Friday, December 21, 2007

Listen To Your Body

More than anyone else, that's directed toward me. I'm struggling with being sick. I really hate it. After reading this post from little light, I realized it's probably because I feel so vulnerable and powerless. Guilty, too. I have a wonderful partner. We've been together for 11 years and we have a 4-year-old daughter (Ms Thang) together. Whenever I get sick it all falls on his shoulders - cleaning, figuring out and making dinner and taking care of Ms Thang (tending to her thousands of requests per hour, helping her clean up after half her dinner ends up on the floor and the bath). Now, for a normal cold, I'm completely out of commission for about a day, 50% for another day or two, 75% for another day or two and then I'm ok. During those days, I'm home for some or part of the day and will do light housework so things don't get too overwhelming for him (yes, I occasionally do too much for others - I'll yap about that some other time). As I write this, I'm realizing that I'm also dealing with side effects from last night's cold medicine - I'm really out of it and my forearms and hands feel like they have more energy stored in them then I can possibly use (the latter is called akathesia and is extremely uncomfortable). So, I have that going for me, too.

Obviously, if I'm writing about it, this has proven not to be a normal cold. Well, it started that way at the beginning of December. Then I got better. For a while. Then I got sick again, got a sinus infection and took antibiotics to get rid of it. I think I'm actually on round three by now and, though I didn't get a sinus infection, this time it's moved into my lungs, which is highly unusual and somewhat troubling. My doc, a naturopath, gave me a bunch of stuff that prevented the sinus infection that has become standard and now I'm on the second round of stuff from her that is supposed to help me kick this completely. I really prefer this approach to something like antibiotics, but it gets really expensive. I've spent over $100 on various herbal and homeopathic supports (vs. $5 for a prescription of azithromycin), which I really believe in after having very good experiences using them to help my body heal itself (this doc has never steered me wrong and I trust her completely - her solutions usually have much more long-term effects and go farther to solve the actual problem), but $100 in the week before Christmas hurts a little financially.

I'm also pissed because I feel like I'm being denied the Christmas experience. I'm not religious, but I freaking love Christmas. I decorate my house, Mr Bitch puts lights up outside, I'm a freak about Christmas music and I love wrapping presents. I'm way behind on my shopping, I haven't bought any new Christmas music and I haven't wrapped a single present and I hate it. I'm also planning to have a bunch of people over Christmas Eve and now there's a chance it won't happen and that makes me feel really sad. Not just because I've been really isolated since being sick, but because having a too-small house full of people eating, talking, laughing and listening to music is one of the most fun things I can do. It's a lot of work, so I usually only do it a couple times a year, but this year I may not get to. I'm not good at patience.

I feel like I'm whining, so I think I need to move on. I can say that I do have a pretty good idea of why I keep getting sick, which means there's something I can do about it. That always makes me feel better. It's a long-term solution that requires a lot of investment at the front end and there are also some food issues wrapped up in it. I've been insulin resistant for years and it's apparently entwined with polycystic ovarian syndrome (which is a whole other can of worms that I'm not interested in dissecting today and probably won't in this forum, anyway). The solution is very simple - keep my blood sugar within normal limits. When I do this, my immune system is rock solid, when I don't I start getting sick a lot. Hmmmm, interesting. The funny thing is that before I started getting sick this year I was starting to exercise again and adjusting my diet (not going on a diet, but making long-term changes) to start getting my health under control again. Too little, too late, I suppose (for this round, though not in general).

I'm really trying to take each day in stride, but that's so damn hard for me. I generally have a lot of energy and schedule my days in a way that usually requires a good amount of energy and I resent having to power down for a while. The vulnerability piece is there, too, but I think that's too deeply rooted to allow for more focused examination.

I think I may have the motivation to get back on the horse, though. Message received.