breaking the cycle
I sat with everything I needed on Saturday afternoon, ready for physical therapy. My pain was climbing, so I knew I needed to increase blood flow to bring it down. But I was so fatigued. I did a few exercises, yet quickly abandoned my intention.
That night I lay in bed, muscles twitching and joints aching. This feels a lot like I used to feel before Silver Hill, I thought, defeated. Realizing that was particularly unhelpful and wanting to satisfy my need to assign reason to everything, I went through the day’s events before my failed attempt at physical therapy:
- Went out for coffee
- Went to the dog park
- Read and did housework
- Went to a charity event
Maybe standing around at the charity event was too much? Maybe I should have skipped the dog park and stayed closer to home? Actually, those were probably good things for me to do. Get up, get moving, and spend a couple of hours upright instead of horizontal. I examined my behaviors more closely:
- Went out for coffee [I didn’t drink the clean, mold-free coffee I have at home]
- Went to the dog park [Sat on a bench and spoke with someone for a while in a position I knew wasn’t good for me because I didn’t want to stand up and appear rude / awkward]
- Relaxed with a book and did housework [This was probably okay]
- Went to a charity event [Allowed myself to eat gluten and sugar because I was “having fun”]
No wonder that by the time I made it to physical therapy I was completely wiped. At this point, I was further into my pain cycle that I cared to admit, and the result was that I didn’t have the energy to complete my most important task of the day.
I decided then that I would do everything right the following day. I kept this promise but continued to pay for my Saturday throughout the week. I was able to fully complete my physical therapy only one time in the following three days; the other sessions were cut short. Additionally, it took me half the week to bring my sugar craving back down.
Sometimes we go through periods when new symptoms and / or illnesses pop up relentlessly. Perhaps this brings us to the decision that this is simply how things are for us, that we’re unlucky. We get into these cycles when you can no longer separate the original symptoms from ones that are medication side effects or secondary to the root of the issue. If we get too far into the cycle it can feel impossible, and maybe even useless, to pull ourselves out.
But, with each little change in my behavior. attitude, diet, et cetera I shift course. It’s usually just the slightest bit, but it’s enough that I look up a month later and notice something has changed. I don’t think I will ever be able to abandon the cycle completely, as some things are simply outside of our control, but each day I’m going to fight it a bit more than I did the day before…just in case I’m wrong.