Musings on Adapting

frog-serenityAs I write this, it’s 4:30 a.m. and I’ve just had a relatively peaceful 3-hour nap in my recliner (minus the minutes spent being walked on by one of our cats until she got settled, minus the minutes spent coughing).  “A nap at night?” I hear you ask.  Yep.  Due to the fact that I’ve been sick for nearly a month with another respiratory tract infection ranging from upper to lower, naps are all I get right now; 3 hours is actually good!  I’m very grateful for the comfortable recliner we were finally able to find this year here in Switzerland, because at the moment I can’t sleep horizontally (I start coughing if I try)!  I won’t go into the arm-long list of medicines/respirators I have to remember every day/night; it’s just that the best healer, rest, seems to elude me.  I try to look on the bright side, and so I am grateful that I can still breathe (mostly) on my own; I can still walk, think, talk and climb our stairs; I’m not dependent on someone else for my mobility; and though I have no sense of taste or smell at the moment (which makes my cooking an adventure for everyone else!), I can still hear and see and feel.  I’m not telling you all of this to garner sympathy – not at all!  If you’ve been around this blog for a bit, or have gone looking through my cupboards of past posts (make yourself at home!), you’ll know that this isn’t my first, nor is it likely my last, battle with health issues; some are minor, such as this, and some have been major.  But no matter how challenging it may be for me, I know that it’s nothing compared to the hurdles faced by those with chronic diseases, incapacitating disabilities, or bodies that formed incompletely (thus creating their own unique issues).

My point is this:  I’ve gotten adept at adapting.  I’ve learned over the years to have grace and patience with myself when things don’t go according to plan; when schedules get tossed out on their ears; when I can’t do things at my usual break-neck speed; when goals get deferred by circumstances beyond my control.  I’m not the kind of person who can just sit around doing nothing – even when my energy is rock-bottom, I’ll still find things to do.  When I don’t have the energy to write or even take care of household chores, at least I have the capacity to read, or listen to audio books while I do crafts (at the moment, I’m crocheting pencil toppers for Christmas boxes next year – I make them when I have time, so that by then I’ll have 100 or more).  If anyone knows any great audio books, please let me know!  I’ve had a new laptop for a few days now, just waiting to be set up; no matter how much I’d love to have the energy to tackle transferring data and programs, I’m realistic enough to wait.  The fact that I could get it is a reminder that I wore out the other one – i.e. I got a lot of writing done on that poor thing over the years that it served me well!  It’s also a reminder that my husband provides well, for which I am amazingly grateful… I don’t have to hold down a nine-to-five job regardless of my health!

Life is about adapting; it’s about change, seasons coming and going, and cycles.  Flexibility and attitudes make the path smoother or rockier, depending on which we choose.  I choose to be grateful, and I hope that I can encourage others to do likewise.

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “Musings on Adapting

  1. So terribly sorry to hear of this. Get better soon. One quick possibility- many years ago, after first being seriously sick, then just plain run off my wheels trying to get everything done that had to be done, I developed similar symptoms. For me it was an allergy, or actually a series of them, due to immune weakness due to major stress and the rcovering. What helped me was a course of no wheat and no milk. I still do it. I started feeling better in one day.. and start coughing and having problems each time I go off it. Dry air also may be a culprit in this high heat season. a water container, open, on the heater helps.

    • Thank you for the tip! I’ve been taking two immune-building herbs (alternating months), but one wasn’t working for me, and that’s when I got sick; this sort of thing goes back to a few years ago, when I nearly had pneumonia – and ever since, my bronchia is more susceptible. We have a humidifier running all winter long, as otherwise I could add migraines to that list… if the current treatment doesn’t work, I’ll check into the allergy aspect – thanks for the help! 🙂

  2. Sorry to hear about your Respiratory Track Infection. I had that same sickness, its called Tuberculosis here. Every week, water would slowly build into my right lung and then I would not be able to breathe or do anything even walking. I had to get the water pumped out of my body, every week, by drawing injections in my back. They ouwld fill up 2 litres sometimes. Then finally a surgeon suggested a Lung Surgery. I Thank Jesus that I am totally cured now.

    I pray that you also get cured fast. Don’t let anything rob you of your SPARKLE GIRL !!

  3. “I choose to be grateful” That’sa wonderful attitude, Stephanie. And now I understand why you didn’t make it to Bremgarten at the weekend. May God comfort and restore you.

    • Sorry I missed it! I love Christmas markets, so this is the worst time of the year for this (like there’s any “good” time to be sick…). I hope you had a successful stall!

  4. I was in poor health a while ago, too. Like you it was nothing serious or lasting, but it fouled my mood and cut my productivity.

    The best thing to do is to be patient. I wasn’t actually very good at that, and I wasted a lot of energy feeling frustrated for not being strong enough to get anything done. You seem to be bearing your current condition much better than I did.

    Eating and drinking helps, too. Try to do simple things that put you in a good mood. I like listening to audio stories as well. I play them while I’m doing chores or creating something, and they calm me.

    I hope you get well soon!

    • Thank you!
      I enjoy crocheting, and I’m making them for a purpose, so that keeps me busy. Low energy I can handle; headaches from the sinus infection are more challenging, but I just take my activity down another notch when they come. I still end up getting things done. 😉

  5. Wonderful last paragraph. Sometimes we can adapt by finding another way to do something; sometimes we can adapt by deciding it does not need doing.

    Sleep does really need doing, and I am glad the recliner helps. When I have a cough, being propped up helps me sleep also. The OTC cough suppressant dextromethorphan also helps some people (including me), but one must be careful to avoid the products that combine it with unwanted other drugs. Accidental overdose on the pain reliever acetaminophen is common in the US because many products have it along with the cough suppressant or decongestant that the consumer wants.

    • Thanks. Yes, I’m cautious when taking a cocktail of meds; I’ve cleared them with my doctor, as she’s got me on quite a few (some to build the immune system, others to clear the lungs, etc.).

  6. I love your approach to everything. Sending you healing fluttering flamingos. ❤ Whenever you feel about to start coughing, feel them approach and flutter in such a silly way that you start to giggle instead. 🙂

    • No! 🙂 Laughing only makes me cough more! I can’t avoid it entirely in this household, but I’m even trying not to talk that much at a time right now. 😦 Fluttering flamingos bring me a smile though, and that’s cough-free.

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