I’ve just packed up and walked 4 light weight boxes (clothes only) out to my car. I’ve also taken some fishing gear (since I’m not using it – why not get it out of the way???), and car seat back headrests (just in the way, while I’m packing up stuff to put in the shed).
After that very lightweight effort, I had to take a break to recharge my batteries before I get on the road.
Not for my safety, but for YOURS.
As I’m being introspective and challenging myself about my ability to work and hustle more than I am, I’m still coming up against the brick wall each day of exhaustion, tiredness and breathing problems. Whispy. Woozy. Swampy.
We developed these descriptions growing up as a way to figure out if hospitalization might be necessary if I kept on pushing myself. There was no vocabulary to know when I was slipping out of control (although I learned by the time that I was 12 or 13 that sleeping on the floor, under the dining room table, is a clear indicator that I’m slipping into deeper illness). At this point, I no longer have to try and translate what I’m dealing with every day to a concerned housemate, and I’m proud to say that my biofeedback and salt inhalation treatments keep me somewhat stabilized between “whispy” and “woozy” most of the time.
“Whispy” is when I’m short of breath, and whistling while inhaling or exhaling. As long as I am careful, I don’t sound like Darth Vader and no one notices unless I move too fast or do too much.
“Woozy” is when I’m short of breath, have done too much, now have arms like jello (sometimes legs, too), and I can’t get enough breath to feel well enough to do much of anything complicated. My brain starts to fog, and I know I shouldn’t be driving as it’s almost like being drunk.
If drunk is the way I go for being short of oxygen, I’ll be thankful. There’s nothing worse than gasping for air, having panic attacks or anxiety because you can’t catch your breath, and it gets really scary. Luckily, I’ve learned to use biofeedback and relaxation techniques (along with deep breathing) to restore my equilibrium back to the “whispy” state of being, so long as an infection or virus hasn’t caught me unawares.
“Swampy“, however, is when I have my most productive cough (most mornings or late evenings), and when congestion and obstruction for breathing settles in my chest like a spectre of death, waiting to see if I will beat it, or it will be me. There are times when the mucus is frightening, stealing my breath, and leaving me coughing without the ability to catch my breath as my body fights desperately to expel the congestion.
Having just loaded the car with 4 skimpy boxes and some laundry, it’s most aggravating to have to check myself and wonder if I’m goldbricking, or if there is a way that I can push through and work harder.
I’m sure, if my hair were on fire, I’d find a way to try. But it isn’t. So, I do what I can while wondering how sick is sick “enough” when it comes to being paid back for benefits one has paid into.
I certainly don’t want to give up my attempts to travel or try new things.
The real question is whether or not the insurance company and the lawyers are being unreasonable and counter-productive to insist that I be chair-bound before I have a reasonable argument for my particular situation.