Abusing your "good days" with lupus - how not to fall into the trap!
This is my first Fall going to Aldi. Boy, do they know how to do it up!
At one point, I had pumpkin spice almonds, pumpkin caramel corn, maple peanut butter, pumpkin pie greek yogurt, pumpkin chipotle pasta sauce, pumpkin goat cheese, pumpkin yogurt pretzels, and pumpkin spice soup in my cart. I went a little pumpkin 🎃 overboard!
Once I came to my senses, and put a few things back (make that a couple, or was it just one?!) - I was reminded how easy it is to overdo, and how quickly one can feel overdue once we do too much. (You can thank my daughter Deirdre for the word play. Her spelling lesson this week included these two homophones!)
But remembering back, during many flare-filled weeks and months, day after day, I felt awful - in horrific pain, with swollen joints, experiencing absolute exhaustion.
And then, behold, a day would come - sometimes out of nowhere, others because the medication had finally kicked in - when I felt half-way decent. I could actually take a shower without resting afterward. Or brushing my teeth didn't bring tears from the pain. I would delight in the symptom-reprieve, knowing, however, that it might not last. In fact, believing that it wouldn't, I would make up my mind that this was the day to get things done. I was feeling good, the meds were in full force (usually the prednisone), and it was time to accomplish.
But, oh, how quickly I would overdo it. Too much, too soon, and too quickly. It was such a pattern with me. I would set myself back for another few days - now not recovering from just the flare, but also how spent my body was.
I wish I could say that it only took a couple of times of overdue-ness before I wised up. But I pushed for a long time. Like several years too long.
But then I stopped. I realized the goal was not to run myself into the ground on the "good days - to run out of "spoons", as they say in the spoonie community. It was to actually pace myself, so that every day had the possibility of becoming a good day. And it worked.
Giving myself room to breathe allowed for healing to take place. Or at least to begin. It wasn't two steps forward, one (or three) steps back, day after day. It was one consistent, deliberate baby step at a time.
But those steps added up, and hours became days which became weeks where my disease was managed. I actually could do more - maybe not at the pace I used to - but definitely with more predictability and constancy. It became clear that the most efficient and effective route to living well was this one.
Any thoughts on how easy it is to abuse your "good days"? Or maybe you have tricks for making sure you don't. Share if you feel up to it!