I keep losing days. I thought I had just missed one day of my daily journal, but just noticed it was almost 3 days ago. This keeps happening to me, especially as each day tends to be so similar to the last – wake up, sit on the couch, sleep, repeat.
Sometimes I don’t believe I’m sick. I’m having a really hard time accepting it, even though it’s been pretty bad now for a few months, even though I’m officially on medical leave and on disability… I still have days where I struggle believing it’s real. Sometimes I convince myself I’m making it all up, or I’m just being weak or lazy, and am exaggerating your typical, simple aches and pains. One night I was up Googling “Do I have Munchausen’s?”.
When I have good moments or good days where the pain is barely there and I can be out walking for more than an hour I can’t stop myself from thinking it’s finally over – I’m finally better and can get back to my life. I start going through the laundry list of to-do’s I’m energetic to get to, and I start making lofty plans and having fantasies of future vacations with Chris and running on my favorite running paths through Golden Gate Park. But then I get home and sit down and my body relaxes, the little bit of adrenaline and distraction from being outside in the world next to the beautiful Ocean Beach wares off, and suddenly I feel like I was hit by a car. Everything hurts so badly it even hurts to be lying still. My back feels like it’s on fire, I can feel my heart beat bounding through my back muscles. My head feels swimmy, like I’m high, and I get those colored lights flicking in my vision. Sometimes the nausea comes and when it does it hits like a crashing wave, activating my saliva glands so I have to pay really close attention to whether it’s time to run to the bathroom or not. I tell myself, “See… this is really happening and you are really going through something and you need to just accept it and stop driving yourself crazy. Why do you keep doing this to yourself?!”, and then just as I try to practice some self compassion the other thoughts come in, like:
“Okay, I can handle this pain, and can probably handle if it gets a little worse, but more than that and I’ll have to go to the ER.
I really don’t want to go to the ER.
Oh god, am I going to have to go to the ER?
Am I going to die?
My head feels so fuzzy – am I about to have a seizure?
I wish my body would just go ahead and DO something already instead of this weird middle ground where I can’t be in the world, and I can’t be in the hospital, so I’m just on the couch.”
I came across this book on Amazon that looked promising, called “How to Be Sick: A Buddhist Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and their Caregivers“. I’m about halfway in, and so far it’s really hippie dippie. Nothing against Buddhists, but it’s very Buddhist – A lot more about the actual Buddhist religion than I was expecting. I definitely resonate with the writer, but I don’t feel connected to her book yet.
I played about 12 hours of Fallout 4 today – finished the Far Harbor add-on. It was great. Not as fun as the Nuka World add-on but still really cool. They have hermit crabs that live in TRUCK TRAILERS! 🙂
It was my most productive video game day yet – so of course I’m now fighting thoughts of “Why am I suddenly able to get so much done in a video game? Is my cognitive functioning back for good? Am I on the road to recovery??”… my life is an endless loop right now.