In every journey…

…there is stress.

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What I love about stress is your body’s inability to believe you when you say, “I’ve got this!” and your subconscious chants, “No.  No, you don’t”.

One of the “joys” of using biofeedback to handle my stress is that there are times when it just doesn’t work because your body says, “Ha!”.

Traditionally, your body will trigger off any pre-existing condition you have, until it gets you to listen.  In my case, my first go-to trigger has always been an asthma exacerbation.  Over the years, I learned to calm that down with biofeedback, deep breathing, relaxation techniques, and an adherence to my medication protocols and regime that would make any Nurse Ratchett proud.

As I grew and matured, and mastered my ability to keep my mouth shut when stressed, my body found new triggers to pull.  No amount of gentle physical activity could sublimate my stress or anxiety, so the body found new ways to torture me into giving up and just going back to bed:

– Can’t have an attack because of stress management?

– Fine.  Have a migraine instead.

– Can’t have a migraine because of stress management?

– Fine.  Have an explosive bowel movement.  All damned day.

– Can’t have bathroom issues because you’re not eating?

– Fine.  Have neck, rib, or any other body pain instead.

– Can’t have body pain because it’s not enough to stop you?

– Fine.  Make your feet swell painfully as your breathing acts up.

– None of the above is working to stop you?  You refuse to yield?

– Fine.  Lets cover your body in rashes.

Giving in and going to bed comes with its own punishment.  Angry and inflamed patches of skin on either or both hip bones, where my skin touches the sheets.  (Or, where my skin touches my PJ’s, which touch the sheets which rest on my lovely pillow-topped mattress and reflect the body comfort back to me in puddles of sweat).  Every danged night.

As I’m going through perimenopause with its circus of hot flashes and chills adding to the joy, my nightly sauna (interrupting sleep), and my early morning chills from COPD (demanding I go back to bed to get warm and get more sleep), come into direct conflict as my body insists on rebelling.

Yes, I’m doing my best to avoid an exacerbation.  Yes, I’m practicing deep breathing / pursed lip exhales every hour on the hour that I’m awake.  Yes, I’m winning more often than I’m losing, as I’m pushing my body to do what I need it to do, despite the subconscious sabotage.

But, it’s not without its price.

As I get up to start my day and keep my committments to other people, dropping the cat off at the groomers, and getting through the next few hours with a willing friend coming to join me and help paint, plus a new window guy to look at screens and options, I’m showering and treating the rashes, speaking kindly to myself in a positive reinforcement manner, all the while knowing that I just need to find a way to suck it up.

I haven’t lost my vision to a migraine (the threatening headache isn’t a full-blown migraine, thank heavens).  I haven’t lost my ability to move due to shortness of breath.  My writing arm and wrist are twanging, but are still manageable.

Get up.

Suck it up.

You got this.

If not, do what you can while you can, and cut the day short.  You’re not at that point yet, so get up and get moving.

2 thoughts on “In every journey…

  1. Nurse Ratchett would be proud. I’m astounded! And now this little ditty is going to loop through my head all day (thanks!) “Suck it up Buttercup”… oh dear lord. But you’ve provided some clues as to why things seem to cascade vis a vis fighting the invisible illness(es)…if you ‘fix’ one, the stress is just gonna pop out somewhere else. Solution: Get rid of the stress. How does one do THAT without dropping dead? Mystifies the most astute minds of our day…. So when do you get the royalties for being the poster child for ‘suck it up buttercup?” I think your worries are over!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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