Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Learning to deal

I have been royally spoiled all my life. I (touch wood) have rarely been seriously ill with anything. I've never spent time in a hospital room except when Cody was born. I am one of those 'lucky' people.

I remember around Christmas time, I heard alot of others were feeling sick. Some I knew had major health issues. And I was busy renoing my house, thinking, how on earth would I be able to do what I do if I had those kinds of issues?!? I simply don't know how some cope day to day! I distinctly remember feeling so very grateful I didn't have to find out, as well as empathy for those that had troubles day to day.

And then it hit. I woke up one morning and couldn't get out of bed. The room spun. I laid down because I didn't know what was wrong. And my neck roared with fire. Huh?!?

I was in a rut like this for nearly a week. Luckily my work was blessed with being on the slow side that week so I was able to sidestep alot of stuff. I promptly made an appointment during that time with my physiotherapist AND doctor to attempt to figure out what this was.

Between umpteen visits here and there pushing aside work projects on a regular basis, between bursts of impatience at everything just because I felt lousy, between frustrated moments where I didn't understand why no one including myself could actually FIND anything wrong in obvious tests done, I started to learn how to deal with an inflicted REAL illness for the first time in my life.

It's now exactly 4 months later and I still have/get it.

The sensation I get is, it's like the entire house is unlevel. I remember feeling a modified version of this when my trailer at the lake was unlevel. I felt a need to grab the edges of things just to gain proper composure. And I was relentless about fiddling with the trailer until it was right, because I couldn't function with unlevel. It was unnerving.

And now I get to live in an unlevel world. Every day.

(I also learned through spellcheck that unlevel isn't a word. Hmm... levelless? Ah forget it. I know you know what I mean)

Unlevel is the way to best describe this. Dizzy comes from unlevel. Loss of balance comes from it too. Generally, all three symptoms are at the same time. Like now. I feel like my head is about to bam on my keyboard.

I have no other symptoms. Just THIS, whatever it is.

Vertigo some call it. But vertigo is a SYMPTOM of something that's gone wrong.

It could be attributed to my neck/back issues. Physio says no.

It could result from a head injury. Your balance mechanism shakes up and may take months to settle down again where one day, you just wake up and all is well. When I was renoing, I hit my head but good on a lower wall partition. The next day I woke up with this. So maybe. BUT I'm well past the time it takes for this thing to pass if that was the case. A few weeks is typical. A few months is not.

All I know is, the more I do, the worse it gets. I've been avidly gardening lately and wake up worse each AM. If I sit still for a day (egads, who can do that?!?), the dizzy diminishes somewhat. I've had about 5 'better' days since Christmas. Most are filled with dizzy because my lifestyle keeps me so active.

You can tell when I'm having an off day by looking around my house. I gasp when the fog clears abit some days. Nests everywhere because I've been too dizzy to put things back. Plunk and move on.

Cody now pretty much knows the drill. If I come across abit grumpy, he says, "Mom, I know you're not feeling good again. But don't get mad, ok?" Meltmeltmeltmeltmelt.... this boy is way more grown up than I give him credit for.

My doctor warned I'd have good and bad days. And she's right. Trouble is, I don't know what tomorrow will bring. But generally, I don't allow this whatever it is to stop me. I have to work. I have to do this and that. I have to feed my boy. I have to keep going.

I finally know what it's like to deal with a real issue. And I am learning to deal.

Going outside seems to help but can be a curse in disguise. When the walls are pushed well away from me which is what outside offers, I tend to feel better and do more. And guess where that gets me. I need to learn how to go outside, park myself and read or something. That's hard to do when it's gardening season and the sun is out and it's not quite all that warm to stay still.

I also believe all things are for a reason. Perhaps I didn't have enough empathy for those that are afflicted with an illness. Perhaps I needed this lesson to become a better person. (there's always certainly room for that one!) Perhaps I'm being tested as to how I reach out for help with this one, in a faithful manner.

I read somewhere we are all given this level of happiness. When something afflicts us, our happiness level decreases momentarily, but after we learn how to cope with said illness, our level rises once again. So how am I coping?

For the most part, I have sooooo much to be happy for, so most days, even when having a bad one, I have the inner strength to appreciate all the good things in my life. But yeah, on certain days, I wear a little thin, more so from impatience than anything else. I don't really like hitting my shoulder against a wall when I walk by a doorway or grabbing for things to stable myself. Who would?

So, I allow some days to be good and some to be not so good. I am allowing myself to learn how to carry on despite a spinning world around me. Nothing has changed. I won't allow it. I WANT to live a full and productive life, and be there for Cody like I always have. But I also have to learn how to modify what I can do on a more so troublesome kind of day.

I use to blog alot. My laptop died for 2 weeks. But now that it's up and running, I haven't gotten full throttle into it yet. I'm just having a challenging week is all. This too shall pass and I'll feel better again. I'm just waiting patiently for my 'better' day.

I truly believe we are given challenges so we can learn more about life. I use to take good health for granted. I use to get up and feel bright and alert and had the energy to GOGOGO.

So I'm here to tell those of you with good health, take care of it. Appreciate it and enjoy it daily. I want you to wake up each and every morning and give thanks to the Big Guy that's offering you ultimate health and do something productive and meaningful with it.

Go for those walks, eat right, play with those that matter, work passionately but know when to turn it off, and perhaps say a prayer or 3 for those that don't have it as good as you do right now.

And those of you afflicted with a health issue, start doing your homework, people! Don't lie still and will it away hoping meds will cure all. Investigate. Try new things. Don't allow someone to tell you no it can't be done. Persevere! Pray! Continue on with life as best as you can. Learn to live with your limitations, rather than having your limitations rule you.

You. Can. Do. This. One moment at a time.

You don't have to, but those of you that are reading this, if you have an infliction of something and you leave a comment, (alert me if you'd prefer me to NOT publish your comment and I won't) I'll put in a good word to the Big Guy upstairs for you. Because I want you to have a supreme day despite the odds.

So, let's go! Let's enjoy the day despite what we are dealing with. Because, it's time to learn how to deal in order to move on and punch through this thing.

Now go have yourself a wonderful day. I'm certainly going to. Hey, walls are all around me to grab for balance. That can't be a bad thing.

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