"Where there is creativity, there is hope." ~ Donna Karan

I Did What I Thought I Wouldn't Be Able To Do

by - Friday, April 13, 2012

Two weeks ago I did what I thought I wouldn't be able to do. I holidayed like a healthy person. Yep, that's right, I spent seven full days sightseeing like I wasn't a sick person. I did everything a healthy person could do and then some. I did it with an added ailment, too.

On the second day of our trip in the Sunshine State, I fell down a step I didn't know existed and sprained my ankle. I know, I'm all class. I have never sprained my ankle before, or had a swollen foot for that matter, so to me it hurt something shocking. It's still not quite right. But within a few hours of icing and resting it, I became frustrated. I strapped it up real tight and ignored the pangs of pain, and continued my crazy nothing-is-going-to-stop-me-from-enjoying-myself-sightseeing. Yes indeed, I walked the pain of my ankle away.
I strolled through the theme parks, I tackled thrill rides- rough roller coasters, you name it, ate like I was eating for five, shopped myself silly and more. And I only hired a wheelchair for one day. Pretty impressive, huh? Yeah I thought so. It's a miracle all that activity hasn't left me bed bound.

Yes, I did go on that roller coaster. Twice, infact.
Before I left for a week filled with glorious food, fun and sand, I was a little apprehensive and anxious. Ok, I was VERY apprehensive and anxious. I feared I wouldn't be able to cope with the sudden increase in activity, when just carting my luggage through the airport is enough to leave me feeling smashed. But somehow I did it.
Before I arrived, I promised that I would pace myself, listen to my body, and accept that I would probably have to miss out on some activities. However, when sheer excitement took over, all wisdom went out the window! I wanted to experience everything, and so I adopted the attitude of do whatever, and worry about the consequences later. It's amazing what you can achieve when adrenaline kicks in.
There were times when I was enthralled by excitement that I forgot I even had a chronic illness. And then there were times when I felt so damn awful- my body protesting with pangs of pain, and aches in places I rarely experience problematic pain.
But I did what I thought I wouldn't be able to do. Yes it was hard, yes I wanted to give up and surrender to tears, yes I am paying the price now and yes brain fog has increased ten fold, but I did it and I did it well. There weren't even any sulky-sulk-this-is-too-hard-I-can't-do-it-anymore toddler like tantrums.
My holiday as taught me so many valuable things. I was able to better evaluate the success of my new drug Humira. I have no doubt that it's what made my holiday possible. And although I can't keep doing what I accomplished on my holiday week after week (I hope to one day), I realised how blessed I am to be able to act like a somewhat healthy person and go hardcore for at least a week (even though I'm paying for it) - there are many chronic pain and fatigue sufferers who aren't able to do that.
My favourite holiday picture. Don't know why, just is.
During my week away I did nearly more in that week alone than I have done in an entire year. I've realised the restrictions and limitations that I sometimes place upon myself because of my illness, because of fear of post exertional malaise, and because of taking too much care and caution not to over do things are often unnecessary. Of course I need to use wisdom- constantly running around all crazy would just be silly and detrimental to successfully managing my illnesses, but I can still do things. My body still works. I still work. I can still function, just at a limited capacity some days.
And even though I've come back from my holiday pretty pooped, I've come back believing in myself, more hopeful and positive. I have more faith in my decision to return to working a short shift a week soon. And I'm more determined to reach my exercise goals and slowly work towards making some of my dreams a reality.
I thought writing this post wouldn't be possible at present in the thick of fatigue and brain fog, but I sat down, pushed through it and did it anyway. Sometimes you have to just stop thinking and do it. My holiday has helped remind me to stop doubting myself, and to have more confidence in my abilities.
I did what I thought I wouldn't be able to do. I even have the photos to prove it.
PS- more photos coming soon, I promise. x
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