Guilt & Small Victories

I have felt it on the horizon for days now and, without invitation, it’s here.  The excruciating Endometriosis flare-up that is becoming more and more frequent and is the one thing that I can count on to stop me in my tracks and bring my life to a stand-still for a 3 to 5 day stretch every 4 to 6 weeks.

Don’t get me wrong, the Endo monster is very much present on a daily basis, in one way or another.  However, flare-ups like this are a very different level of agony.

I am celebrating a small victory in the timing of this one, because it just so happened to start yesterday, which was Friday, at about 3:00 pm so it didn’t cause me to miss any work (yet).

At this point, I have made it 5 consecutive weeks without calling in sick.  That may not seem like much to a normal, healthy person but to those who work each day with severe chronic pain, debilitating fatigue, and a plethora of other unpleasant symptoms, making it through 5 weeks of work actually IS an accomplishment. 

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Chronic Illness, working and recovery days

This post describes living and working with chronic illness and chronic pain SO well. I felt like I was reading about my own life. The parallels are endless.

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When you have a chronic illness you lose the control over your body, your physical wellness, that you used to take for granted.  One particular problem I have is balancing work, rest and everything else.  It would be ideal if I could work four or five days a week and then have enough rest time to ease off my symptoms so I could continue working happily the next week. Of course, this presumes there are only two things to consider, work and rest.  There are many more things to consider obviously and that is one part of the problem.

Energy is very limited in my life.  It is very easy to “overdo it”. Sometimes five days of work is too much.  If I encounter extra stress, a night out, an after-work work commitment or a sixth day of work or effort on the sixth day (say, a child’s birthday party…

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Well, so far, this week’s score is 2:1 and Endometriosis is in the lead.

Yesterday I had the worst flare-up that I have had in years.  I woke up in horrible pain, so I sent an e-mail to work letting them know that I would be a couple of hours late.

I took my meds, sat on the couch, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes, waiting for the meds to kick in.  As far as I could tell, they never did.

The pain continued to get worse, so I sent another e-mail telling my co-workers what was going on and that I would try to work the 2nd half of the day.  This was very troubling to me, as my boss likes to take spur of the moment road trips and had hit the road the day before so I knew that he would not be in the office.  For that reason, I had planned on going to work no matter what, but this situation was out of my control.  I could hardly walk or even move without moaning in pain, let alone drive and function at my workplace.

Luckily I had my laptop with me and let everyone know that I could perform any essential functions from home, if anything urgent came up.

Within the hour things got even worse.  Continue reading

A Blessing and a Curse

Sometimes God works in mysterious ways.  Over the weekend, my parents delivered an entire week (or more) worth of food; prepared, cooked, and ready to heat and eat.

Here is a photo of our feast, which includes chicken, meatloaf, vegetable soup, lasagna, breadsticks, beef noodle casserole, beans, organic salad, and more.  YUM!  Needless to say, I have been eating a lot more than usual this week, trying to replenish some of the nutrients that my usual poor eating eating habits have robbed me of.

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As I have mentioned before, I often follow an anti-inflammatory meat, dairy, and gluten free diet.  However, this week I will be treating myself to what whatever I want to eat.  Honestly, I haven’t been sticking to my diet in quite a while.  I think it’s OK to stray from the diet sometimes and if someone else is preparing a meal or we are eating out at a restaurant, I typically indulge on whatever I like.

I think my parents worry about Billy and I not eating enough, which is a reasonable worry considering the fact that I’ve lost 35 pounds since my chronic pain became constant.

They also know that both Billy and I battle with such severe pain and fatigue that, during an acute flare-up, simple tasks like cooking can quickly become impossible.  Continue reading