Monday, 20 January 2014
An Epithany . . .
Many of you following this blog will know I have struggled with my health in recent years. In recent weeks I have felt just like the rocks in the photo above - besieged and about to go under. I have been very fearful of the future, mentally listing all the things I cannot do now, and how this was going to be shaping our plans for moving, because I could no longer garden and even simple housework was almost beyond me because any lifting, bending, arm movement brought out the pleurisy pain.
I am currently on a course of steroids along with continuing antibiotics to try and help rid me of my chest infection/pleurisy, which suddenly took a turn for the worse last week . . . the timing of which suddenly hit me with the greatest clarity when I was awake in the middle of the night (the steroids stop me sleeping). It suddenly worsened when our son went to Australia, and we had no way of keeping in touch with him because the phone line was down. We wouldn't even know if he had arrived safely. Result - my stress levels suddenly went into overdrive and my body's ability to fight the infection was greatly weakened.
In fact, I went down with the infection initially (3 years ago) the same WEEK as our eldest daughter imparted some extremely stressful news, and it has continued on with peaks and troughs (which, had I noted it all down at the time, probably echo almost exactly the pattern of stresses and worries which have haunted me ever since. The broad pattern is definitely connected with worries - and since the menopause, I can worry for Wales, usually about things I have no control over or might even never happen.
I was waiting through most of October and all of November for the result of an ECG test, which I know worried me immensly at the time, especially as one Doctor announced that I would "definitely need a Pacemaker fitted". In the event, I didn't, as my ECG showed my heart pattern was fine and my slow heart rate normal FOR ME - probably because I have always been a very active person. But that really raised my stress levels, and it takes a good while for them to drop again, so a little extra worry on top really overloaded anxiety levels.
What I couldn't understand was why, if I took just half an Actifed tablet (I have always used them as Antihistamines, and they are the only thing that worked for me when I had bad allergy symptoms, as they work on the histamine receptors in my body as opposed to just my nose), my breathing was suddenly much MUCH better and my lungs felt totally relaxed. The Actifed have a combination of drugs which both relax and stimulate, briefly speaking, though drowsiness can be a problem if I take a whole one. Note the use of the word RELAX(ed). . . I've not been able to go out for walks recently, and the notion of not being able to do much walking in the future has dragged me down. All that long list of things I COULDN'T DO.
Anyway, I have taken half an Actifed this morning. My lungs feel clear. I am deliberately noting when my body tenses and relaxing myself. I am going to start meditating every day (I found a wonderful site recently and will return to it as it really helped me). I am going to walk regularly again, infection or no infection, as I know it will help me relax. I am going to watch comedies on tv and laugh and relax. I will keep eating well, and make sure I don't overdo things, and I am going to see my Doctor tomorrow to discuss the plan forward, but I am going to GET WELL.
Sorry - this isn't the recipe for the Cranberry and Orange Plait loaf, but that will get posted later . . . Thanks for listening.