knowing my limits- what limits???

it’s been a continuous process learning what my body can do and what it cannot. of course i delight at the former, and curse and swear at the latter. but because RA and fibromyalgia can be very dynamic diseases, i’m never really in a steady state. what i was able to do, say 6 months ago, i may not be able to do now. what i’m not able to do during flares, might be doable when i’m ok.

last week as i served for the Treasure retreat at the Office For Young People (OYP), i was so physically stretched that my body’s response to the exertion was almost like an awful whiplash. because it was a 3.5 day thing, and i had to travel up and down (due to the lack of space for sleeping in), it was a tall order to tell myself that i will not bail on it. i had made the terrible mistake of not knowing what i should not do, even though i’ve been living with this lousy body for so long. i did everything like everyone else. i made little excuse, and the perfectionist in me refused to take the back seat to rest when everyone else was working. i paid for it with each night i got home. i was cursing and swearing, almost at the brink of tears, spamming painkillers, taking long hot baths, desperately looking for a much need reprieve. this time though, i had realised that it was more of FM beating the crap out of my body than RA. on the last day, it ended with a bang with a headache that felt like my skull had cracked.

after realising what i got myself into, i made a forecast that i will need about 2 weeks to recover from this FM exacerbation. this was no code blue, but suffice to say it was 3 days of 14-hour service (7 on the first half day) at OYP. i tell myself these casually, but there’s also my reality that i need to face. i just don’t have the body that i used to have anymore. it was something that i had to come to terms in 2010 when i retired from dancing, perhaps i just didn’t want anything else to stop anymore.

the compounding fatigue and pain from RA and FM can threaten to throw me off into a dizzying tailspin, and with that, my depression can get caught in it very easily. i keep refusing to accept the changes in my body, just as i have always had difficulty reconciling with the fact that i have RA and accepting the disease process. i keep pushing my body beyond its limits, and with each time i beat myself up for the same thing- not knowing what my body can do. there are certain things that i will always do no matter what, like code blues. but for the rest, i just wished i could be kinder to myself.

i don’t know what i’m rambling about really. aargh.


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