My brain has a tendency to forget that my body has limitations. Not 5 minutes ago, after taking the dog out, I attempted to put my PJ pants back on while standing. Luckily, the wall was close by, so when I began to fall over, while on one leg, it was there to save me. I laughed at myself, and said, “Well that was stupid…” (perhaps out loud), and then I decided this would probably make a great blog post. There’s no way that I am the only one that does this stuff. 😀
I used to have a normal life. I was always outdoors as a child, and through adulthood, I was active as well. Hiking, swimming, running after the kids, etc. I was always able enough, and strong enough, to do anything. I never wasted anytime analyzing what I was about to do, to determine how much , or what, would hurt afterwards. I never stopped myself from running across the street to beat the traffic, or from tossing a grandchild in the air, to hear their giggles. I never had to call someone to come open a jar of pickles. Yes, those were the good old days.
Now, even something as easy as taking a bath, or writing a blog post, takes thought, and planning, or worst case, putting it off until tomorrow. I first have to evaluate the parts of my body that will be used to complete the task. In the case of bathing, this is very important when one considers that a mishap in the tub. or shower could result in serious injury. How do I feel? Am I already tired from the day? Will the heat help or hurt today? Are my arms and legs feeling strong enough to get in and out? Do I need to wash my hair, or keep it from getting wet? Any normal person just takes a shower, or a bath. Not me. It can literally take hours for me to decide.
To anyone who doesn’t have a chronic illness such as Lyme Disease, ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia, or any combination of those, and others, this process may seem odd. Why not just do the things? The fact of the matter is, that on most days, we can’t. Even on our good days, we still need to think about the results of our activities, and how much recovery time we will need afterwards.
Our brains, although now geared to take into account our limitations, often fail us. They sometimes allow us to believe that we can run to catch the ball that is on it’s way into traffic, resulting in two or three steps before we realize our bodies aren’t cooperating. This can be a painful experience, or a humorous one (or both), depending on whether or not you sustain an injury, fall flat on your face, or if there are witnesses.
I have found, that without a sense of humor, I would be in sad shape. My brain may sometimes think I am still 20 years old, and able to chase down a runaway ball, or run up the stairs, but unless there is adrenaline involved, I do have serious limitations. I have to keep reminding myself, “No, you can’t jog across the street, or run…just walk, you’ll still get where you want to go.”
So, for safety sake, remind yourself to be careful, and try not to act like a superhero. You don’t want to be the person in the E.R. trying to explain to the staff how the hell you broke your arm whilst putting on your PJ ‘s.