Monday, October 14, 2013

Lyme Disease and Productivity

I have Chronic Lyme Disease. I have not had a terrible flare up since I was pregnant with Molly - and man, that one was a doozy! I can say that with some humor now that I am so far removed from this, but the truth is, autoimmune diseases are way more common than you think, and it's not a laughing matter. While the jury is still out on the causes of Lyme Disease and other similar co-infections, I'm sure that a lot of you know that my whole family has been affected in some way or another by Lyme Disease.

My main symptoms are debilitating migraine headaches, arthritis-like symptoms in my joints, low energy, and insomnia. While I am not in a flare up, I still have days where I experience any number of these symptoms for no apparent reason, or sometimes due to humidity/drastic weather change. I should be used to that, I live on the Eastern Shore!!

Lest you be bored by my ramble about medical conditions, there really is a point to all of this! 

One thing that I have learned through all of this is perseverance in productivity. There are days (like today) when my head is pounding, and not even excedrin migraine can 'fix' me back to full power, but if I let myself sink onto the couch for the whole day and not even attempt to be productive, I will start a habit that is not easily broken. The mentality of - "If I waste what little energy I have now, I won't have any if I need it later" is a common one among people who suffer from chronic pain of one kind or another. You conserve energy, just in case. But guess what? That's not productive, and it certainly won't make you feel better.

I used to have a lot of guilt, because sometimes I really can't pull myself out of it, and things would literally be a mess when Patrick got home from work. But as long as those days are few and far between, a little PB&J for dinner never hurt anyone!

The important thing to remember is that if you have the energy: USE IT. You won't regret it. Don't push yourself too far, but by using that energy to be productive, you won't struggle with the guilt of being 'down' later in the day. 

P.s. I'm preaching this to myself. There are days that this whole mentality goes out the window and I lay on the couch and throw myself a giant pity party. :)