Getting Through The Holidays

Last year, I had 3 good weeks in December. We don’t know why. No new meds. No new routines. Just 3 good weeks of shopping, decorating, and enjoying my family.

On December 25, things changed. We had a severe flu running through the house and I caught it. We all hate the flu and this was no different – but at the same time, I was kind of relieved to have a sickness that wasn’t related to Lyme.

My husband recovered. My daughter recovered. I did not.

The last week or so has been pretty decent. I’ve been out of bed almost all day, most days. I still have issues – for example, yesterday I battled tachycardia anytime I stood up and had to spend some time in bed, on oxygen, and I wake up every morning in severe pain – but for the most part, I have had a fair amount of energy and been able to manage pain with extra meds.

This is good and I am praying this is a genuine turn for the better. However, history has proven that even good days can be deceptive.

Adrenaline is a funny thing. It can over-ride our bodies normal abilities and gives us superhuman power. Last year, a 19 year old, 5’6″, 120 lb woman lifted a burning truck off her father who had become trapped underneath. In 2006, a woman in Canada was able save her son and his friends by fighting a polar bear. It’s called “hysterical strength”.

For people with chronic Lyme, adrenaline can give us a sort of hysterical strength by giving us the energy to get out of bed and endure a full day of life when it should be impossible.

Here’s the kicker: sooner or later, the adrenaline runs out and the body endures a severe crash. The adrenaline crash last year lasted months. So you’ll have to forgive me if while I am enjoying the “up time” this Christmas season, I am also wary that there may be a forthcoming crash.

As much as I wish I had a plan for managing the adrenaline rush and impending crash, I regrettably admit that I don’t. I am better this year at recognizing and respecting my limits. But will that be enough?

Only time will tell. So for now, I am taking this Christmas season one day at a time. I get up every morning and plan my day. If I need rest, I change the plan.

Don’t get me wrong, my type A personality doesn’t give in easily to the notion that there are things I can’t do. This has gotten me in trouble a lot over the years that I’ve been sick. I push past my limits and just do what I want – only to find myself bed bound in pain and vomiting for days on end.

I love Christmas. So I will do what I can, when I can – and I will try to rest when my body tells me I should. I will plan my days around the good moments and I will change the plan to accommodate the bad moments.

I suppose that sounds like good advice to anyone, but my heart here is specifically for the Lymies reading this post.  Enjoy this season as best your body will let you.  Don’t worry about the things you can’t get done – focus on your loved ones, the people who truly make Christmas the special time that it is.  And rest.

Merry Christmas

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