Crashing and fighting back

crash

 

I don’t feel like writing today. Well, not really.

I am really tired. I’ve been traveling, for many it would be a nice long weekend trip, then back to work feeling relaxed. However traveling for me, and others with a chronic illness like Lyme disease, means that at some point I am going to crash.

I don’t argue with my body. I know that even though I would like to do more, feel stronger, keep up, my body is fighting things I cannot see. I’m thankful that it’s not ever going to give up. So I don’t argue with my body.

When I am feeling overly tired, like I have been since I got home, I know that it means that I might have pushed myself a little too hard. I need to rest. I need to turn off for a while and let my body heal and fight. I need to be gentle for a while.

There are so many complex reasons why traveling is harder for those of us who not only pack our vacation clothes and book for reading, but also 5 different pills a day, heating packs, and haul our illness along with us. When we are sitting in our seats hoping and praying the middle seat is empty, we aren’t being antisocial. We are thinking that we can’t control if the stranger sitting next to us is sick and if they are if they will pass it on to us because our immune systems can’t fight off even something as simple as a common cold without turning into pneumonia or weeks of feeling so ill that we can’t get out of bed.

When we pull out the hand sanitizer and try to keep ourselves from doing something silly like wipe out faces with our hands, we are thinking of how much work we will lose if we have to be sick. When we try to close our eyes on a flight and zone out, we are pushing the pain of traveling our of our thoughts and hoping that we can pull a smile out for the common courtesy required to offer to strangers. Sometimes that smile is fake, and we fake a lot of smiles so that people don’t ask us over and over “What IS Wrong?”

And when we travel we know that we will get out of our routines, we will do more than we usually attempt because we don’t want to let anyone down. We push our bodies to stay up later so we can spend one more hour with friends. I know I pushed myself pretty hard to be able to walk more with my kids, keeping them entertained and not asking them to just sit with me by the fire. That’s what you do when you are on a getaway. You DO things, because sitting isn’t fun for everyone else.

I saved my energy in the days and weeks before my trip, hoping that somehow I could save energy up and use it when I needed it later on. But I am running on empty today. And that is okay, because I had a great time pretending that I could keep up and for a while I didn’t have to be that woman with three doctor’s appointments this week and more the week after.

I am thankful to be home. I love that my husband actually gets that even though I was off having a good time, that it was hard work and I need to recover. He doesn’t press me when I needed to snuggle in my bed a little longer and it takes me a while to get up and move around. He just helps me keep up, works harder to pick up my slack until I can carry it for myself. Some people don’t have that kind of support system and I know that must be awful.

So today I don’t feel like writing. But I will, because this is my job and the life I chose for myself. And I won’t let my disease take that from me today… not today.

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