Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Pacing and denial

We are still learning how to pace ourselves. My daughter and I. I've been chronically ill for ten years and it's still something I struggle with. I've learned that pacing, or the lack of pacing, has an element of denial to it. At least that's how it seems to be with me, and Elizabeth, too. I see the denial more so in Elizabeth. She's young, a college student who works part-time and it's easy for her to be in denial of her illnesses. It's especially so when she (or any of us, really) is having a good day, or several good days. The other day, I made the mistake of telling her she needed to slow down. That she was doing too much. She said she wasn't sick. That she didn't want to be sick. It got me to thinking about how I was treating her. I don't want to overdo the advice on living with chronic illness, but I've lived through it. I know how the crashes can come if we aren't careful. I know that they can come even when we are careful. I decided to step back. She'll figure it out as I did. Really, that's probably the best way to learn something. I don't have it all figured out. But, I think there's a certain amount of  "giving in"  after living with a chronic illness for so long. You realize you only have so much control over the illness. It's made more complicated when you are dealing with multiple illnesses as we both are.

So, today I'm the perfect example of someone who hasn't been pacing herself. I'm in bed because I've been doing way too much. Over the weekend, we had company, so there was the cooking and cleaning and cleaning up afterwards that went with that. Plus, the having to be up and about to mingle with the guests. That really should have been enough for me for the weekend. But, I went shopping several times. Also, Tim and I went down to the river for a walk. So, it was a pretty busy weekend. I wanted to be "normal". I didn't want to think about being sick. But, as usual, my illness has the upper hand. If I don't acknowledge it, it will roar to life getting my attention how it knows best. Weakness and pain. And, I've had some vertigo, too. A trifecta! The type A personality in me still has to be doing something useful when I'm resting. I've been paying bills, returning emails, writing this blog, etc... It's really not a bad use of my time, but I'm trying to learn to just close my eyes and rest. And, do nothing. That's so, so hard for me. 

Here's a link to an article I found on pacing in chronic illness. It's written for those who have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but the tips would apply to any illness, really.

It's time to scare up some lunch. Then, back to bed. Things could always be worse. 

Have a great day and don't forget to pace yourself. 

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