The last 8 days have been my most challenging for a while. Living as I do with a constant positive outlook on my life and focused on not letting the combination of auto immune diseases get the better of me, has at times meant I don’t really understand the magnitude of my body shutting down.
You see when you have this type of chronic illness and are on such hectic biological drugs, you sometimes forget that any infection no matter how menial to someone else is a BIG deal for me. Something as simple as a little 24 hour stomach bug for someone else can create havoc in my life. And that is exactly what happened to me.
You see I have become so used to living with constant pain and I regularly feel like every part of my body is sore or stiff and with flu-like symptoms so I sometimes become complacent. I am generally good at listening to the signs that my body needs rest but this time it felt like I got hit side on by a freight train.
I was out of sorts and feeling exhausted and had all the signs of a 24 hour bug, however when my body went tilt and flared to the point that I literally couldn’t stand or move, I knew I was heading for a challenging few days.
Because one of the things I have is Psoriatic Arthritis, this means when I flare my skin literally peels off my feet and my toenails and finger nails lift off. This is as you can imagine extremely painful. This time however the skin on my nose also started to peel off which was a first and gave me a big fright!
The biggest problem of living with constant pain is that you become so used to it that you don’t always get the messages from your body that you are in trouble. I know that I tend to not want to be “dramatic” or make a big deal of it so I tend to push myself to be “ok”.
I however realise that while it’s important to not let this get the better of me it is also so important to listen when my body is in trauma. When I am facing this kind of level of flare and infection, I also just need to be alone. It’s not that I don’t want to see my friends and family, it’s just that I am so susceptible to picking up all and any germs that are going around so being isolated is the best thing for me.
The last 8 days were pretty scary, however they gave me a good wake up call and reminder that while I still think I can push myself to extremes and that I am super human, at the end of the day I really am human and it’s ok to surrender and allow my body time to recover.
It’s also ok for me to be pissed off and tired of the pain and I can allow myself the space to be pissed off as long as I don’t allow it to be the soundtrack to my life. Yes living with this is shit and it frustrates the hell out of me but I still have plenty to be thankful and grateful for.
So today as I began my day I said a prayer of thanks for the opportunity to face my reality, I said a prayer of thanks for my friends and family who are always there and I said a prayer of thanks for making it through another challenge with a great teaching.