I’ve been suffering from my an unknown (maybe close to being diagnosed) illness for close to 12 months now. I’ve been so ill that there are days when I can’t do much without being winded. Some days are better than others though so I like to at by ear. The most important thing for me though is to listen to what my body is telling me. Some days it’s okay to push my limits a little bit. But other days I’m facing a brick wall that if I push ends up putting me in what I call my exhaustion deficit. Because then for days my body needs to recover.
For the past few months I’ve done really well. I’ve taken pride in the little victories and I don’t punish myself when things don’t go well. It’s really all I can do to stay positive until I beat this thing.
To be honest the real difficulty is that other people don’t know my limitations. They are always pushing me to do more. Or wonder why I haven’t done more. And it’s not that I am doing nothing it’s just that I am going a little slower to get there.
This struggle is hardest with my loved ones. I do try to clearly articulate my bad days. Or when I really can’t keep going. And sometimes I don’t know if they simply don’t understand or don’t care about how I am feeling. I play a certain role. I am a caregiver by nature and a natural pushover to my close ones. If they need something or want me to do something I’ll do it. The problem is some of these things would probably be a challenge even for a healthy person. For someone unhealthy it’s like trying to climb a mountain with no shoes or rope.
I tell them I can’t do it. I’ve had enough. I need help.
But I never seem to get the understanding or the help. And when I say “you don’t seem to understand what I am going through” they say “we do” but they still don’t change their behaviours, or help, or apologize. And that night when my vision blurs, and my GERD is out of control, or I black out, have an unresolvabke migraine as a result, or vomit from exertion. That’s me suffering and not them. They don’t understand that.
I am a young woman but I have a chronic illness. An undiagnosed one. So there still isn’t much in the ways I can do to make my symptoms better other than taking it easy. When I can’t even do that my symptoms remain exacerbated and then I start to feel down because I wish they would understand.
I know my limitations I just wish other people could learn to understand and respect them.