So How Was Your Weekend?…the difficult questions for an invisible illness sufferer

So if you are blessed enough (like I am) to be at the stage of illness/treatment where you can hold down a job, I am sure you have heard this question on a regular basis…”How was your weekend?”
It’s a tough one to answer especially to coworkers who see you “functioning” somewhat normally, but don’t quite grasp that in order to do this at work it means you don’t have weekends.
Evenings and weekends are about recouping, resting, vegging. At least most of the time. That makes it very hard to explain to people that you really didn’t do anything, and this weekend was just like the weekend before, and the weekend before that, not much happened. It’s hard because, well, “you look fine” right? ūüėČ

So I am just, just, poking my head back out of a pretty significant slump that has lasted for the last two months. Something I have learned from when I last had a period of time when I felt better, is not to use up all your energy. You see a couple months before my slump (I’m owning it!), I had a period of about two months where I felt better than I had in years, I did some stuff, I saw some people, I helped some people, and it was all good. Now I don’t think overtaxing myself was what caused my crash, but I don’t think it helped any either. So we live we learn right?

So this time as I am feeling a little more human again I am thinking of letting my body use most of my extra energy (I call it extra, normal people call it normal). Now I do want to see some friends again, and be able to do a few things, but I am going to be very careful.
I have been slowly coming out of my bad fatigue over the last two weeks, but last week was REALLY tough on my body with some nasty bladder/kidney symptoms and pain. I had gone to the doctor and I’m clear of any UTI or stones, the thought is that I was having a major detox. Thankfully those symptoms are ebbing away, and I am looking forward to (hopefully, fingers crossed, knock on wood, salt over shoulder…) some better days ahead.
So tomorrow I will face the inevitable question “How was your weekend?”
Answer: I actually got out to see a movie with a friend! Woot woot!

How do you feel when others ask you about your week/weekend? Does it depress you? Do the flood gates open? Or is it just no big deal?

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When To Push It

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I had a discussion last night with a Lyme sister about how the rules of Lyme are different than what would be common logic, let me explain; If I were a normal healthy person that was out of shape and wanted to exercise I would push through any initial discomfort until my body began to adjust and get stronger. My endurance would increase and I would be able to get more stamina. This is even true if I were not a healthy person and dealing with some other common illnesses. I would try and get at least a little exercise, the movement and mild cardio would be good for my health and well being and help my immune system.

¬† This is not necessarily the case with Lyme. Trying to push when your body says no can actually do a lot more damage and put you in bed for days or weeks dependent on where you are in your healing,¬†especially¬†if you are a Lymie who’s heart is affected. Exercise can prolong your healing process and really set you back (again, depending on where you are along the road). This is so much the case that my doctor actually writes in his treatment manual “Usually at the beginning of treatment exercise should not be done due to tolerance issues”. (This of course is a generalized recommendation and everyone is different.)

This is where you have to be super in tune to your body, listen when it says stop. Although (as I am experiencing today), even that is not always a completely accurate indicator. I am almost a year into treatment now, and it was when I had hit about the 10 month mark I started to notice significant improvement with my energy, and noticed a lower baseline of symptoms and flare ups. (just like my doctor predicted!!!!) Oh. and insert Snoopy dance here “___________”. However I still am frustrated by increased body pain and fatigue when I try take on more, things that you would think wouldn’t be a big deal, like more housework.

It is Saturday morning and I have had a much busier week than normal with doing more chores, and having done activities daily at home after a day at my job. I am sitting here and my whole body hurts, as if I have been doing body pump classes all week. My inflammation is also a lot higher. It is kind of annoying when all I was doing was being “normal”.

Am I regretful? No way. But it is teaching me how to pace myself, and even with more energy I am learning about what I can do safely without paying for it too hard. But you know what? I think I am also at a point in my healing where I can safely “push through” here and there, and know that if I am careful I am not going to set myself back to much.

So I am happy this morning, ready to continue to challenge myself, get back to “normal” as much as I am able. We shall see how it goes.

Okay, now where is that bottle of Advil…..