Prompt for today: 5 Challenges. 5 Small Victories. Make a list of the 5 most difficult parts of your health focus. Make another top 5 list for the little, good things (small victories) that keep you going.
I think this is a very good prompt, and normally I’d be able to write it very easily, but the depression I’m feeling right now will make this more difficult. (yes depression, but it’s deserved, I’m not clinically depressed at the moment. I’ve had a lot to deal with, and the loss of a loved one, so I’m depressed. Please no worries about my sanity. *smiles*)
5 Challenges – 5 Most Difficult Parts of My Health Focus
- The constant changing. Things seem to be settling down, and wham I either get new symptoms or a whole new diagnosis.
- Making hard decisions. Do I get the surgery that may help? Do I try to live in the deaf world? Do I take this drug even though it has some harsh side effects? Do I get another opinion…..
- Keeping Positive. OK, I’m not doing this very well right now, but it will get better. I know it will. (there see still positive! I just think it will take longer this time.)
- Risking leaving home. This sounds like I’m afraid to leave home, and sometimes I am. I have vertigo attacks with no warning. If I’m more than 30 minutes from home and have an attack start, it terrifies me.
- How to keep my caregiver from burning out – How to keep my marriage strong through all of this.
5 Small Victories – 5 list for the little, good things that keep you going.
- For dealing with the constant changes. I decided long ago that life isn’t going to be as I expected, so I decided to change my expectations. I’m usually pretty flexible now at thinking, well this will change some things…what will it do, and how can I change to keep myself going. (I will admit here, I’ve had a new diagnosis that has thrown me for a bit of a loop, the treatments are hard, the decisions are hard. I haven’t quite gotten to the point where I feel I can think about my new expectations, I simply don’t know what to expect…but when I do, things will fall in order I’m sure.)
- Making hard decisions is still difficult, but I feel better about it because I know how to look up many resources, I know other people (on-line) who have the same issues I have so I can ask them what their experiences have been, and I’m very lucky to have a husband who helps me weigh the pros and cons and is able to look at things objectively. However, he always leaves the final decisions up to me.
- Keeping Positive. – This hasn’t been a hard thing for me until recently. I get a bit upset about things when things change…I’ll have a pity party. Then I say “Enough!” And start thinking of how I can stay positive. I think of things I can still do. I think of others who are going through the same thing, and know many of them help me see that it can be alright, and I want to help others know that too. Yes, again, recently this has been hard. I’ve had a lot dumped on me in a relatively short period of time. I’ve lost a lot. But I have no doubt that I will get back to the positive me. I still believe in living every day you feel well enough to the fullest. Even if that means just sitting out in the backyard. Do not take things for granted. And try to think of something you are grateful for every day. Sometimes I write the same thing every day for a few days because that’s all I’m feeling grateful for that I can think of….but other days I can list many things. (Toni Bernhard’s book How to be Sick, has helped me keep positive thoughts, and helped me to look at things a bit differently…I highly recommend it!)
- I risk going out of the house much more than I used to. I’m still afraid of having an attack, but I carry an emergency kit with me all the time. It contains emergency meds, water, wash cloths, small trash bags to throw up in, some Zip-Loc bags to put cloths in after being sick…..things like that. I’m still a bit leery about going more than 30 minutes from home. When I have an attack it is not pretty. I feel humiliated and degraded. I can’t stop throwing up, I can’t walk, I often have diarrhea, and cannot control my urine. So I recently decided if I’m going on a longer trip, I will need to wear disposable adult incontinent panties….just in case. If I have an attack in public, I do not want to be mortified by strangers seeing me defecate and wet myself. I also always carry emergency medication for migraines. These measures may seem a bit drastic to some, but it has made it so I can go out and not be terrified that if I have an attack I will be left with no help. I also carry my phone with me all the time and it has an emergency button if I need to call 911. I won’t be able to hear them, but I can tell when they pick up and tell them what is happening, and where I am.
- Making sure my caregiver takes care of himself, and keeping our marriage strong. This has been a bit difficult. My husband will not admit that caring for me wears on him. He will say sometimes he feels weary then he thinks about what I’m going through and it goes away. He also says it is an honor to care for me. He loves me so much, he feels honored that I trust him so much with so much that he has to see. He never gets grossed out, and always makes me feel loved, even during the most degrading moments. We keep our marriage strong ….in many ways. I thank him every day for the things he does, and when I can do things, I do. I try to do little things he really likes, for example when I can cook, I try to make things I know he loves, and that is healthy. In many ways my being sick has brought our marriage closer. One BIG thing we do, we see a counselor together. Sometimes we individually go in, but normally we are together. We can say things there and it’s safe, and if we thought it might hurt the other, she can defuse it and make us understand where it’s coming from. This has made a HUGE difference in how we treat each other.
We also take advantage of my good days. We even try hard on the bad days. We always show each other that we care. We curl up together, we massage each other (I admit I get more than I give here), we go for drives together….and on special nights when I’m really feeling good, we go on a date.
This was easier than I thought it would be. I do still have some positive outlooks still in me. Yes, I’m depressed, but I should be, as I said before. I think the only reason I haven’t been able to deal with the latest diagnosis (Intracranial Hypertension) is that I’m getting conflicting news from different doctors in my team. And I just don’t know what’s going on with this….my migraine specialist thinks most of my symptoms are caused by migraines. So the IH, may not be a big deal right now. But the medication for it is still helping, so that says I should have it….but I’m confused. So confused. But I’m positive, it will get better.
So yes, this was a good prompt. It made me think about my health issues, and it made me look deeper about things than I had been. I’ve only been dealing with the overwhelming emotions, not the thought process behind them.
So thanks WEGO HAWMC team for this prompt!