Letting go

I think I posted here a while ago that I had joined the dive team, because I had decided that while I was in a good place, joint wise, I should take advantage, and do the things that I had missed while my autoimmune arthritis was over active. One of the things that I had missed so much was exercise, all and any kind, but having done gymnastics for years, and diving for a little while, the dive team just seemed to call out to me. Beckoning me to come closer, to go for it, and take the leap (yes, pun intended).

But lately I’ve been struggling. I’ve had a hard time with my immune system due to all the immunosuppressive medications that I am on. I would say I’ve had between 8-10 viruses within the last couple of months. Which at first was alright, well, except the fact that I was sick all the time, but it felt like more of a nuisance than a big problem. But lately the viruses have been getting worse, sticking around longer, and worst of all triggering my autoimmune issues. I’ve been exhausted, my joints have been flaring on and off, and then on top of that I’ve still had to deal with having a virus. This has led to lots of missed classes, work that seems to endlessly need to be put off to tomorrow because I can’t manage to get it done, and missed dive practices. Every time I’ve felt better and up to trying to get back into the water again, the next virus seems to come along and knock me back off my feet. I’ve been trying really hard not to let this stop me from diving, from doing what I want to do, what I feel I should be able to do. I’ve been showing up to practices, and stretching and working out on the bikes when I can’t dive, and pushing myself to get back into the water as soon as I can, which perhaps has not been the best answer. But I wanted to keep diving so badly. Diving has made me feel really happy and fulfilled, it’s given me a reason to get up every morning and the team is so loving and supportive.

But at some point somethings got to give, at some point you have to let go. Let go… oh boy is it hard to let go. There have been many, many tears shed. Lots of anger, sadness, denial, and even feelings of failure in this decision. But at the end of the day it needed to be made, diving right now just isn’t the right thing for me, and no matter how many ways I look at it, I can’t change it. I just can’t, not with all the wishing in the world. So my coach and I have decided that it would be a good idea to take the rest of the year off diving, and return to it in my second year, if I think I feel up to it. In the mean time I’m going to work on getting this beast of an autoimmune disease back into control, and slowly building up my fitness and stamina, with the goal of returning to the team next year. I’m coming to accept this decision, and starting, piece by tiny piece, to let go.

Frustrated

Ugh… sorry I have been so bad at posting lately. I have had lots of ideas for posts, but just don’t seem to have gotten around to them.

I was going to write a post called oopps… Because a couple of weeks ago I let my excitement that I felt good get ahead of me, which ended badly. Ooppss.. So I was with family friends, when I was asked what I wanted to do. I knew what I wanted, I had wanted to do this for a long time, I just wasn’t sure if I should do it.  But I put those feelings aside, and decided that I was going to do, if only because I could. So that was that. This is how I ended up with C and J, eleven year old twins, skating along on roller blades. Throw in a bumpy path, some sharp down hills, and well me, and there was a recipe for disaster. In the space of about 20 minutes I managed to fall bruising (at least we think?) my coccyx, and shortly after falling and dragging my knee over some rocks, successfully gouging a nice hole in my knees. So with blood trailing down my leg, we decided to go home, clean the wound (which took ages and much scrubbing, as there was so much dirt in there that didn’t want to come out) and do something a little more tame.

Looking back maybe it wasn’t such a great idea, but I think I would still do it again. For the same reason I did it the first time. I wanted to take advantage of every ‘good’ minute I had, before I couldn’t anymore. The only thing I would change is to maybe have gone in and got stitches or steristrips applied to my wound, as my mom (a Dr) thinks that I probably should have gotten stitches. So now I will have a lovely, bigger scar, and a funny tale to tell.

But I digress. The point of this post was to talk about the frustration I am feeling, about being on the downward slope again. Yup you guessed it, my infusion seems to be wearing off, with the peak being at only five weeks. It’s frustrating that it hasn’t lasted me the full eight weeks. But even more, it’s frustrating that I don’t have the same amount of energy, that my joint pain is once again increasing along with stiffness.

After two beautiful weeks, where I felt so close to normal that it actually felt like a dream, I once again am facing the reality of my autoimmune arthritis. After being able to ride a bike, go rollerblading, only need about 10 hours sleep, I am finding it hard to adjust to once more having limitations, to having to be more selective and plan out my day. I miss the spontaneity, the freedom, and the energy that I had. Even though it was only for two weeks (and kind of for the three before them) I once more feel like I have lost something. Even though I am still much more able-bodied and energetic than I was before my infusion I feel disappointed with my current level of health. I got to have these golden two weeks, and though I tried to grasp it with both hands it has once more been tugged from me. It’s just hard to accept where I am now, knowing where I was two weeks ago. And even though just a month or two ago I would have killed to feel how I do today, it doesn’t seem enough. I had a taste of how my life used to be, and am now going through a new process of adjusting and mourning that loss, as the wound has opened up afresh.

Don’t get me wrong, I am still making sure that I enjoy every minute, that I do things that I wouldn’t have been able to do, and that I appreciate the fact that I can do them. I am still thrilled to have the amount of energy that I have, to be in a place where my pain is so much better than it was, to be able to play with my little cousins. To go out and see the sights, do things, anything. It’s just I know it could be better, I have felt better just a few short days ago, and it is hard not to be frustrated that I don’t feel that way anymore. That even though I can do so many things, there are still things that allude me.

I guess this will always be hard, no matter what position I am in, no matter how good or bad I feel. There will always be a part of me that wants more, that longs to be the person I was before. I just have to try to make the part of me that is happy, that enjoys things, that takes advantage of everything I do have, that see the good in everyday, no matter how small, just a little bigger (hopefully even more) than the part of me that wants more.

HAWMC DAY3: Wordless Wednesday

  • Post a picture that symbolizes your condition and your experiences.

I couldn’t just pick one, this experience just encompasses too much. The hopes the dreams, the anger and the sadness, and much much more. So here are my pictures that represent this continuing journey.

images-8 images-7 images-6 images-4 images-2 a4316ee4d67352434bb88f4c630c58d4 9652f67873e9213bff393475cb6e44835328b731cdcb290799a3c9b14b9bf4a69aba3a169658309a6bf9fbd2fb369eb6 8ef52f3dfedeac69389e4e6d4e19f64c 08e3c6100b49c82edffad32ee7a6cfce 6b8f4b3aea2a57b8bdc771d8100ac74d 3a1a5064be60d72ab064a950f8db2127 photo-2012-09-28-11-38-371-1024x768 Yvonne-Palermo-Defeat-II