Thursday, September 11, 2008

Testing the Limits

Damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead!

That's how I feel now that I'm recovering from an illness that crept up in July and became progressively worse until I could barely leave the confines of my bedroom and had to be pushed around in a wheel chair at the City of Hope. During the worst of the nightmare, I was unable to push myself, either physically or metaphorically.

Now that I'm on the mend, I once again have the ability to push. And, believe me, after a month in Limbo Land it's tempting to try to squeeze the maximum from each day like it was a juicy Meyer's lemon. I have things to do and places to go. I haven't even begun to celebrate my Leo birthday. And there's Piper Robert's wedding at our house on September 20. Shouldn't the house and gardens look . . . . perfect? Shouldn't I be digging a pool or, at the very least, a koi pond?

But I'm discovering that I still have my limits. I'm 100% better than two weeks ago, but my remaining hacking cough wears me out, and my left lung is still cloudy. It's difficult to follow Paula's famous "rule of three" (clustering errands in groups of three), because I don't have the energy to do three things in a row (unless it's three consecutive naps like I took yesterday after my quarterly pre-Rituxan Benadryl infusion).

I was wiped out today after a blood test, chest x-ray, EKG and appointment with Dr. Forman that took me all over the CoH campus (without a wheel chair, thank you very much). I didn't have the stamina for a convenient Home Depot run on the way home or a stop to see a friend's new chicken coop in Arcadia. (Instead I had to head to Burbank to exchange a dish washer, but that's another story.)

So now I'm tired. Not just tired, but just-ran-over-by-a-MAC-truck tired. (But, apparently, not-too-tired-to-blog tired)

I just reread Dr. Wendy Harpham's excellent article, No Left Turns, about living with and working around limits. My current limits are temporary, but I still need to work on when to push and when to "sneak around them." I've been through this before, so I'm obviously a slow learner.

And, as tempting as it sounds, I don't think "full speed ahead" is such a good idea after all. At least for now.


altadenahiker said...

Maybe half speed or a quarter speed ahead for awhile, with idling inbetween. But things do sound very positive, and I'm so happy for you. A sante!

Karen said...

The word "push" should not be in the vocabulary of someone recovering from the kind of illness you just endured. The more you push yourself the more likely you are to relapse. You DO NOT want to get sick again, right? So be kind to yourself. As my yoga teacher would say, "Listen your body!"

Keep repeating this: "There is no moral failure associated with recuperating. Full recovery may take many weeks or even months." Limit your activities to just one thing a day, and then if you feel really, really great (and nothing less) you can always add something.

I know you are genetically predisposed to push the envelope, but I fear that you're going to get debilitated and if you're run down, you're more likely to pick up the next bug that comes along.

Susan C said...

AH: I like that: Quarter speed ahead!

Karen: I know, I know. :)

Trish said...

Woman the torpedos! Quarter speed ahead!


Remember my moniker--

"I'm only feeling up to leaping medium sized buildings today, you'll have to wait for me to jump over your high rise tomorrow, ok?"

Of course, this is easy to tell you, not as easy to follow for myself---who just got home from the doc who admonished me for doing too much!