Balancing life with chronic illness is an adjustment. I was at the physical Therapist last week bragging about how I was learning to power through my symptoms and had even walked 10,000 steps. This would have been nothing for “old Sarah”. But in recent weeks 2,000 to 3,000 steps per day is a good day. The physical therapist looked at me horrified! He sat me down and told me I needed to cut back. I need to be doing about 1/3 or less of what I think I can do.
I got to my car after the appointment and started to cry. I truly thought I was pretty much better. But my physical therapy session demonstrated- not just by what he said, but by what I could do; I am far from better.
He told me I needed to learn to accommodate this illness. I am someone who likes to be on the go and do things. Yesterday I chose to go for a drive since – I couldn’t really go for a walk. I was SO exhausted after the drive. I felt as if there was someone physically holding me down if I tried to even walk across the apartment, to refill my glass with water.
It is a huge struggle for me. If I do any activity – go to the doctors office, go to the store or take the dog out. I no longer have the energy for anything else. It is SO frustrating . This includes household chores. I love to cook. But have to order it- all too often- I don’t even have the energy to drive a mile to pick it up.
I was getting a coffee today and I found myself jealous of a person in a scooter. I wish I could scoot around so I could be outside more. But in reality. That also takes energy. One doesn’t realize how much energy everything takes, until you don’t have any.
I have good weeks and bad weeks. This is a bad week- probably a combination of exercising too much last week and exerting the mental energy studying for my health coaching certification. I was grateful that my brain fog stayed at bay so that I could pass my exam. For someone with Long Covid (likely POTS) brain fog is a very real problem.
On the outside – I may look like I am leading a “normal “ life. This may be my new normal- I hope it will get better managed. In the meantime I have to learn to accept that I have to choose how I spend my precious energy.
I share this because Many people have Long Covid, Chronic Fatigue and or other Chronic illness’s . It is important to understand, they are NOT lazy. They are sick and managing their illness takes work. It is hard for them and their loved ones to adjust to these changes.