The whole gist of this blog is to share my journey with a chronic, progressive illness. You will notice that I actually don’t spend a lot of time talking about the illness or my symptoms, however.
I have likened living with a chronic illness to be similar to having an infant that arrives and totally changes the way you have to do everything—only it isn’t a cute. I do most things differently and have had to rearrange that as different symptoms become worse or better.
While I deal and manage my symptoms on a daily basis, I still don’t spend as much time talking about them as I do managing them. For me, if I am able to see the lessons in my day-to-day life, and to show up for life with a genuine smile, then I am being successful in the management of my symptoms.
I can hardly see the lessons when I am frustrated or stuck focusing on my symptoms. Actually, there are times when I can hardly think about much else when I am stuck there. You have certainly shared many of those moments with me throughout the postings over the last several years.
Today, there was a lot of inquiry about symptoms. I don’t mind sharing, but sometimes I am just as confused as you are about what I can and am unable to make my legs, feet and such do.
There doesn’t seem to be much of an understanding about why I seem to do well on flat land, but cannot go up an incline without assistance. Or why propelling myself in a forward motion works well in some instances, but in others I need to push off of something, and why that seems to vary with no real rhyme or reason.
I have unanswered questions that will probably be left unanswered. I am ok with that at this point because I really would rather spend my energy elsewhere. It is funny what happens when there are a lot of questions, however. (Not so much ha ha funny sometimes.)
It is probably one of the reasons I prefer to see doctors only when I really need to see them—I don’t like to focus on my symptoms. I am more than happy to do whatever I have to do to manage them and figure my energy is better used toward that end.
For the latter part of the afternoon, however, I had a little detour into symptom land. While I was still productive, I found myself actively having to shift my focus away from them and back to what I was doing. It isn’t that I am not aware of the symptoms or that I am trying to pretend they aren’t there—I know it’s all there. I am not trying to minimize it either.
It is what it is, I reckon, for me. It doesn’t run my life like it did in the early years and most of that is because I stay out of symptom land and stay in symptom management land because it only serves to dampen my quality of life when I don’t.
If you don’t have an illness and think you can’t relate, then think about this example. Let’s say you didn’t get enough sleep last night and all you can think about is how tired you are. Are you going to feel any better doing that? It really isn’t much different!