Long day, short day

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Rule: If I have a long day, the day following must then be short.

Yesterday I had a nice early start to my day. As I made my daily schedule and chose which accomplishments I could complete, I had more hours than usual to fill.

Danger: The temptation to fill up all available hours with committed activities is very great.

I had fixed points taking up room on my schedule: meals, errands, evening rehearsal. Because I am not at my best in the evening, my goal in scheduling had as much to do with keeping my stamina throughout the day as staying on task and deadline for work.

I chose not to commit to more work activities than I would have on other days.

Danger: The temptation to fill up all available time with recreational or physical activities is very great.

I noted the non-work goals for completion and kept buffer zone for resting.

So this got me through a long day. I felt good and energetic throughout the day. I was tired at rehearsal but maintained focus pretty well. I successfully navigated a long day.

Rule: If I have a long day, the day following must then be short.

My dearest wish is to continue feeling bright and energetic. This morning I allowed myself to sleep longer than I would have normally desired. Even though I love the early mornings, it was good to let myself sleep. I was able to sleep fairly well, which is for me an accomplishment in itself.

Danger: the temptation to be disappointed in myself for sleeping late is very great.

When I miss the early morning, I need to consciously remind myself that it is OK to have gotten more rest. I do not need to rush. I can go through my whole process and still have time to accomplish my daily goals.

As I put together my daily commitment of activities, I considered that I also have an evening commitment today. I can handle one main work-related goal today.

Danger: the temptation to feel guilt that I am somehow shirking duties is very great.

Taking care of my health is perhaps the most important task of my day. I will have no chance of supporting my goals if fatigue and brain fog symptoms return. It is important on my short day to have as many restful breaks as feels right for my body. It is vital for my ability to rest during breaks to feel happy, peaceful and absent of stress.

I shall not beat myself up for needing rest. I shall not beat myself up for taking rest.

We are nearing the end of this work day. I did accomplish my main work goal, business maintenance, and also some other volunteer work that is not so fun. I do feel satisfied about that. What remains is dinner, more rest and the evening event.

I shall not force myself into an event if my body is not up to it.

I have the option to stay home tonight. I have the option to go and enjoy the event. I have the option to leave early.

I would like tomorrow to be a medium day. I can recover and move forward.

I can recover. I can have energy, happiness and a clear mind. I can do this again.

A new treatment adventure

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I cannot stop being hungry today. Eat, satisfied, hungry again, a faster pattern than normal. But I am in good spirits. Although tired and “giving up” for the day, taking to the couch with laptop will give me a smidgen more activities to complete that I have not the energy to do from office chair.

I am pleased that today my naturopath gave an alternate perspective that I can try which rather than managing symptoms, is a test for cause. It just makes more sense to me. So my new health adventure is to test for heavy metal toxins. Fun times! But doable and results will be helpful. Hopefully very helpful, but I’ll settle for simply helpful.

And the other thing is once again a diet change and supplement array to combat yeast overgrowth. this won’t solve my greater problem but it will help my current “minor” problem, which is quite annoying indeed. Which is an IBS kind of thing with exacerbated PMS thrown in to boot. I know, aren’t you jealous?

I have to say though, I am pleased to undergo a treatment whose side effects are not worse than my condition. I am still working with my medical doctor; I will share this adventure and all connected results with her as well.

And for now, back to being hungry, and hungry again. Ah so it goes.

About alternatives to cane sugar

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So then, as previously observed on this site, my fatigue and brain fog symptoms flare when I eat cane sugar, corn syrup, agave syrup, honey. Because I like to bake I have been experimenting with some alternatives to sugar.

Beet syrup

I haven’t actually baked with this, but have experienced in some gluten free, vegan muffins from my local store bakery. No big reaction, so I can indulge with this sweetener.

Coconut sugar

Seems to me that this is cartelized, granulated coconut. It is not as sweet as sugar or honey, but adds to a nice bittersweet chocolate ganache, and did well in a gluten free, vegan blueberry muffin experiment. Does not taste overly of coconut.

Fructose

There are a few powdered fructose options. I noticed with that the ones that listed ingredients included cane sugar derivatives. I had thought that it would be evaporated fruit juice, but either I am confused about what fructose is or the brands my store carries don’t have that.

Fruit syrup

Currently experimenting with a syrup made from pear and pineapple juice. I am finding it is less sweet than the coconut sugar. Also does not taste overly of pear or pineapple. Did OK with cocoa; might be nice in muffins as well.

Stevia

I am afraid to try Stevia because many of my friends report it makes them nauseous.

Xylotol

I’ve noticed this has appeared on the shelves. I haven’t tried it in baking as another close friend reports headaches, and I like to share my baked goods.

I know my “research” here is wildly incomplete. Any other input on alternative sugars and their effect on chronic fatigue symptoms?

Shopping for side effects

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Now is the time in my treatment where my doctor would like to add an anti-inflammatory to the anti-viral medication that I have been taking. Because I am sensitive to medication, I will probably get at least one side effect. I definitely need to be careful about what I introduce to my system, since the whole point of treatment is to increase health, well-being and general functionality.

So now I am shopping for side effects, needing to choose an affordable drug with side effects that I can deal with should they arise. I am seeing how scary the world of anti-inflammatories is; from “suicidal thoughts”, panic attacks, blurry vision, to the very symptoms that I am working to prevent. Never mind cost or availability to insurance, or any of those more mundane details.

I am understandably looking into alternative treatments, nutrition and otherwise. These may also carry side-effects but perhaps more gentle?

The thing that occurs to me is that my actual illness is almost like a collection of side-effects in itself. All of the medication I am taking or looking into is really for a different disease. This is all a big experiment. I am betting my life on it. In one sense I must proceed with care, and in another sense I am already “all in” and simply need to bravely face whatever comes next.

My body will always remind me

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Just in case I am feeling “normal”, and think that it’s OK to have a thimble-full of alcohol (a splash of bourbon in this case, no more than 1/2 tsp.), I will instantly be rewarded with a headache and sore throat lasting into the next day (and beyond).

Perhaps certain items should be re-labeled “It’s not worth it”, if they are kept (for guests? Is that why I still have these things?).

The “It’s not worth it” list:

  • alcohol
  • sugar, cane and similar
  • dairy
  • glutenous treats

Perhaps more will be added to this list as we progress. (“we” being my mind and my body, not always working as one)

Note to self: It’s not worth it!

The Laundry Problem

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I am sure we all have some version of this. My Laundry Problem ™ is as follows:

The Problem:

  1. It takes too long to fit my schedule (I have to go to laundromat)
  2. It saps my energy and causes back pain
  3. Detergent scents give me a headache and exacerbate insomnia
  4. When I am sick I can’t even think about it, but that’s when I need fluffy clean sheets and clothes, ready to wear
  5. I am bored and uncomfortable for the whole process

Solutions to try:

  1. Do smaller loads, more often
    1. Saving some time and back pain, if not money
  2. Buy more sheet sets so I can have dust-mite free sheets even if I can’t do the laundry
    1. I sleep SO much better in clean sheets!
    2. If i have one set for each week in a month, chances are good I’ll have clean ones when I need them
  3. Get clean, unscented detergent even if it is more expensive
    1. No headaches == twice as much energy + happiness (n)
  4. Pay a friend or professional to do it for me when I am sick
    1. I’ll just have to get over the guilt and weird feelings concerning asking or purchasing help for these kinds of things

Any more suggestions in the comments I am happy to hear about.

Every day a new adventure, sometimes two

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It really is, you know, especially when you, like me, are focussed a lot on the minutiae of existence for health purposes. The past few days have been a funny patchwork of fun times, stressful challenges, resting, pushing too hard, sleeping well, not sleeping at all, muscle pain, feeling fine. A microcosm, I suppose, of life itself.

I did ok, looking back on it. (looking back with nostalgia and perspective on the last two days. I know. Oh well.) I got through the stressful bits and maneuvered myself to the resting bit (blissful resting bit), more stress, freakout, dealwith, rest, feeljustfine.

The stressful bits were like mini-movies; the spreading blue ooze of laundry detergent on the floor, locking myself out at night in the forest, that sort of thing. Finding solutions felt almost heroic even though the scale here is small. Being woken up in the middle of the night and then realizing I had actually been asleep is one relaxing realization. Oh thank god, my mind and body will have a chance tomorrow! I can function and be happy, even if just for a few consecutive hours. Ahhhhh.

Self Observation #2a

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So it seems that after making a decision based on weeks of research and interviews, I have that much more energy.

**Note to self: Please pay attention to the stuff in the back of your mind, it is taking up space and energy brewing there.

Outside of myself observation #1b: It has suddenly and with only a bit of fanfare begun pouring rain with what sounds to me like some thunder. This in the midst of severe drought year. Go mother nature, go!

Change in pattern detected

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OK, so Tuesday was full-on fatigue, cannot do anything sort of day (that would be Post Exertional Malaise, if you want a term from SCIENCE), and yesterday I felt fairly well recovered. I was pleased to have bounced back in one day. Today, I am not quite as good as yesterday, but for sure better than Tuesday.

This is different from earlier this year (and for the past 10 years), when a fatigue malaise would last for weeks. But I guess caution should be exercised as I seem to be sensitive to even small amounts of activity. I can’t even use how I feel my envelope to be as my guide, because this feeling lies to me!

Getting used to doing less than I feel up to will be a long, slow journey. It’s a lifetime of habitually pushing forward I have to work from.

The progress part, is being able to recognize that I need to work on this. And of course the shorter PEM lifespan. I hope that part continues, right.