Thursday, April 14, 2016

Up Down Up Down...Down...Down...Looking UP

Since my IV steroid treatments it's been up and down. Until today. Now, I will say it now, today isn't over with yet, so there's still time for it to go back up. But it's the first day since the first treatment that I have woken up really exhausted. It's never a good sign to wake up tired.

Most days since that first treatment I have at least started the day feeling clear mind. Energetic. Able to drive and know where I'm going. Able to talk without having to really think about my words. I don't think I've gone a full day feeling like that, but at least a portion of the day has been like that for me. There usually comes a time when I crash a little (or a lot) but after a nap I wake up feeling ready to go again. That didn't happen today. I took a two hour nap and woke up just as tired as I was when I first got out of bed this morning.

My original plan was to swim this morning and then hang out with a friend for a bit before coming home to do some meal prep and work. I did go to the pool (to meet with an athlete) but I ended up deciding against the swim. My thought was the swim wasn't worth it if it meant I'd have to take a two or three hour nap for recovery. But as it is I took that nap anyway just to function.

Let me just say, this SUCKS.

I have to remind myself. I'm not dying of cancer. I'm not paralyzed. I'm not losing my mind...oh, wait, I kind of am doing that.

I can't describe to you how this feels. I almost think having a name for it and knowing the process that is going on actually makes it worse. It feels like I am giving into how I feel a little more than I was before I knew.

In my mind this is like having your eyesight or hearing go bad a little bit. At first you start to notice things aren't as crisp and clear. You strain to see/hear and you fight it. "I am not losing my vision/hearing!" "I do NOT need glasses/hearing aides!!" You work extra hard to see/hear and it's EXHAUSTING...and it doesn't work. You don't see/hear better just because you are trying harder to MAKE that happen. So you "give in" and get glasses/hearing aides. (I) feel like a FAILURE because I couldn't make that happen. I gave in. I didn't fight harder. I didn't try harder.

That is NOT kind and it's not true. I would never tell anyone else they were a failure for getting glasses/hearing aides, or for taking a nap when they are exhausted. Why would I feel like I am different? Why would I feel like I am a failure because I want to take a nap, or do something to stop my mind from feeling the way it does?

Here's the thing...I know, without a doubt, I have felt better at times the last ten days. If you have a high fever it feels different. If you break a bone, it feels different. But in those cases there is something tangible to point to. You have a thermometer or an x-ray that confirms you aren't crazy.

This is my mind we are talking about. My demeanor. My mood. My thoughts. And I KNOW there are people who will say it's hormones, or who will blame how I'm feeling on the fact I'm not eating bread. No...I live in this body and I can tell you that is not it. But I can't show you.

I say it all the time, you can't control what happens to you, but you can control what happens in your mind-how you think and your attitude toward your circumstance. Giving in is not who I am. I am a fighter. I am a warrior. I don't give in. I do ALL I can to do ALL I can.

Yes, I believe it's necessary to surrender to God's plan because I do believe there is a Master plan at work here. (I'm aware not everyone believes that, and I'm not trying to push what I believe off on anyone else...this is just about me and what I believe.) I believe God is trying to teach me something about myself or about Him.

I used to be a quitter. When things got hard, I would give in. When I was faced with a temptation, I would give in. When I was expected to behave a certain way to be loved, I gave in. When people pushed me to believe the way they believed, I gave in. I think this is about really listening to and HONORING my body, being KIND to my body. I needed a nap today so I took a nap.

I used to be AM impatient. I want things to be the way I want them NOW. I think this is about me learning how to breathe in and breathe out and know that "recovery is coming" even if I don't know when.  ((Side note, I sometimes do this thing in Spin class where I don't tell the class when recover is coming. Most of the time I do let them know, but sometimes I don't just to see if they will keep pushing even not knowing what is going to happen next.))

I used to hate highly dislike making final decisions, mainly because I don't like to be wrong! I like there to be options. Making a decision to go one direction necessarily rules out the other direction. Sure, you can go back, but you've wasted time. I want to make the right decision from the get-go. Saying "well, let's try this and see what happens" makes my skin crawl. I like to be right from the start.

All of these reasons are the very reasons I started training for a marathon 6 years ago and how I ended up training for/completing endurance distance events (IM and 50K). I really am NOT a quitter anymore. But I am still impatient and it's still my nature to defer to someone else to make final decisions, even if I'm not sure they are exactly right.

Recovery is coming but decisions do have to be made about treatment direction and how to handle day-to-day "operations". I'm learning to be kind to myself through all of this.

That doesn't suck.

This has more meaning that you probably even know.

Thanks for stopping in.

1 comment:

  1. Dana, Sometimes these side roads or times for us to 'trail blaze' take us through icky thickets ridiculous muddy pastures, frightful vertical climbs and foggy passages of sailing. You are NEVER alone and our lives are merely master pieces of poetry in motion. You gotta do the downward swing to really appreciate the upward soaring ! I merely reach out to you as my recovery from TBI due to my car accident has forced me down a scary path. I have hit bottom, bounced, (cursed), cried and continue to fight hard to reach beyond. I accept that I will not be able to do my first half marathon (I ruined my knee the week before my accident)- but there are so many other peaks to climb. I am looking at this challenge= as you do- We praise GOD for all the amazing blessings and many victories over darkness in the past... It's just difficult sometimes when you don't recognize the you - you see in the mirror. I still see you - the beautiful light, radiant heart and incredible spirit that God graced us to know. Just love you as we do and let this storm pass .... it most certainly will. HUGS !!! C (your fellow life passenger on this journey- and big cheerleader of yours!)


Don't hold back, tell it like it is....