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Hope

Hitting the reset button for your body

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Today isn’t a Monday. It isn’t New Year’s Day. It isn’t even the first of a month. It’s Saturday, May 5th. Regardless of how insignificant today may be to make a change, I’m starting something new today. I’m hitting the reset button.

Over the past few years, I’ve tweaked with my diet and exercise. I was off gluten for awhile (and felt noticeably different), killed it at the gym. But no “plan” stuck with me.

I’ve realized that lately, I’ve been pushing and pushing my body to accomplish things despite it repeatedly telling me “no”. I’ve gone to the gym and boasted about my hour long workouts, only to not be able to move for two days after.

At a conference last weekend, my body repeatedly tried to tell me to slow down in the form of nausea and dizziness. I pushed on until my body had me hurrying up to my hotel room so I could vomit and lay down, mid session.

When I met with my rheumatologist this week, we discussed the recommendations my dysautonomia doctor had made in regards to POTS and Neurally Mediated Hypotension. She asked how fluid intake was (good, I’m at least very good with that!) and exercise.

I explained my frustration with going to the gym and not being able to function for a few days after. I couldn’t figure out how I was supposed to do an hour of exercise every day. She told me I needed to start over and that it was unacceptable for my body to feel so awful. She advised me to go to the gym, get on the recumbent (ughhhh) bike for 20 minutes and then leave.

Regardless of how good I feel, I have to stop as soon as my time is up. She said I can add on a bit over time, including resistance and strength training, but only after I see how I feel the next day or two.

I wasn’t sold on her idea but as I went for my Rituxan infusion, it started to consume my thoughts. As I pumped this nasty drug into my arm for hours, I thought about how much I am doing against my body. I am constantly pumping it full of drugs, like methotrexate and Rituxan. I eat basically whatever I want because it’s easy or I don’t want to put energy into preparing food. I push myself with the promise of “resting later”.

There are things I can’t change and I know my diagnoses aren’t going anywhere. I’m still going to have to work, raise teenagers, battle the cat for part of my bed to sleep in, and deal with traffic.

But. What if I can be a little more intentional with my body?

I can give it more quality food, the rest it is so desperately begging for, movement that is helpful not hurtful? Maybe will I feel a bit more at peace with my body and not at odds? And how will that peace come through in my interactions with the world around me?

So today, I’ve hit the reset button. I’m still my old self but with a few pending updates to install. This may take awhile.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

I Did Something Crazy

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This weekend, I did something crazy. Instead of fighting against Rheumatoid Arthritis, I let it win. I let my body rest when I felt tired, I went out when I felt good, ate when I was hungry, and worked when I felt inspired. And I took pain meds when I was hurting.


I did a lot more resting than usual. Any other weekend, I would have gulped caffeine and pushed on. There would have been tears throughout the day- from the pain, from the exhaustion. But not this weekend.  Continue reading

Rheumatoid Arthritis

A Glimpse

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I had my second carpal tunnel surgery 4 days ago (will cover that ordeal in a future post!) and have been recovering since. I have spent the majority of the past few days at home, sleeping or resting. I woke up in the morning when I was ready, not when my alarm clock went off. I ate when I was hungry and slept when I was tired. I became one with my couch and bed. Sure, I had painkillers prescribed by my surgeon but I didn’t need many of them. The best part of this was I had very little pain from my Rheumatoid Arthritis.

So what’s the problem? Well, this isn’t, and can’t be, my lifestyle. I have a fulltime job, 2 kids, a husband, and a home (and of course, Jungle George). I don’t usually have any time to rest during the week, aside from crawling into bed at 8pm. I definitely nap on the weekends but my RA pain doesn’t rest when I do.

I wonder how many less pills, injections, braces, and tears there would be if I won the lottery and could stay home to rest as often as I needed to. I wonder how much my quality of life would improve..how much more time, quality time, I would have to spend with my family.

Has anyone turned a glimpse like this into a reality? I’d like to hope so.