It is okay for us to take a “time out”…..to take a nap (or two or four)! It is okay to curl up under a blanket and let some dishes sit in the sink. It is okay to let someone else empty the dishwasher. It is okay to stay at home for a weekend…..to just “hang out” and do “nothing”….except maybe walk down the hall and enjoy a nice long hot bath!
I know it is difficult to acknowledge how sick we are when dealing with chronic illness / chronic pain conditions. We may look “well” on the outside; however, our insides are screaming anything but!!!! Yet, it is hard for us to admit to ourselves how sick we truly are.
This was my struggle last week. I finally allowed myself to “be sick”….well….truly it was my hubby that helped empower me!
It was a long week…..even though I am only working 5 hour days….and carefully pacing myself. There were outside activities that I needed to attend to……I had promised our son that I would watch his Karate class since I have not been able to attend…..then another day was a 45 minute wait at the DMV to obtain my permanent Handicap Parking Pemit…….then another day was our son’s doctor appointment (check up, immunizations)……
Needless to say….by Thursday, I was completely, totally overwhelmed with fatigue and all possible symptoms…..(keep in mind I am also coming off the pain med portion that my body did not tolerate). Once home, I looked at my husband and said “and we are suppose to go to Mass tonight for Holy Thursday”. He just looked at me….and with a kind, firm voice said “No…you are not going anywhere”.
I was filled with relief…..put on my comfy jammies and climbed under my heated blanket on the couch. I could barely move….used ice packs…..hubby rented a movie to help distract. I did not sleep well that night because I felt so badly! Every joint…..every muscle……hurt….ached….and burned!
I apologized to our son……his response? “Mom, it is more important for you to take care of you right now! We have many Easters ahead of us!” Wow!!
So through their overwhelming support, I found the strength to allow myself to feel….to listen….to my body. To just rest….take naps….sleep….soak in a hot tub…….
My body is still unhappy….however, it is calmer…..it is a tolerable “scream” vs the “horrific yelling”!
Tomorrow will be a return to reality. I will have to go to work…..I will, however, be more attentive to me. I will make sure that I carve out time for my naps. I will take short walks ONLY if I am truly feeling strong enough. There will be time for exercise once I am able to maintain a level of pain.
I know it will be my permanent companion……however, I know that I will develop a better relationship with “pain”…..I will be able to have some level of activity while dealing with my “aches, pain, and burning”.