Chronic Illness….. Like Swimming? My dream revelation.

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I had the most interesting dream recently.

For years I have been sleeping and planning my next day, or up all night and planning the next day from painsomnia. When I dream though, I have always had the ability to talk to myself about the dream, stop the dream and start another….pretty different stuff from what people tell me they experience.

I guess I would make a good candidate for dream analysis 🙂

Anyhow, so I was dreaming that I was at the beach. I haven’t been to the beach in a few weeks, I live on an island after all; I mean people come here for the beaches! Maybe its just because its summer that I’m thinking beach.

As the dream progressed and I was in the water, I said to myself (this is said to myself. like in my thoughts about what was happening in the dream) Lyn, how long can you really swim before you are floundering and trying to thread water. Then it hit me…….this is just like dealing with illness.

Truth be told I’m not the best swimmer 😦 when I;m on I’m on but when I’m off its a mess.

Swimming

My preferred style is freestyle, I am relatively good at it, not to win a race or anything but I get it done well. When everything is aligned and my body is slicing through the water it is beautiful.

When I am feeling well and able to do what I want, when I want, that is beautiful too.

Just like when I’m swimming, this doesn’t last too long. Ironically, for both situations its the pain that cuts it short. In swimming, the abdominal engagement needed to be in good form, quickly becomes painful.  In handling illness the pain stops me in my tracks. Just like swimming I end up….

Floundering

In the water as my form goes, my strokes become short or not as streamlined. The kicks start to be uncoordinated and I really don’t go as far as I can. It is clear to all looking on that I am struggling or becoming tired.

In handling the illness, my struggle is mental before I even acknowledge that I am floundering physically. Its hard to concentrate, brain fog is intense and then the physical steps in. I am exhausted and can go from there to being in bed just because walking or moving is too painful.

Treading Water

I’m really not good at this part.

I see my husband and children treading water for over an hour sometimes….or it seems that way to me……I can manage a few minutes. I think its a combination of physical skill and mental energy.

By this point I am usually tired from what has happened before and I find no relaxation in treading although I believe I should and it is to serve as a time to regroup and rejuvenate.

With illness its the same. I believe I am frustrated by this time and feel that I should be doing better or handling the situation better. Although, I know its OK to rest. Its necessary to rest.

The pain colors the experience in both situations.

Floating

They say this is the fall back position when in the water and exhausted. Float on your back. Me, I say get out of the water……..that’s not always possible. I can’t get rid of the illness, gotta find a way to deal.

The beauty of floating is that the water supports your weight.. It reminds me that there is support, in places I know and in some that I haven’t thought of.

When in the water on my back, I look up and see the sky and clouds and all the beauty. It reminds me that there is a God who is there for me, holding me up when I can’t do it on my own .

 

So, yes I will actually go to the beach and do some swimming. Just like that is a process, dealing with my illnesses is a process as well. Some days I will be good and others not so good. Then I may be barely making it and keeping my head above water.

I know though, that through it all there is support. For this I am grateful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 Day Chronic Illness Challenge- Days 23-25

I have been ill for a bit now and am way behind in my challenge, even this has depressed me. However, I strongly believe that I should complete what I have started and am doing such now although I don’t feel like writing a thing.

 

 

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Day 23:  What do you say to yourself when you need a pep talk?

I am an advocate of self-talk. I firmly believe its what we whisper to ourselves or the scripts that we constantly play in our minds that determine our actions and our outcomes. Why? This is what we believe and it plays out in every aspect of our lives.

When I need, a pep talk I tell myself a few things:

  • God’s got this, no need to worry.
  • Serenity- accept what you can’t change, change what you can, know the difference.
  • This too shall pass.
  • It won’t always be this bad.
  • You can get through this.
  • You are stronger than you think.
  • Look how you handled ……This is no different.
  • You can do today, one minute at a time, one step in front the other.
  • There are lessons to be learnt, learn them.
  • Share with others what’s happening now, it will strengthen you all.

 

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Day 24: How have you managed to juggle your social life through your illness?

 

Social Life?

I am not your regular social butterfly. I was never one to be out and about every weekend or any such thing. I have always spent most my time at home or at least with family. Most my social activity came from church, although I do enjoy plays, recitals, dance productions and a good dinner outing.

I have become more a home body because of illness. So even the activities I did previously I don’t do anymore. I stopped driving at night, a while back, unless necessary. I found that the Pelvic Congestion Syndrome brought so much fatigue and heaviness as the day progressed that by night time I was just too tired to focus on the roads as I should. Many times, I am sure that angels took the wheel from me and drove me home. I was just exhausted and not alert. I remember one night, I arrived home and parked the car and could not remember driving or which road I had travelled. After that I decided it was foolhardy to continue driving, especially at night.

If I have an event now, I will rest as much as possible before. This brings no guarantees of my ability to attend or stay through the end of the event. That’s just how life is.

So, social life……………I don’t really have any.

 

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Day 25: Name 5 Activities that you have managed to pursue while being ill and 5 that you have done that you wouldn’t have done had you not been ill.

 

I don’t think that I can find five things in either category but here goes…………

Since I have been ill I have managed to:

  • Complete a University programme.
  • Do other self-improvement courses- cooking & dressmaking.
  • Run a 5K Cross Country Race
  • Volunteer services to train others
  • Open a business.

 

Things I have done that I wouldn’t have if I were not ill:

  • Start this blog.
  • Start a book.
  • Register for a Psy D programme