Oatmeal Days

I’ve been reading a lot lately about living with chronic disease. Until this COVID hit and I was joined by so many people working from home, I didn’t think about my chronic condition and its affects on my daily routine. I never placed myself in that group. You know, those people. (They’re always complaining about being sick and tired.) I just “dealt” with it. I supposed I needed to see those without chronic disease dealing with a suddenly stationary lifestyle to see how many days I spend walking in oatmeal.

That’s what I call my bad days, Oatmeal Days – because there are days when it feels like I’m walking in a giant bowl of oatmeal. The more I push, the less distance I travel.

Chronic fatigue is a symptom of my disease, and while I’ve “dealt” with it for most of my adult life, it hasn’t been until this past year that I’ve put myself into that group of chronic fatigue sufferers. There are no drugs to cure chronic fatigue, especially since it’s a symptom of a larger problem, but accepting it as an issue proves to be the number one thing I needed to do, especially since so many in the medical profession say “suck it up,” or “eat more veggies” when I complain about being tired all the time. I’ve been sucking it up long enough, and I’m a vegetarian. 

Thought I’d share what I’ve learned in hopes it makes your oatmeal days a little easier to deal with.

1. Don’t be afraid to back off from activities with friends. That was the hardest thing for me to do. People expect me to do certain things, and I hate not being able to keep up. I participate as much as I can, but now I let others handle the heavy lifting.

2. Rest when you need it. Nothing hurts more than pushing and pushing and pushing only to have things remain undone. Yes, it takes me longer to get things done, but they get done when I take the time to let my body rest. Maybe I read a little, have a cup of tea, walk through my garden and observe what’s growing. I’m not killing anyone’s time. I’m healing.

3. Realize drinking that extra mocha, eating that danish, or sucking down candy bars may give me a quick sugar rush, but in the end, I still need to rest. In fact, I’m more tired after a forced push brought on by a sugar high than if I just rest. These things just add calories that cannot be worked off. Hopefully, I’ve caught myself before I gain so much weight I cannot get back to a healthy weight.

In these times where everyone’s health affects us all, let’s give us and our friends a break. Relax, smile, take a sip of tea. All will be done when it’s done. 

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