Recovery Mode

Reblogged from October 22, 2011: an ongoing issue for me in my new normal…

CRASH AND BURN

It has been a very busy week for me and I’m grateful I was able to do everything I did, but… now I’m going through the crash and burn phase—what I call my payback days. Living with multiple chronic illnesses is no picnic. It’s very discouraging to look around the house and see everything that needs doing but only being able to do the minimum to keep up. I try hard not to think back on how much I used to be able to do, seemingly simple things like cleaning my whole house in one morning.

Those days are long gone.

Now I can only do one thing, such as dusting one room, and then have to stop and rest for awhile before doing anything else. And quite often, dusting that one room is the only task I am able to accomplish that day.

Take something as enjoyable as having company. Rick and I have friends over for coffee on Thursday mornings, and I love my time with these close friends whom we call “family.” But when everyone leaves, I suddenly realize I am wiped out! If the migraine I woke up with hasn’t completely left me, then it feels horrible by that point because of all the talking and laughing during that sweet fellowship. I wonder if that’s what the phrase “hurts so good” means—well, maybe not.

To this “get it all done now” turned “maybe tomorrow” person, it has been a slow process. From denial to frustration to understanding and finally to acceptance, this journey has not been easy. However, I’ve learned some things that work for me:

  1. Accept what you can do and don’t worry about the rest — it will eventually get done.
  2. Make yourself rest often, even if you don’t think you need it at the time. If you’re like me, your mind wants you to keep on going (like that Energizer bunny) even when your body tells you to stop.
  3. Enlist help from your spouse and children for tasks that are too difficult or time-consuming for your energy levels.
  4. Find things to do that you enjoy but won’t add to your pain burden. I can still write, something that fills me with joy, but I’ve learned I have to pace myself  because I could easily go on for hours! I have also discovered how much I enjoy crocheting, especially for others. This keeps me busy, makes me feel productive, and moves the focus from me and my pain to whomever I’m crocheting for at the time. And I have always loved to read and lose myself in a good book.
  5. Be thankful for what you are still able to do, even if it is something as simple as making coffee.

Every so often when I do get out with Rick for coffee or a meal out or to get together with friends, someone will ask how I’m doing that day. My response? “I’m here!” I think that short and sweet statement says it all.

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About Anna Popescu

I live in northern Arizona with my husband, Rick. I am blessed to say that Rick and I are at the bottom corners of a triangle where Jesus sits at the top corner. My children, Kathy & Alan, live in the Phoenix area and make this mom's heart thankful they have grown to be such wonderful and caring adults. Alan married in 2010, so I am also blessed with Denise as a special daughter-in-love. The Lord took my Mom home in 2007, and I miss her. My Dad and two sisters live in Florida while my two other sisters live in the Northeast. God has also blessed me and Rick with a local family of very close-knit friends. I love to write when I am able, but on the days when I am struggling with health issues and can't manage much of anything, I can at least crochet. These days I mainly crochet lapghans of various colors and sizes for area rehab centers and nursing homes.

Posted on September 4, 2012, in Chronic Illness, recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I can realate. I have health issues that no one can seem to diagnose. It’s awful. I’m allergic to everything and get low BP, feel ‘weird’, pressure in my head, dizzy, light headed, I swell up in my face and mouth…had all sorts of tests only to hear, “Nothing is wrong with you.” I’ve been allergy tested, hoping they’d say, “It’s all in your head!” But it wasn’t. I feel bad most every day and have no clue why. It is very frightening when I have a bad attack of the “Whattever” and don’t know what to do. I will feel my heart beating in my head and everything. The worst part about it, is there’s real no way to describe it…you just feel weird…as if you’re dying or something. I pray for healing from this mystery illness, or that the Lord will show me what it is…something… nine years I’ve had this problem, and it’s only gotten worse. All started when I lived in a place with mold. I feel for you…we’ll pray for each other…God has His time, His reasons why He allows things…we don’t always understand, but He does. God bless you.

    • Lyn, I’m sorry to hear you’re going through such health problems but totally understand. I may have a diagnosis for each of my illnesses but because I “look good,” people often don’t believe I could feel as bad as I claim to.

      Yes, I will definitely pray for you. As I have learned only too well — and it sounds like you have too — God doesn’t always want us to understand things, only trust in His faithfulness to be our All in All during these times.

      Blessings to you!
      ~Anna

      • Same here…my doctor thinks I look like the picture of health. When I tell people how bad I really feel, they can’t believe it because I exercise and eat right, so I am fit.

  2. Love this, Anna – especially the part about rest. We run on all cylinders and never give our bodies a chance to restore themselves. God knew what He was doing when He created the Sabbath!

    • Yes, He did, Susan! For me, it’s now a matter of choosing which of a couple of light household tasks I can do each day without my body rebelling. Some days that means I can do nothing…That’s been a huge change for a person who used to be able to clean a large 4-bedroom house in 1/2 day, after working between 50-60 hours/week.

      But that is in the past and the Lord has enabled me to accept — even though I don’t completely understand — my “new normal.”

      I have learned to rely on 2 Cor 12:9:
      “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

      AMEN!

  3. I am slowing down, but not through health issues. I think I’m just getting old – and the hot weather is on the way back, even I don’t think we’ve had any winter. Others do but I’ve worn summer dresses all the way through, so the thought of summer . . . well, I think it is time to move to the south pole!

    • Summer heat and humidity is my nemesis, too, as well as the racket of the cicadas which is like fingernails on a chalk board x 1000 to me! However, I remind myself that cooler weather will be here soon, and I cling to that. I don’t think the South Pole is the answer for me, though, since I don’t really like it to be THAT cold! ;-)

  4. Anna As I read crash and burn without looking at anything else I knew you were talking about FMS! I have had it since age 8, and it has wreaked untold havoc on my entire life. You talk a bit about pain, I have begun to refer to something all fm-ers know but few speak of that is being ‘Pain drunk’ being in such pain throughout the body that the mind is buzzed and there you sit in some sort of drunken zone, where you can’t or don’t dare move. This year has been the worst ever for me, but the bright side which feels like terror is the treatment I am taking helps, and is bringing out some Trauma Issues I didn’t know I had through all those years. I would like to share some Links, If you don’t sleep get ready to, because this first one will change everything, It did for me. its called unusonic accention
    please dont let the name bother you its sound and God owns every tone doesn’t He?

    Grace love hope and Peace in Jesus Christ.

    HU

    • Steven, thanks for sharing this with me. I used to have terrible problems sleeping but I have found that the generic version of Unisom works fantastically for me. I bookmarked the link to the unusonic accention on youtube for future possible use.

      The “pain drunk” you talk about is something that is part of me almost all the time. My ears have a buzzing to them, especially my left ear, and sometimes that buzz turns into a loud clicking sound.

      Oh, the “joys” of FMS! If not for the hope and faith AND joy in my Savior, I do not know how I’d get through any of this!

      Blessings,
      ~Anna

      • Hi Anna This is Hubert Rondeau from Sharpword, It was me who sent you the link for Binaural beats, I am still trying to find how to add my name to my blog as people don’t know who I am it seems. I would just like to encourage you to try the Link I love it, but you’ll need to wear headphones
        :) God bless your day. Hubert

        • Oops, sorry Hubert! I did listen to about 2 minutes of the binaural beats using headphones the other day, but that was during the day when I didn’t want to go to sleep so I decided I’d better stop listening! I’ll try it again in the next few days when I need a nap.

          Thanks again for sharing this with me.

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