Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Falling Sick

I was talking with a Mom last night who was expressing frustration with having had to succumb to an illness. A few days ago she could barely lift her head she said. She explained how when her husband came down with it that she was so very careful for the virus to not spread. She washed her hands, wiped everything she could with disinfectant. She still seemed so disappointed that she had come down with the illness too. 

As she was explaining further about how far behind she was...she still didn't feel 100% but there was so much to do. And there was that nagging thought that she did everything she could to avoid it. 

That's the hardest part for me in dealing with Sjogrens. After I was diagnosed I realized that I had already been changing my lifestyle. I had already learned new ways to compensate, manage and try to push forward in every day. I still will catch myself having bouts of sheer anger after being knocked down, even after I've followed "all the rules". 

We are in fact human and we will fall ill at one point. We can do what we can to keep ourselves fit, eat well and treat our bodies right. You don't have to have a chronic illness to feel that sense of "feeling off our game" when sick. 

Why are we so hard on ourselves when we fall ill? I thought about this a while back. Maybe it goes so far back in our DNA. I'm talking way back. Like when we were really animals? It's almost like a "survival of the fittest" kind of thing maybe. We don't want to be seen as the weak one in the herd, tribe or pride. We surely don't want to be the one slowing the pack down. Then there is the fear of being left behind. 

As a Mom I can't stand the thought that I can't do the things that I used to for my family. I feel such a sense of things getting "out of control" and I feel so very far behind. Until talking to my other sickly Mom friend I didn't realize that it's all the same pressure we put on ourselves. Chronic or not- it is what it is. 

I'm lucky that my symptoms pass and I have days where I feel really pretty good. I'm grateful that I have enough good days that I know when I'm not well- it'll pass. I just have to ride with it a while, breath. The grace part is when it passes and I feel good. It's heaven. 

I know that there is a place in our lives for that urge to push forward when we're falling ill. It's a survival mechanism that's still part of our DNA for a reason I suppose. I just wish that we all can learn to just relax and ride through it without punishing ourselves too much. 

If you're reading this now and you're feeling like crap- go grab your Snuggie!
The laundry will wait, calls can be made tomorrow, your kids won't let themselves starve and everything will be just fine. Take care of yourselves. Your soul will thank you for it and feeling better for it will be such a blessing.  

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