Friday, March 21, 2014

Coping With Chronic Illness - When I Have No Brain and No Body

Coping With Chronic Illness - When I have no brain or  body
Sometimes my whole body feels as though it has been run over by a semi truck.  Even my brain hurts terribly, like it has been used as a basketball and is swollen and bruised all over.  The slightest rollover of thought is excruciating.  I become very sensitive to light, touch, and sound.  This may last from a day to several weeks or months before I get relief.  

During these time periods I may be bed-ridden.  And I am physically, emotionally, and mentally in a very low state.  I can’t really function.  At the same time, I am not able to sleep all of the time.  So, I just need to be distracted by something completely undemanding, requiring no strain on my emotions or mental faculties.  

So, I listen to books or magazines that I have heard before – because I can’t follow plot lines when I am this low.  I watch video’s and TV shows that I have already seen for the same reason.  And pretty much everything has to be light.  My emotions cannot be engaged.  I shop eBay and Etsy for things I do not plan on buying.  I blindly browse pinterest.  And I sleep a lot.  

I have just recently learned to stop feeling guilty about these time periods.  There is absolutely nothing I can do about them that I am not already doing.  And if I try to push it things truly can become worse and the inability to think or comprehend or function lasts even longer.  So, I just go with it.

You may not have the same sort of symptoms.  But generally, with many chronic illnesses, you will have times when you are very, very low or depleted.  Just give yourself a break.  Let yourself rest.  Don’t push.  Later, when we have regained some strength, we will be able to engage in life again.

Here are some of the books I listen to when I can tolerate very little. 
·         Jeeves and Wooster books – by P.G. Wodehouse.  Set in the 50’s (I think), these books are about a young (mentally negligible) gentleman who is constantly getting into scrapes, and his well- read butler, who constantly saves him.  They are hilarious.

·         Nero Wolf books – by Rex Stout.  Nero Wolf is a genius, reclusive, corpulent detective.  He solves crimes without leaving his house with the help of his right hand man Archie Goodwin.  These books are dry and witty.

·         Flavia de Luce books – by Alan Bradley.  Flavia is a 13 year old scientific genius with a first class logical brain which she uses to solve crimes and get the better of her older sisters.  These books are funny and gently touching.

Here are some of the movies/shows on Netflix that I watch when I can tolerate very little.
·         Wives and Daughters  (I know it’s a drama.  But over the years I have watched it so many times that it doesn’t have a great impact on my emotions anymore.)

·         All Creatures Great and Small – Set in the 40’s – 50’s.  A veterinary practice filled with eccentric characters.  Based on the novels by James Harriet.  

And now it’s your turn.  Do you ever have time periods when you are very depleted?  What do you do to give yourself a break?

1 comment:

  1. I like books by Alexander McCall Smith, Dick Francis, Lilian Jackson Braun, Jasper Fforde, MC Beaton and Dorothy Gilman when I don't want to arouse anything deeper than a smile. I think these books help me when I am extremely stressed out. They absolutely allow me to let go of my thoughts and pass time in a way that I don't have to regret.