Tonight I made a discovery. I think it is quite a big discovery for me and I hope it will be helpful to share it with you… I hope it will be a discovery that will make a difference to my life with Autoimmune diseases. Time will tell.
But first, some background information.
I don’t sleep so well anymore, and certainly not the way I used to. I take my night meds around 10 pm and wait for the pain to quieten down enough for my body to sleep. In the words of Shakespeare “To sleep, perchance to dream.” Sleep rarely comes before 2am and usually then only out of exhaustion. I awake again about 2 hours later for the usual reheating of heat packs, rubbing of joints and muscles, eye drops, toilet break, water, tears and maybe a top up of meds. Maybe some internet surfing before another wave of exhaustion and sleep. And so on.
It is usually 10:00 am before I can cope with taking my morning meds and then I wait… wait for pain relief before I stretch and do some joint and muscle movement so I can prepare for my husband to help shower me. There is no speeding up the process. Not for anything or anyone. My breakfast is a small rice cake so that I can take my meds without making ulcers and causing more pain and damage. Coffee! By the time my husband are able to get me ready for the day its usually closing in on 11:00 or later.
After a few errands and whatever we have to do during the day (or can manage during the day) time to think about dinner. Dinner and more meds of course. Now comes my black hole time. The toll of the day and eating a small dinner will leave me in terrible pain, difficulty breathing, tremor, vision issues and INCREDIBLY tired. So I try and stay awake. And I try. And I keep trying until the magic number of 10 pm rolls around again and the cycle repeats. Tonight I lost the battle and had to sleep after dinner because the spasm, pain, tremor, breathing and vision just starting unravelling and so I cried briefly about why I don’t like this illness gig and fell asleep.
I awoke about an hour later and asked if my husband could shower me. As I sat in my shower chair I started a mental dialogue that I am about to explain to you now… and hopefully I can reveal my discovery in the process.
For as long as I can remember now (nearly a decade) I have been fighting a battle with my body. Everyone has heard me talk about and refer to it. I fight to fit in with the rest of the world. I fight to look like the rest of the world. I fight to do the things the rest of the world does. I fight MYSELF to fulfill the expectations that everyone has of me… to what gains? None. All I have achieved and all I have gained myself is a fight. All the fighting in the world has got me a battle to show for it, I realized I am fighting something I can’t beat because I am fighting ME.
If it was a physical fight with another person, I might give myself a 50 / 50 chance of winning. If it was a verbal sparring or debate I might like my odds a bit more. But its not. Its me and the only thing I can get from fighting with myself is successfully beating myself up. I think its time I try a new tactic. I think I owe myself a new strategy after all these years.
Its time I stopped fighting and started listening.
If my body tells me to sleep; then its lights out. If my body tells me it’s in too much pain, then I am going to listen. Regardless of who or what might be disappointed or disrupted. It is just the reality of it. I hope that if I start to LISTEN and COMPLY then maybe we will get along a little better instead of this constant battle of push and pull.
Tonight I am calling a truce with myself. A cease fire. Tonight I have started peace talks with my Autoimmune enemy and hopefully I can broker a better deal for myself then the one I have been getting for the past 10 years.
Wish me luck!