Friday, June 29, 2012

Sick Momma's Theory of Relativity

I promise this won't be a post full of math equations. (Although I've been watching the series Numb3rs on DVD and wishing some of my high school math teachers had let me know all the ultra cool ways you can use math!)

I recently visited a new rheumatologist, and while I did get some good information from her, I was struck more by the paperwork that I had to fill out prior to my appointment.

In particular, in a section titled Activities of Daily Living, there was one of those line drawings, with a scale of one (very poorly) to five (very well), asking me to circle a number that best described my situation: Most of the time, I function ...

My initial impulse was to circle #3: Okay.

Because really, five years into this chronic illness situation, my life has adjusted (i.e. shrunk) to the point that I do feel like I'm managing okay. I get by. I am able to do most of the things I need to do, even if I can't approach doing as much as I want to do.

After that question, there was a long list of activities, like bathing, obtaining restful sleep, working, engaging in leisure activities, that I had to check a box on whether my health problems made them difficult usually, sometimes or not at all.

After I went through that list, I had to re-think my response to the scale on how I function because it became clear to me that I had lost my sense of what normal really is for most people.  

Everything is relative.

Compared to how bad things get when I'm very flared, I am functioning okay. Compared to how little I could do after my hospitalization back in July 2007, I'm functioning very well.

But when I stretch my memory back to what life was like before I got sick, when I compare my levels of functionality to what I see my friends and acquaintances managing to do, I'm somewhere between very poorly and poorly. Compared to how some of my friends in the chronic illness community, I'm functioning well.

So there you go -- Sick Momma's Theory of Relativity: At the same time, I'm doing both better than I used to do and worse than I used to do, all at the same time.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Sunny Days Are Here Again

So, exactly two weeks after I stopped taking digoxin, I had a really good day on Tuesday. Quite bizarrely, since on Monday, I still felt like crap.

It's something I've noticed occasionally over the past few years, typically when I've had a virus on top of my "usual." When I finally get over the hump of being sick on top of being sick, I get a miraculous day where I feel good. Better than good. Approaching great.

And then I slide back downhill to my "usual."

The good news is I am back to sleeping closer to 12 hours a day than the 16 to 20 I was needing with the digoxin. I've lost the nausea, and my pain levels are back to approaching tolerable. (Boy, if you'd told me five years ago, I'd think these pain levels were tolerable, I'd have laughed and told you that you were crazy. But c'est la vie.)

I can focus again to read -- which is good, because my library hold on an e-copy of A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire), book three in the series better known as the Game of Thrones just came up for me this week. :)

Meanwhile, my poor little Etsy store has been sitting virtually untouched for a month or so. Time to try to get busy, I guess. Just in time for the end-of-school craziness. (Ellie has a gymnastics mini Olympics next weekend, the following weekend is roller skating's Regional competition for both Scott & Ellie, three of Ellie's friends are having birthday parties in the next two weeks, end-of-year teacher gifts need time and attention, we have a grad party to go to ... and that doesn't even include school functions! Way too much on our plates.)