I’m tired this morning. That feeling of heaviness that makes your entire body just want to collapse and give up. It’s a tired that leeches all warmth, even when you sit in front of the fire to eat your breakfast, you’re still cold. Ten minutes of direct heat and the result, a warm front and a freezing back with nothing in between, and within seconds of moving, freezing again throughout. I didn’t sleep well last night. 4 am, when I woke desperate for a pee and feeling a pain I know all too well, that one that says somewhere in the next 12 hours, I will be moving my bowels. Why do they have to go through such an aggressive announcement period? Quite honestly, I don’t need more than a few minutes notice, just like everyone else in the world, but that would be too easy for my body. No, it has to ruin the one thing I need the most, sleep. Three and a half hours of lying in bed with only fitful sleep is enough to bring me right down the next day. Right now, despite the fact I crashed my way through the house in a desperate dash to get to the loo, once more proving that filing the top off my scab, has made it safe. Or the fact that I have had a meal and done all I can to make life right, all I want is more sleep, hours and hours of sleep. I may not run my life on a tight minute by minute routine any longer, but that doesn’t mean I can throw my day out the window, and just head back to bed. If I did, then the whole day will be a nightmare, followed by a night that wouldn’t be much better. So I do the sensible thing, I put up with the not so nice, to avoid the totally horrid.
This is the draining bit, the part of all chronic illness, that gives it, its bad name. Those days that often turn into weeks of feeling no more than half alive. I don’t write about them that much, as they are the drudgery of illness. Those parts, that none of us dwells on, as if we did, we would see no point to any of it. We brush it to one side and look for the good, even finding it and bringing out a smile for those around us. But inside, deep inside where it really matters, we are drained. To me, it is where life gets scary. It would be too easy to give in and to climb into bed and hide, in the hope that it will pass. No one out there, not even Adam, would blame me and that is even more scary. The world would allow me to wallow, in the mistaken belief that my health had reached a point where I had to stop and rest. The truth would be, that I was taking advantage of a situation and by doing so, I know that I would open myself up to feeling worse and worse. I don’t believe in this concept of fighting our health, but I do believe in not just giving in to it. Some while say, that it is a very fine line between the two, or that I am splitting hairs when I separate them, but it is an important difference. Fighting to me, implies an active aggressive act, something that I don’t have the slightest belief works. Aggression is a pointless response to anything that is bigger, stronger and more aggressive than you will ever be. It makes far more sense to stand your ground, work around it, with it and at times, even give in to it. You don’t beat a bully by becoming one yourself, any more than lying down and letting them beat the living daylights out of you, will stop them from coming back and doing it again. My body got the upper hand last night, leaving me feeling like death warmed up, but that doesn’t mean it has won, I’m still standing and I don’t intend to lie down.
Sitting feeling like a zombie isn’t a good idea either. For me, the only way that I have found that works and gets me through days like this is to keep going. It’s counter-intuitive, your tired, but you push yourself to do everything that you normally do. Even listing extra jobs, ones that don’t have to be done today, they could be put off, but by adding them to your to-do list, your plays the phycological game that illness really is. It is a constant case of outwitting it, rather than outmaneuvering it. By making life as close to normal as ever, there is just a chance, that you can jump your way out of the pit you are sitting in. I probably won’t have my shower this afternoon, but by telling myself that I will, well it means I have to keep moving, just to make the space required. If I slow down now, allow myself to just sit and stare at everything around me, or even just the screen, it won’t happen. I could be that zombie that wants to take over, I could sit here and type a few words here and there, eventually making my way to the end. Or I can kick myself up the backside and I can push those words to appear and my fingers to run, not dawdle. I usually land up somewhere in the middle, but that better than landing up still staring at my unfinished post an hour from now.
It is getting harder as time goes on, to find that inner strength to push myself. As I said the other day, my routine has been trimmed and trimmed and trimmed again. As there is a difference between the odd bad day, and a constant draining of life that doesn’t refill. You can’t push forever, that just doesn’t work any more than fighting does. Recognising which is which is hard. I found it almost impossible at first, and I probably did push for too long on occasion, but I did one thing right, I learned. Just as I told the MS nurse when he was here the other day, I know the point were outside help isn’t far away, but it’s not here yet. Neither is the point where I once more have to adjust my life again, but I have recognised from the last week, that I may need to start thinking about it. My body is screaming at me more and more that it just doesn’t want to play my games and the ones my illness is offering to it, seem like far more fun. Oddly, it is lunchtime that has reinforced those thoughts. The fact that I am not only content to stop and take a break, but happy doing it, is screaming at me. I knew that when I found myself within two weeks, mentioning it again. As you know my writing is more mental vomit, rather than thought out and considered facts. I sit here, turn the tap and brain flows out onto the page in front of me. Because I write that way, it all to often tells me things that I hadn’t either noticed or consciously considered. It threw it into my writing and has activated a train of thought that is clearly going somewhere.
I think I need more rest, not more sleep, but more rest. Time to just do, to be brainless and motionless. Time to relax. My body is forcing me to slow down in ways that I hadn’t expected. I thought that the next sign would be just like all the others, that I would go through a spell of being drained and washed out and never completing my day. That I would then like all the times before just trimming my routine and going on doing the same things as always. Suddenly, I have a need to do something different. To open up a new part to my daily life, but I don’t have the slightest idea what. I can’t spend an hour a day sitting in front of the TV eating. That would be disastrous in so many ways. My wheelchair has pushed me into making changes, ones that I wouldn’t have even considered without it. I am even finding an odd pleasure in my shorter breakfast break and my two 15 minute drug routines. I am at a loss as to what my body and mind are trying to tell me. I can’t stand just sitting around doing nothing, yet it seems to be what my body is responding to best and my brain, is trying to push me into doing. By being forced into doing things differently, I am finding physical and mental responses I never expected. I don’t have the slightest idea of where this is going, I guess time will tell.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 09/10/2015 – Searching for the simple and normal
I made the single most horrible mistake the other day after my shower, I didn’t wrap the towel around myself tightly enough and I had the misfortune of being in front of the mirror when it fell away from my body, resulting in my…..