Monday, August 19, 2013

Accomplished

What does it take for you to feel accomplished? Does it change day to day and place to place?
At work I keep busy and as I mark off items from my to do list I feel accomplished. But at home, I feel accomplished if I do the dishes and vacuum the house. This weekend I felt really accomplished. I did five loads of laundry, did the dishes, cleaned up clutter, and did a few errands. Is that all my life has been reduced to? Accomplishment is house chores!? Is it from lack of motivation, lack of energy, exhaustion from looking after 105 people at work, or something else or even all the above?

I'm not completely sure. Usually when I have something I need to do I can muster the energy to complete the tasks, but really only if it's scheduled and I don't really have an alternative. So is it motivation?
But I'm falling asleep without intention long before bedtime and I do have anemia and low B12, which I'm out of due to a shortage that had delayed my refills. And I only nap when my B12 or anemia have become too much. It must play a part.
At the end of the day, I don't usually want to do anything, not even something fun. Occasionally when it's nice weather and I feel good I want to go out on the town. Sometimes I'm so mentally drained, I don't have the energy to discuss my day and especially not in detail. To relive events is exhausting. Talking is draining. That's why there are long intervals sometimes in between posts. It's exhausting!

I think it's a mix. When we have to, we often muster the energy we need to participate in an activity even when we really rather rest but when we are active our body energizes itself. This is a common and helpful reaction to activity. We tend to feel better and have more energy and better mental health if we are active, even just once a day.

We're going to have good and bad days. Depending on which day our activity falls on, it may be a big accomplishment and that's ok. Take it more easy on bad days and go crazy with activity and to do lists on good days.

Here's a good, low strenuous 10 Minute Exercise to get you started on your good days.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Phantom Pain

I hate when I have phantom stoma pain! I just hate it. I've lived without an ostomy for over ten years now and I still getting the feeling that I still have an ostomy, stoma and all. Last night I spent half the night in a shallow sleep rubbing at my last stoma scar because it felt like I had raw skin around my "stoma". My sleep was shallow enough that although I didn't fully wake every time I touched my scar, I did stir enough awake to realize what was happening. And the most frustrating thing is even though I could tell what reality was, the phantom pain wouldn't stop so every so often it would hit me. I even was having dreams that I still had an ostomy. Had I been in a deeper sleep I would have truly believed I still had an ostomy, it was that vivid of a pain.

This isn't a one time occurrence unfortunately. Every few months my body reminds me what once was. As if I could forget anyway!  In high school during a rough health patch I dreamt I had an ostomy still and it was so vivid that I was an emotional wreck all day, I even awoke in a panic crying. I was terrified that my straight pull thru would be taken down and replaced with an ostomy once again. That all I had worked toward had been for nothing.

I've had other phantom pains before too. I'm reminded of the pain of a central line, I can't even tell you how many I've had it's been so many. The worst was during that stent in high school when I had a central line for six months due to having to be on TPN because I wasn't allowed to eat or drink for months on account of a hole in my intestine. I finally had the central line removed when it was literally hanging by only one stitch, the rest had pulled free and were no longer there. Oh that was a constant pain, not sharp but a background pain that you couldn't forget about as the central line was slightly pulled and released with movement. To this day I still have that pain if I touch or something irritates those scars or if I start to think about it too deeply.

The same happens with my arms and hands where I have blood drawn or IVs placed. Thought or touch rings those memories and they're reawakening with phantom pain of needles.

The pain we've experienced is imprinted upon our bodies and our memories without realizing it or our consent. We are not to forget the trials we've endured. Our bodies can take us back to that moment without notice in a heartbeat. Perhaps that's not completely bad though. We remember and so we can join with others and help others endure their trials as well.