Life is unpredictable. I have no idea what will happen tomorrow, and when you have a chronic illness this adds an extra level of uncertainty into the mix. Last Monday I returned from my holiday, and I expected that I would need 2-3 days to recover from the trip home. Living on the opposite side of the island of Ireland means that the shortest part of the journey home is the flight. The drive from the airport can be twice as long.
On Wednesday, I felt a cold coming on. Usually, I do not get colds, as I make sure that I have a balanced, mainly vegetarian, diet and various supplements to keep my immune system strong. The journey had weakened me sufficiently that I got a heavy cold. Maybe it was man-flu? Either way, I felt horrible. My usual headache was added to by a sinus headache, and my joint pain lifted from the usual 3/10 pain level to a 6. My nose was blocked, and I had a temperature. Shivering and sweating in equal measure.
This put my mood into a catastrophic tailspin, with me being totally impatient with everything. Finding fault in the most obscure actions. Why use your right hand to turn the tap (faucet) when your left hand is closer. Crazy. Unnecessary, and also the person who received the onslaught of my grumpiness is the one person who least deserves it. My partner, wisely, stayed well away from me while I was under this cloud of sickness.
Now I am feeling better, my head is clearer, and I have to re-start my recovery from my holiday and cold. Somehow I will also have to make amends for my sour behaviour over the last few days as well. Nothing that happened to me was my partner’s fault, and she actually did everything to help me get better, quickly.
Having a chronic illness is bad. It impacts you every day, but somehow this becomes normal. The pain is part of my everyday experience. My mobility problems have incorporated into my day so that its impact is usual. However, when something new arrives to mess up the routine and make you feel worse, all those strategies and coping mechanisms are thrown out the window. It is like starting all over again. Everything is bad, negative, unbearable, and the anger that is kept under control bubbles up and spills into your life. Burning everything around you.
Fixing the damage
Feeling better today, I can now see the wasteland that I created over the last few days. Now I will have to rebuild and repair the damage that I caused. Finding a way to apologise to those who love us, and are hurt by our actions, is hard. It is not their fault, yet they are the victims. Hopefully, the bonds that hold us together are strong enough, thick enough, that they are not broken entirely. Scarred, certainly, but healable. That is my hope.
How do you heal these wounds that you create? How do you care for the carers in our lives? Let me know in the comments below.