Life ain’t so black and white, babe

Which came first, the cliche that time flies by this time of year or did the time flying by become so obvious that the only comment one could make was “man time flies this time of year”. Probably a little of both I guess. Is it just me or do you find that sometimes cliches are just the only thing you can think to say in certain situations, even though you try not to be “so cliche”? I find this especially true for what they say about time.

I think my overuse of the word cliche, ironic as it may be, above is proof that I’ve been watching too much Gilmore Girls this week. Yes they do talk fast and yes it does get annoying but I think I’m finally starting to like it anyway.

It has been one full week since my last post, and it feels as though it has been a whole month. Time is a perplexing concept. I agree with Einstein on his definition of relativity playing a huge part of our experience of time and it’s passing.
 “When you are courting a nice girl an hour feels like a second, when you sit on a red hot cinder a second feels like an hour. That’s relativit.” I think the main reason it feels like so long is because this week was not what I was expecting, not my normal routine I thought I had established. I left the post last week to get a start on my capsule wardrobe, but something was stopping me, I felt tired and run down so I decided to rest instead of push myself.

Part of having a chronic illness with chronic pain and chronic tiredness, is that at a certain point you learn a level of both at which you can and have to function with.
The trouble is knowing when to push yourself to persevere and when to allow yourself to succumb.
There’s that balance of the scales of life that I’m striving for coming back into focus again. If you push too much, there’s a crash in your near future, but if you play it too safe, you can miss out or get so attached to your comforter that leaving the house ever again seems excessive and overindulgent.

The latter is the one I’ve been working on lately, trying to trust myself enough to know what I can handle before it becomes too much. In club M.E. we call this “booming and busting”. Having one good morning and suddenly feeling like wonder woman, ready to conquer the world and her entire to-do list, BOOM. Only to be deflated by the time I’m done showering, full make-up done and I’m finally out the door, BUST.

So last weekend, I was feeling great, I had written my post, and I was ready to conquer the thing I had been putting off, the thing that I posted about so now I have to do it, right? But I just knew in my gut it wasn’t worth doing then and there. Despite a little twinge of guilt, I listened to my intuition and rested instead. Little did I register how tired I was, I fell asleep by 6 and didn’t wake until the next morning. I had been on antibiotics since Friday so I figured they were making me extra sleepy.

I had gone to A&E for a small lump on my neck that seemed to be a sebaceous cyst that had become infected. A small detail I should have mentioned already huh? But that’s all it was to me, a small detail since I had normally felt like my body was fighting an infection, and still functioned through my day as normal. Probably better than normal, as I realize anyone else might have been holed up in bed for a week until it went away. And I did rest, I took 4 days in a row off work to recoup, and on Tuesday I worked a half day to get me out of the house and reacclimated to working.

I did everything right, I took my antibiotics 4 times a day, at the same times, I rested when I needed, and I went on short walks to get fresh air when I could. I woke up Tuesday and the lump was still very painful and swollen, and actually had gotten bigger. I said to myself I would work a half day, I would see how I felt and if need be I would go back to A&E. My main focus was to stay calm no matter what the day brought me. And I did.

sometimes you have to thumbs-up yourself

When I got through the day, I was extremely proud of myself and the way I handled my stress and anxiety about the prospect of going back to the hospital.  It was just something I had to do, and my friend (more like absolute angel) Lou was able to go with me which I was so thankful for. From there on out, whatever happened I would deal with it as it came, and be grateful for the small things that were keeping me calm.

I was in A&E most the night Tuesday, my amazing friends took me back in the hospital Wednesday morning to await the surgery schedule. I patiently waited for a bed, which not only did I get in less than an hours’ wait but I got my very own room. I prepped myself to be waiting all day, I watched a movie on my phone and halfway through I was told that the order of surgeries had changed and I was to be next. A lovely nurse took care of me and got me ready. I was wheeled in, I lay on the bed, I remember trying to ask when they were going to put me under and the next moment I was awake after it was all over.

I stayed the day in my wonderful private room, in lots of pain but by the end of the day they had managed it for me and I was ready to go home. Lou was a saint, who got me groceries, stayed with me on the floor of my empty house to make sure I was ok on my first night out of the hospital.
Along the way I had let go of my resilience and instead replaced it with trust in others.
My mantra was to stay positive and patient, I kept that in my heart as I went through what I would usually see as an uncomfortable situation and I was pleasantly surprised at what I got in return.

I look back on the last week and I see progress in various ways, some small and some groundbreaking, and I am so proud of myself. I am so thankful for the blessings and the breakthroughs I have made with my recovery, my friendships and relationships, with the way I talk to myself, with the way I handle my fears. And all of it was disguised as a gross, infected lump on my neck.

Thanks universe for your mysteriously twisted ways.

Everything will be a-ok

kindly, cara


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