Friday, May 1, 2015

The Bumpy Road of Recovery

I have been freaking out all morning, and I just now realized why: I think my remission has ended. For the past 3 months or so, I've been able to be off both my steriod (prednisone) and my thyroid medication. It's a balmy 72 in my livingroom, and I'm shivvering like it's 50. I have on sweatclothes and a blanket, and it's only when I add a space heater blasting on my legs (under the blanket, no less*) that I feel warm enough. I know it's not a cold, I just got over that. Add to that other symptoms that are tell-tale, and I may not be in remission anymore.

It's difficult to tell, sometimes whether it's this set of symptoms causing one thing or another. But I've gone in and out of remission at times, and I've always been spot-on in my sense of these things. Many doctors find this difficult to believe, so I've learned to prefice what I know with, "I think I might..." and that results in much better service. But trust me, I feel it when things aren't right.

And I hate it.

That's why I've been sitting, binge watching videos, with a blanket and heater on, because I don't want to admit that I'm still frail enough to require this crap. I hate taking pills, and I have rebelled countless times, even in the onslaught of migraine pain! I seem to want to insist I'm fine and don't need help, when clearly both I and others know I do. I'm not like some people who seem to love being sick. I want to be able to conquor the world, and sick was just not a part of my plans! I was so bad, that as a kid, my parents used to think I ran myself ragged. They were partially right, because learning how to take proper care of ourselves takes time, but the also didn't realize how much of it was just the apple not falling far from the tree. My mother had pneumonia before I was finally able to talk her into seeing a doctor, who then sent her straight to the hospital. My father ignored his stroke for days out of the same stubborn fear. Is it any wonder I do it too?

Yet I have to count myself lucky. I do have a disease that goes into remission and one, that when not in remission, at least responds to medication. There are plenty of people who aren't that lucky. There are other people whose disease carries a stigma, where to be sick is also to be judged as earning punishment for a transgression, and most of these reputations do nothing to help anyone. The keyword to all of this is forgiveness.

I need to fogive my body for not being what I wanted it to be. I need to forgive myself for not having any control over it. I need to forgive others who, whether or not they caused their situation, deserve forgivness for at least not seeing a better way out of their problems. I need to forgive myself for being scared of what is a reasonably scary situation. And I can be grateful that I've been given the grace and courage to continue on despite it all. I'm very lucky the headaches aren't every day, and the further I can get from that nightmare, the more I can recover.

Though it may be a bumpy road ahead, I am glad that at least I still have a road. Each day is a new beginning, and I am glad I can take part in it. Even if that means being a little scared for a while about a slight decline in health. It's nothing I haven't lived and worked through before (my entire trial work period was while on these medications), so even though it's not how I would like things to be, it's all still manageable.

Ever forward!

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