Monday, June 6, 2011

#78 - Preparing for the Bad Days

I grew up hearing the saying, "Expect the best, but prepare for the worst," and this is one of my little phrases that I live by. After becoming very ill with Addison's, I certainly learned to prepare for the worst because those bad days had barreled into my life too many times and I had not been ready. I had been knocked off my feet, literally. Finally, I realized that the least that I could do to lessen the impact of a bad day is to be prepared.

If a bad day comes my way, and I am just lacking the energy or the wellness to confront a day with physical activity, then I have a couple of spots in my house that are comfy and nurturing. These areas have been better prepared by some planning and effort.

In my bedroom, I have a large nightstand that holds pens, pads, my medications and it supports a nice little lamp. I have a bookshelf nearby that has boxes of family photos, magazines, books and my journal to write in. My laptop is always nearby and my phones are close at hand as well.

In my bedroom, I have two french doors that allow me to look into the backyard. Lately, I have chickens to enjoy watching. They are amusing and comical.

Whether I'm sitting in my leather recliner or relaxing in bed on those bad days, I have televisions with a DVR of my favorite shows and movies waiting on standby. Normally, I have an extremely difficult time sitting still and cannot lie back during the day, so when I am not doing well and am forced to recline, I try to watch a movie. But, it's not easy for me.

Of course, my dogs are always by my side. Howdy seems to always know when I'm not doing so great. He occasionally jumps up with his big paws leaning on the side of my bed to take a look at my face, very closely. If he's satisfied, he slinks back down to the ground to curl up and be quiet. If I am really not feeling well, he does a huge no-no, he jumps on my bed and stands over me to directly look into my face. If I'm feeling especially yucky, he will begin to make huffing noises of frustration and he refuses to leave until I convince him that I am okay. Usually, this means having to get up and walk around with him a bit. If I am very sick and not able to get up, then he lays down by my side while intently watching me and he won't listen to commands for him to get down, that's not like him either.

When you really aren't feeling well, it can be irritating to have a large dog act like a guardian, but then, I know that he's also helped to pull me out of a very low blood pressure time frame simply because he gets my blood pumping with irritation. He rarely does this, but when he does, I've come to realize that it's best if I simply take more medication because maybe he's sensing something that I'm not totally aware of. His keen attention to my state of being is amazing. He's one dog that is majorly in-tune!

Every morning, my sweet husband makes me a nice sized glass of hot tea and brings it to me as he kisses me goodbye. It's a tradition he's always done for all three of his girls. So, I have my tea next to me and if I'm not feeling well, I'll often have a package of crackers nearby. Also, there is always plenty of left-over food in the fridge that's easy to heat up. I'm the cleaning gal and my husband is the one who cooks the most - he is a Deputy by day and a Chef at heart.

Of course, I always expect to have the best day possible. Sometimes, my day might start out rotten, but it gets much better. Or the reverse will happen, it starts out with me bouncing off the walls with energy and I'll suddenly be knocked down by some mysterious entity, I believe the name is Addison's disease.

Some people are on the end of the spectrum of this disease where it is easier to control and others are stomped to the ground by this disease, even with the best of management. This is understandable when you think of people with any condition - as an example that most of us have seen, a cancer patient might be able to quickly conquer their cancer, but the next persons finds themselves with the same kind of cancer, yet they are quickly engulfed. Such is life - it is not fair.

I knew one person with Addison's who was on top of the world, he felt as if he had perfect control of his disease and was into body building and living a "perfect" life, for years. He said that controlling his Addison's was not an issue, he had regular bouts with colds, stomach bugs, etc., but nothing got him down for long, Then, one day, he got a "little" virus and his entire world capsized. Now, he's constantly battling for a good day. I don't know why this happens, but I take my good days as a huge blessing and make the best of them.

This past week, my Internal Medicine doctor (who now treats a few patients with Addison's disease) revealed that every one of his patients with this disease are disabled...they qualify for disability. That is revealing. I was shocked, but also not surprised...weird kind of reaction.

Preparing for the bad days means that I also take full advantage of my good moments. If I am having a strong, energetic morning, I use that opportunity to get as much done as I can. Usually, I'm like a hurricane because I don't know how long it will last - perhaps for days, perhaps for mere minutes. I can never tell. However, I utilize every good minute that I can grab. This is how I somewhat stay on top of things. Not that I do a great job of it, but I do work hard to keep my floors clean, the sheets clean, our laundry done and family paperwork in order. Then, I get to blog - I get to write and to reflect on how life has changed because of Addison's disease and how I might be able to relay that information to others.

Today, it looks like I'll be given at least a part-Hurricane day, there's so much I'd love to do...painting, organizing my laundry room, clearing out my office, going through old files, but I will take it one step at a time and be happy with however my day goes.

I must add that preparing for a bad day also includes leaving condemnation behind. Having a bad day is bad enough without having to beat yourself up over having a health condition that can be challenging and that you didn't ask to come into your life. You deal with your unwelcomed visitor as best you can and keep moving forward. So, I accept who I am, I accept what I can and cannot do, and I accept life as it is. And you know what? It's not so bad; it's actually full of goodness and blessings.

Actually, I want to make it clear, that in spite of my challenges, most of my life is incredible and full of deep meaning...I am definitely blessed and I treasure each great moment!

1 comment:

  1. Lana, You are so cute!! I am constantly ready for a good day! I have list after list of the things I want to get done. I did manage to buy some flowers, but it got too hot and I didn't get them planted. My sis will probably come and do it for me. When I am trapped in my room on a really bad day I can't even watch TV or read. I can't concentrate, and the noise from the TV makes me nuts. I wait for good days and take complete advantage of them...I'm glad that you do too!


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