Monday, October 1, 2012

The pain of doing vs. the pain of NOT doing


I wish it weren't true - but I can't act like it isn't: I had swollen fingers and joint pain in my hands this past week, plus a wave of  fatigue that couldn't be ignored. Bummer! It really should come as no surprise, given all of the action items I have planned for the next few weeks. You can read about my Fall schedule here - keeping in mind that I've already slashed several events from this agenda in order to get several weekends off. But, despite my efforts to manage life with a chronic illness, sometimes, lupus activity can't be sidestepped completely. And such is the case this time.

That said, when disease activity strikes, I find I have two choices: push through it and act like it's not there (which is a very bad strategy), or take a few days off to recover, and then ease back into a normal, yet scaled back routine. And because I know those of you who read this blog expect only the best from me, I'm doing the latter. (Truth is, I expect the best of myself in these matters...but it always helps to know that there are a slew of readers that I'm going to have to answer to if I don't choose wisely. Two of whom are my mom and sister. Yikes!)

So last week was a very slow and restful week here at Gorman/Pillbags/Despite Lupus Headquarters. In fact, the day I woke up with the swelling and pain, I had three major things to accomplish: laundry, switching out the girls' summer clothes for fall clothes, and packing up the remainder of the kitchen. And as much as I hated to see the day come and go without touching any of them, that's what I did.

It was agonizing to know that the day before, when I was symptom-free, I would have had two of the three accomplished before noon, with the third being tackled soon after that. I hated to think about the 40 or so boxes I had scored over the weekend from a neighbor going to waste. It killed me to picture Deirdre going to school in yet another summery frock. And the thought of just letting the laundry sit in the dryer, getting so wrinkled, some things would have to be re-dried, was horrifying. But I didn't touch a thing. And it was a good decision.

The next day I felt better, but still not great. By the third day, I could see major improvement, and by the fourth, I was in the clear and symptom-free. Thank goodness! I'll be sure to share all the gory details of my symptoms later in the week. But for now, I'll leave you with the image of me sitting back, twiddling my thumbs, as I waited for lupus to run its course. I gave her no ammunition along the way - I gave her no cause to rage longer than necessary. Instead - I did everything to force her to disengage, letting the emotional pain of NOT doing roll right off my back. And thus, my physical pain subsided accordingly. Let's hope I learn not to tempt fate again!

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