Well Hello there! It’s been a while. I’ve been adjusting. I’ve been establishing. I’ve been coming to terms with my chronic illness. That invisible thing that no-one else knows about because they can’t see it. It feels like a ‘group’ therapy meeting. I have Addison’s Disease. It has been 23 months since my Diagnosis. 14 months since my last blog post. I thought I’d catch up with the land of Blog!
I’ve been researching. I’ve been trialling and error-ring (is that a word?) finding what fits and what doesn’t.There are many results when you ‘google’ food plans, healthy eating, healing with food. Deliciously Ella, Hemsley and Hemsley, Nourish to name a few they’re all out there to help and support and pedal their wares. I’ve read them all, got the books. Tried the recipes and I pick and mix. It’s a juggling act. I’m getting there slowly.
I have a lot to be thankful for. I live in a beautiful part of the Lake District, I have a wonderful family and colleagues and friends who care for and support me. So what’s the problem? Why is this so hard?
It’s the subtle changes – the steroids affect my body in many ways. Mrs Grumpy from Grumpy-ville arrives when it’s tablet time, or low blood sugar time, or when I’m just plain tired. Managing this illness (and Hypothyroid, Asthma and Diabetes) and my full time work as a Head teacher is hard work. Not only for me but for those who I live with, work with (although it took a while to tell them…), who I meet with and care about. It’s the self management of my doses – if I’m full of energy some days I can be super busy, feel amazing, on top of the world! YAY!
However, I use my steroids quicker so sink like a stone and g e t re a l l y t i r e d…
But there are also the big changes – food has become the enemy and I’m trying really hard to befriend it again. It isn’t going well. Being coeliac, dairy and sugar free is what you might call a challenge! Planning ahead and ensuring I’m not caught out with a low sugar moment is essential if I’m going to maintain some kind of balance.
There are the foods that I eat that I think are ok, only to find they have too many carbohydrates in them, or they contained something I cannot tolerate. For example, I thought salmon was a good fish for me, light, healthy and full of pink, oily goodness – suddenly a swollen tongue and tingly lips told me otherwise! These things happen out of the blue!
So I’ve been adjusting. Evaluating. Trying to keep healthy. Grieving in some ways the healthy person I used to be. Its all too easy to look back and say, I used to be able to…., Now I can’t…
For anyone who is living with Chronic Illness – invisible illness – this is what I have learnt. The hard way. It’s really not rocket science. I feel a bit foolish.
You can’t go back. (Duh! Took me a while.) Forward is the only way, you owe it to yourself. Be kind to yourself and say ‘No’ once in a while. It’s ok! Say ‘yes please’ to offers of help. Know your limitations are only for today. Tomorrow will have it’s own challenges and you can deal with them. You’ve dealt with all your hardest days so far- and survived! You will make mistakes, unknowingly eat the wrong food, do too much, snap at people who although hurt will understand because they care about you. Be open and honest. Be vulnerable. It’s going to be ok, just a different ok to what you had before. Who really knows what’s ahead of them anyway?
I’m practising Positive thinking. I’m practising mindfulness. Returning to the land of blog. Full steam (or maybe medium) ahead! xx