Friday, February 13, 2015

Rain, Rainbows, and Rough Patches

Sorry for the radio silence the last few weeks. It's been an interesting ride. I’ve hit a brutal rough patch that I’m trying to claw my way out of. I’ve spent most of my conscious hours in bed, staring at the ceiling as my brain wanders. I start debating important philosophical questions like whether the magic in Harry Potter is genetically imbued or a force the characters wield. Or I lie there and transpose songs in my head. That's been the limit of my productivity.

Last week’s stress was an ongoing family situation that became more than I physically could tolerate. My body has become a delicate flower so any form of stress completely shuts me down physically. I needed to go to the ER mid-week, but like always, I didn’t go. It would have made a complicated situation more complicated. So I continued to lie in bed, use my canned oxygen, and listen to the birds chirp outside of my window. I finally prepared a folder for ER trips (test results, list of meds and diagnoses, doctor contact list, etc). Going to the ER with POTS or other complicated, rare illnesses is such a gamble and can be a huge waste of time. But I feel at least relieved that when I do need to go next time, I’ll roll in there totally prepared

I ultimately decided to step away from this family situation. It was making me physically worse and worse, and I knew the only way I could regain my strength was to take some time off. You can’t help others if you can’t help yourself and this is the reality of illness sometimes. It was the right choice.

Just when I thought I could get back on track, get back to exercising, and get back to trying to stick to my routine and goals, I got sick. I was really afraid of getting sick before I saw a pulmonologist since I’m having a hard time breathing even on my best days, but I’m getting through it.

I have big dreams that next week will see some improvement. 2015 is supposed to be my year so I’m just going to pretend it hasn’t started yet. Maybe by the end of February or March. There’s pressure internally and externally to maintain a positive attitude in the face of great obstacles. That pressure can be destructive (something I want to discuss at length another time), and I say this not just because I'm a die-hard pessimist. It’s difficult to keep a firm hold on positive thinking when you’re lying on your bathroom floor or can’t get out of bed every day for two weeks.

I keep a tenuous relationship with hope and optimism, but I do have unrelenting faith.  I'm not sure it's realistic to say that we should always hold onto optimism, especially during rough patches, but there's nothing wrong with having faith in a better tomorrow. I know that I’ll get back to being just couch-bound and less bed-ridden, I’ll get back to 7 minutes on my stationary bike, to walking outside with my trekking poles, to playing my keyboard.

We’re having the worst drought on record here in California, yet last week we had a good rainstorm. I didn’t get to see any rainbows, but my husband told me about the ones he saw. I’ll take it. It was a cleansing rain. We’re having record-high temperatures now, so we’re on the threshold of Spring. My daffodils have almost bloomed, the birds are returning to my yard, and it’s warm enough to sit outside in my yard again. Life is blooming all around me and I’m ready to bloom with it.

After the thunder and rain, life breaks free and takes form. There's a hope of renewal and faith that tomorrow can still be full of promise and surprise.
I got it together enough to leave my bed and sit outside in my yard today briefly and enjoy some tea, salt, and sunshine. So much win

I hope you are enjoying good days and the coming of Spring :)

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