Chronic Disease Emotional Work

Day 193 and Downward Pressure

I’ve had a terrific year (pandemic aside) with significant progress on my health. I’ve become used to seeing positive trends, especially within the last six months. But the last month has been a mess for me and the downward pressure is getting to me emotionally. I’m afraid. The fear of a setback is palpable.

I haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly what has been causing a dip in my progress or frankly if it is even a dip, as it could just be a few bad days. It may be that I’m just not progressing as fast as I could have hit some Pareto Principle limit and it’s just going to be a slog to get the remaining gains. Some of my metrics continue to improve (I’m seeing cardiovascular improvements still) but my energy, pain and inflammation seem to be going in the wrong direction.

I’m crushed by the exhaustion in particular. And sadly I know this to be real. Because I take immunosuppressants I am prone to infections. To combat one I was put on a course of antibiotics which seems to have some negative side effects. So now I can’t tell if I am exhausted because I am running an infection or because I’m having a bad reaction to the drugs. Could be both.

I feel angry at my body for this pause in progress. I’ve been working so hard at improvements. When I look at how I spend my time I am often overcome with resentment and envy of healthy people. It saddens me how much more of my life needs to be dedicated to doctors than a normal person. It’s especially frustrating as in the spring I was regularly noting how well I was doing and how much capacity I had to work.

Of course, the benefit of writing every day is I can go back and see what was going on. I’ve been doing plagued by the caprice of my body before.

The trajectory of my health is one of continual improvement but scatterplot is jagged as hell as each day vacillates between health and pain.

It’s my hope that this is just another local minima and I’ll be able back to my “normal” soon. Even if I have hit 80% of my gains I can manage with that. But it’s valuable to recognize the negative emotions as they come so we can let them go.