Right. That’s it. I’m over this situation. Miracle cure, now. please. I so, so, so feel for those whose health is way worse than mine, because this is bad enough.
This week has been my second week on the medication that is hoped to pull my over-active, uninvited, toxic thyroid nodules into line and by yesterday I was, indeed, starting to feel better. In fact I even felt like dancing in the local supermarket this morning. Not that I did mind you. That would have looked silly, dancing with a cucumber and tomatoes: I just felt like it. There was a song in my brain.
I allowed myself a guilty pleasure. Don’t ask why it is on the grass – I was being artistic.
The week has been a bit up and down. If I can remember through the brain fog (I couldn’t so I checked my calendar), it was Monday I went to the gym. Just, you know, to get in some exercise. I did well, I thought, considering. Twenty minutes on the treadmill (at what I considered a crawl), some leg extensions, leg press, bicep curls and chest press (arthritis needs muscle strength) and I used really light (to me) weights. However Tuesday I was a washout. TOTALLY! My physiotherapist shook her head at me sadly after I’d listed my activity the previous day.
“Exercise NOW does not mean what it used to mean, Robyn. You can’t be doing fitness training. Swimming for you means ten laps of the pool, for example.”
“Oh, but I thought thirty laps was sad enough.”
“You need to do very GENTLE exercise.”
Prior to Christmas, not knowing how I would progress, I had reserved the option to take a further week of annual leave next week, over and above the time I have already been on leave. On Thursday I wasn’t feeling much improved, really, especially after my experience after the gym. I was worrying that even if I felt OK, once I starting DOING stuff, like going to work, I’d wash out again. Given the strong advice I had received from both my endocrinologist and Human Resources to take next week off as well, I made the decision and advised the appropriate people. By Saturday, I was feeling not too bad – had I made the wrong decision, I wondered to myself. Maybe I could go to work after all, even though the physiotherapist has booked me in for another session and a water therapy session next week.
Then we had the second day of HEAT. If ex-Kiwis don’t like heat much, hyperthyroidodites (yes, I made up that word, I like it) like heat even less and forty degrees Celsius is just AWFUL. No, I thought to myself, you made the right decision, woman. Give yourself that extra week to feel really ready to re-enter the world.
I’ve definitely slept better the last couple of nights. My digestive system had been behaving all week too. Until today. About lunchtime. There’s been a bit of pain, but it seems to have settled after the nth trip down the corridor to the “ladies room”. So yes, I made the right decision. I still struggle with the decision (thanks, Mum), but I know it was right.
Have I spring (or summer) cleaned the house? No. Have I cleaned the oven? No. Is all the washing done? No. Have I vacuumed? Not bloody likely, mate. Have I ironed? What, are you completely crazy, or are you Tony Abbott? Note for overseas readers: our Prime Minister has a thing about women ironing.
Do I feel guilty about all that? Not as guilty as I feel about taking an extra week of leave!
I have set my phone to remind me when to take the medications because I forget if I have taken them or not. I think that’s getting better too though, thankfully.
I read the medication actually suppresses the overproduction quite quickly, but the flushing out of the system of the already produced “stuff” takes a little longer. I can say I feel better, but I now need to use this coming week to work out my activity limits. The arthritis needs exercise, my mental health needs exercise, but I also need to rest. Working out how much physical exertion I can tolerate without paying for it the next day is what I have to do this coming week.
I have decided having a chronic condition (or more than one as in my case) is a learning exercise. To anyone else just starting this journey, if you feel confused, anxious, frustrated, guilty …… you are not alone. The mental adjustment to being restricted is quite daunting at times. Don’t hesitate to seek support or ask for help if you need it. I know that can be damn difficult, especially for independent types, but we need to recognise we can’t compete in the Olympics any more. Not that I ever could or did, but we have to re-frame our expectations of ourselves.
That’s the hard part.
Back story articles (in chronological order)
- Synvisc One and Osteoarthritis of the Knee
- The CPU is fine, the peripherals not so much
- My version of M*A*S*H
- The impact of our parents on our lives
- Do you hate going to the doctor?
- Christmas postponed due to drugs