I suppose I am a bit of a control freak. Normally I wouldn't say that about myself. Actually I would say that I'm a fairly calm person who deals with what comes, but truthfully when it comes to certain things I want full control over the outcome and the process.
That is particularly true with my health.
I feel that for the most part that I am a fairly healthy person, and I'm deeply grateful for that.
But for the past year and a half I haven't felt myself. And so I finally dragged myself into the doctor for a check-up. And after a long chat with my doctor, she helped me identify what was wrong and what we needed to address. Thankfully it is nothing life-threatening but it is something that I can't heal myself.
Here's another thing about myself: I hate taking medicine. I'd rather "wait out" a headache than take a pill. I even struggle taking vitamins (which frankly I should be taking). I have nothing against medicine. For some reason, I'm just fight taking it. I'm a "wait and see" kind of a person.
So when it was determined that medication might need to be part of the process to feel healthy again, I was not very thrilled. But recently I did a little exercise in which I created a mental list of what I am like when I'm healthy: engaged in social activities, spending time outdoors doing things, sleeping, having energy. And I wasn't checking many of those things off the list. I knew it was time to get the help I needed to feel better.
But here's the naive part. I just assumed that I would take the medicine and over time it would address my health issues, and I would begin to feel better. Little did I realize that my journey back to good health would involve a rather unexpected turn of events.
Just a few short days into taking the medicine, I became very ill. Bed-ridden, counting the minutes, non-stop praying for relief sick. It scared me. And the symptoms continued for days. My sweet husband on one particularly bad day where I could barely talk I was so ill made the call into my doctor to see what she could do for me. But she assured him that this is often a part of this medicine's process, and that with time the symptoms would abate and I would reach that healthy state we were aiming for.
I wasn't prepared. My schedule was full of work commitments, church commitments, being a mother, being a wife, and so much more. The anxiety of my list made me even more sick. I couldn't stay asleep for more than 20 minutes and would wake with such panic at either being ill or knowing I had something on my plate and I couldn't stop worrying about what the next minute would bring.
I became exhausted. I couldn't eat. I began losing weight. I lost energy.
Every once in a while, I am starting to feel more like myself. But here's where the control freak in me comes out. The moment I feel the symptoms pass, I charge right back in full speed. And then I pay for it. Recently I tried to run an errand after having nothing to eat for 18 hours. I was purposely trying to keep my stomach empty to combat the symptoms until I could be back at home again and "be sick." But as I sat waiting at my errand, I felt myself slipping into a faint.
I'm a professional at fainting. I have low blood pressure and am easily susceptible to fainting. And I don't just faint. The minute I come to I am beyond ill and it typically lasts for a full 24 hours. So I recognize it. I avoid it. And I try to manage it as much as possible. I had to leave. I sat in my car until the symptoms passed. And then I came home exhausted.
Clearly I have no idea how to take the necessary time for my body to heal and get better. I'm not a patient patient. But I'm working on it. So I'm going to take the 4-6 weeks my doctor warned me it would take to feel like myself again and really try to cut back and rest. I'm emptying my plate of extra things. I'm not charging ahead even when I do have good days. I'll just happily accept that it's a good day and do what I can but nothing extra.
I forget sometimes to take care of myself. It's ok to say "Hey, I need some help." It's good that I sought out my doctor and am taking charge of feeling better again. It's ok that I need some time to do that. And I'm telling myself this more than anyone. I am NOT weak. I am human. And while I have so many things I'd much rather be doing right now than being sick, it is what it is and I must accept that.
Thank you for your patience, prayers, kind words of support as I work through this. I know it will be worth it when I am feeling well again. I am worth it. We're all worth the time it takes to be as healthy as we can be.
I will continue to post as I feel well and hopefully within the next few weeks I will feel well enough to do all the things I love to do--including being creative.