Recently I was going through past Facebook photos trying to find a particular photo of my oldest granddaughters cooking, and I discovered that I haven’t created appropriate folders for ANY of my pictures…
Needless to say, after going through about a THOUSAND photo’s I finally found the one I was looking for. Yay me! So, heads up to any of you out there who are obviously “unorganized Facebook users” like me, you may want to go through your photos and start getting them organized. Currently I think that it would take me 10 years to get mine in proper order. So, guess what? It’s not going to happen! Who has time for that? Not me. I’ve learned with chronic illness to prioritize my activities, and I have way too many things that I want to do.
Especially for Lupus patients… “We only have so many Spoons!” And for those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about you may want to visit: https://butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/ especially if you have a loved one who is suffering from this stupid disease.
I also noticed something else from going through endless photos… In the last two years I’ve gained an immense amount of weight!
Thank you Lupus.
Thank you menopause.
Thank you inactivity from pain.
Thank you age.
It doesn’t help that I also live 98% of my time in my PJ’s. Why? Because usually I’m too sick to give a rip. I actually thought about wearing them to the grocery store yesterday out of mere exhaustion from chemo. But then I realized I haven’t worn my PJ pants out in public since I was a freshman in college. (Those early classes about killed me… even with coffee in hand). Plus, I was such a cutie I could get away with it. JK, I’m not that vain.
So, my blog topic for tonight is about crying. Which happened to me two weeks ago when I was talking to my Dr. about my healthy lifestyle; or the non-existence of my healthy lifestyle… and lets just say that exercise came up in our conversation. Actually a lot of things came up… but at the moment I’m thinking about my exercise dilemma.
I’ve been pondering this myself, and have concluded that there are three different types of exerciser’s:
- Exercise fanatics, or those who are consistent in their workouts.
- People who say they exercise but secretly know that their longest walks are to their bathroom.
- Foodies, who’s only exercise is cooking and inserting food to mouth.
Lately I’ve been the latter. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been a foodie… but I was very consistent with exercise. I worked out at home. I worked out at the gym. I was consistent. And, here’s a shocker: “I loved to exercise.”
But things change. The sad part? I want to exercise, and I miss it.
Rewind to my Rheumatology appointment two weeks ago. Imagine me sitting on her examination table crying, and her asking me why I was giving up? “I don’t understand Su? Why are you giving up? You have always been my model patient. What has happened to you in the last few months for you to just ‘give up’?” (insert: she’s was talking about me giving up on my healthy habits; not my life)
“It’s just too hard… and nothing is working. I’m getting sicker everyday… it’s just TOO hard.”
“Tell me what your life has consisted of the last few months?” she asked.
“We just moved recently, and downsized.” I said. (gulp)
“Plus, my poor husband had major back surgery… and I’m his sole caregiver. Which I want to be, but I’m so tired, and in so much pain” (Sniffle, blow my nose).
“Plus, I had to go visit him once or twice a day during severe flooding, in which I seriously considered renting a row-boat to get across to the hospital.” (Wipe the black mascara off that is dripping down my cheek).
“Plus, my garage is so filled with crap for our garage sale, that if you open our garage door we look like we’re relatives of the Beverly Hillbilly’s.” (She starts laughing… I keep crying).
Plus, my husband’s disability checks never went through, so we’ve been living on air for the last 2 months. (Hyperventilate… my lungs are not good).
“Plus, I haven’t been able to be with my grandkids…. I MISS my grandkids.” (I hiccup).
“Su, you know that stress exasperates your condition, correct?” My Dr. asked.
“You can’t be under this kind of stress.” She announced.
I sat there stunned. No, I sat there bewildered. No, I sat there trying to think of the right words to say in response… something in the area of, “Get real.” But I was a good girl and held back.
She looked me directly in the eye, “I know you can’t control the stress that life hands you. But you can control how you deal with it. And, you’ve always dealt with it remarkably. So, it’s time for me as your caretaker to take the reigns and tell you to knock it off.” “You screwed up the last couple months, but it’s time to reboot. It’s in the past, and it’s time to move forward.”
I sat with my head hung low, “I know.”
“I want you to get back to meditating, exercising, and eating healthy. You absolutely need to eat healthy to replenish your body, because the meds I’m putting you on will be taking every nutrient from your body… your body absolutely NEEDS nutrients. And, you need to start meditating again. You’ve always loved to meditate, and you need that in order to release the stress that is building up in your body. I understand that on most days you are in so much pain that you can hardly get out of bed, but you have to exercise.”
I start crying again! “I CAN’T EXERCISE…. I WILL DIE A SLOW DEATH… I’M IN SO MUCH PAIN… I. JUST. CAN’T. DO. IT!” (Ok, I didn’t yell, but I felt like screaming from the rooftop)
But then I got quiet, sighed, and gave in… “I know,” I said. “I was walking Harley (my lab mix), but then my hips and pelvis started hurting so bad that when we got back from our walks, I was in my lazy-boy for the rest of the day/night. And, I bought another yoga DVD to try, but currently it’s sitting next to my lazy-boy… and the only exercise my body has gotten from it, are my eyes from glancing at my TV to my DVD set… and back to the TV. My eyes are in really good shape right now.” I said. (Ok, she didn’t ‘see’ the humor in this).
She said, “You are in no shape to do any of those things. Your body is too sick for any of that right now. Hopefully after this medication change, you’ll be able to start doing those things again. But in the meantime, I want you to just stretch. I mean, stretching as exercise.”
I’m seriously confused at this point. I don’t even know what she means by stretching as exercise? But I decide I’ll look into it on YouTube and see if there’s any explanations, or examples.
So, fast forward two weeks. I haven’t gotten there yet. This Thursday it will be 2 weeks since I’ve seen her. Currently I’m listening to Otis Redding, nibbling on a Hershey/almond candy bar, drinking a cup of coffee, and I just came in from having a cigarette. I haven’t figured out what “stretching as exercise” means either… but I will.
So, truth and nothing but the truth, I suck. But I have to do things in my own time. I can feel that I’m inches away from getting back on the saddle. I’m inches away from giving it my best shot once again. One thing I’ve learned through this battle is to Never, Never, Never Give Up. Ever.
So, to all my chronic friends out there… keep going. You’re worth it… and we need you. Your life is too important to jump off the health track. And I’ll try to take my own advice. And if any of you could let me know what “stretching as exercise” is, comment below. Is it Tai Chi? Ugh.
Chronicles 15:7 But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.
Deuteronomy 31:8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
God bless each and every one of you. For those who are struggling, please know that you are not the only one. There are many others who are hurting, in pain, and in need of the Lord’s strength; myself included. We must remember that we can persevere… with him all things are possible. Praise God! I understand all too well and am struggling with this myself. But we all have our down days/months. It’s time we pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and remember what our fight is all about. And during our hard times, lets lean on each other, and on God… I’m here for you. You’re not alone.
That’s all I have for tonight or this morning… however you want to look at it.
Gentle Cyber Hugs,