mention the hell of dealing with benefits (my food stamps got cut off again last week! For crying out loud! I got them back, but come on….)

The thing is, I couldn’t remember today how I managed to improve. But I didn’t forget that I had. I didn’t forget February 2012 when I first cut out gluten. I didn’t forget falling asleep while I struggled to read a book about hypothyroidism. And I didn’t forget how grateful I am for the improvement.

I remembered the important parts. I blocked out the struggle.

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7 Responses to I couldn’t remember how I “got better”

  1. Lorna says:

    Our bodies have the capability to block out a lot of things. That’s why women don’t remember the pain of childbirth. They can talk about how awful the experience was but the brain has blocked out the excruciating pain. I suppose it is the same with us I have been through a similar experience to you and it’s true that how bad it was has been filtered. Glad you are much better. Hugs xx

  2. Ms. Mango says:

    First off congratulations. The fact that (even if slowly) you’ve work your way to better health through medications, supplements and daily care is a huge accomplishment for someone with a chronic illness. I don’t think enough people acknowledge how much effort that can take and how much stress that trial and error can put on a person. Part of why I started my blog is for the reasons you mention re-reading yours when you need to. As a testiment to what I’m going through during the worst of it, because I’m pretty sure I won’t remember that well. The truth is, getting better is a lot more complicated than finding the one miracle thing that works, its a whole bunch of little things that add up and it’s no wonder you can’t remember it all. I am so happy for you that your quality of life seems to have improved so much in the last years and I hope it continues. πŸ™‚

  3. I’m glad you are improving too! As for the memory thing, I have the exact same problem. I wish I could hold information in my brain but I can’t. I’m glad you’re able to food shop now without becoming exhausted. About the health reading–I was feeling really frustrated about my inability to process the reading I assigned myself, but you just inspired me to keep trying. Thanks! πŸ’š

    • chronicrants says:

      Oh, I’m so glad you’re going to keep trying Miss Diagnoses! I wanted to give up so many times but I knew I had to do it, because no one cares about my health as much as I do, no one has as big a stake in it. I believe that’s true for all of us – we can’t rely on doctors or loved ones, we have to do this ourselves, even when it feels impossible. I hope your reading leads to great insights! Take some notes, and remember that the first few things you read might not seem helpful, but don’t give up. Reach out to me any time you want support and encouragement πŸ™‚ And thanks for your support!

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