Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

Chasing dreams, because I can

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I’m learning

Posted by Oli on Wednesday 6th December, 2006

It may be slow progress, but I’m definitely learning – I’m improving my understanding of my body day-by-day and feeling better and better as a result.

The last two days (Monday and Tuesday) I’ve done absolutely nothing – the closest I’ve come to expending energy has been throwing a sandwich together or making a cup of tea, and even that I’ve done very rarely.

I’ve been incredibly strict with myself about sitting doing nothing, or next to nothing – watching TV or reading, not even letting myself work up to a blog (sorry about that) – and I can honestly say I can feel the difference.

Granted, I’m on new antibiotics and a not-inconsequential dose of steroids to boot, which I have no doubt are pushing things along, but lack of energy expenditure is certainly playing a big part in my improvement over the last few days.

Today for the first time in 5 days I actually left the house, heading over to Oxford for a physio session and a quick once over.  For the first time since I started IVs back in November, I actually had enough blow in my lungs to check my lung-function, which didn’t come out great, but the fact that I could do it at all was a step in the right direction.

We’ve opted on another week of IVs in the hope that the improvment that’s been shown over the last 7 days continues and when I eventually finish next Friday (the 15th), I should be fit enough to get through Christmas and New Year relatively hassle-free.

I’ve very much stopped planning ahead over the last couple of weeks and have avoided arranging things that I may have to cancel, simply because it drags me down so much mentally when I do. 

Christmas is rather unavoidable though (and I wouldn’t want to avoid it, either, however much of a Scrooge I may appear from time to time) and so my best plan of attack is to make sure I’m as well as I can possibly be and that I know my body well enough (at its newest settings) to stay on top of things on the day.

The last few days have really energised me, though, and I feel a lot more positive in myself.

At home we have an old joke stemming from my Mum when we were little, whereby every time we complained of any small ache, pain or minor ailment she would eventually come back with the line, “You’re probably just tired.”

It was infuriating to everyone at the time and hilarious to us all now, but I the last few weeks and months have driven home to a large extent exactly what she meant.

When you’re tired, physically and mentally, everything becomes a stretch.  Things that wouldn’t faze you normally can become the biggest hurdles when lack of sleep or simple exhaustion gets in the way.

Having bowed my head and accepted that yes, maybe mother was right (occasionally) I find things much easier to deal with.  It helps that I’m in a well-supported environment and I know that if I need to sleep, I just take myself off and sleep and I don’t have to worry about anything else. 

Hopefully this new-found self-knowledge, when combined with my old self-discipline at staying on top of what I can and can’t do, will help me into a new period of positivity and enable me to move forward in getting some of the things I want to do done.

Even if I don’t get them done, here’s hoping that perhaps I can muster enough time, energy and inclination to actually attempt them.

Watch this space…

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