I'm thrilled to be participating in a Chronic Voice's November linkup! This is my first time participating, and it's a great way to connect with other bloggers in the chronic illness community with the hope that we can make each other feel a little less alone. Sheryl, the organizer, gave the below five writing prompts, and everyone participating is writing an article based on at least three of them. If you'd like to participate, there's still time! More information can be found here.
This month I am…
As a chronic illness sufferer, I celebrate anything I can finish. Even small tasks that I accomplish are victories, especially since I have chronic fatigue, and this month, I've been finishing many things despite being more sick and tired than usual from herxing as a result of being in a more intense phase of Babesia treatment. At the beginning of this month, I finished a course of the Young Writer’s Workshop about the fundamentals of nonfiction writing, and I recently met my goal of writing 6 blog posts at The King's Daughters' Writing Camp.
For me, the key to being able to finish so much (well, “so much” is relative to the fact that I’m chronically ill) is having a weekly review and using the app Todoist to keep track of what needs done and when. However, equally important, if not even more so, is making sure I'm resting and spending time with God. I can't expect to be very productive if I'm not letting myself recharge. I've also made some wonderful friends this month at writing camp, and they have been keeping me accountable, praying for me, and encouraging me. Community is so important.
I’ve been fatiguing myself with writing sprints. My friends and I at camp will write as quickly as we can for a set amount of time and then report on how we did in our group chat and celebrate our accomplishments. This has been helpful for me because I have the tendency to write slowly and edit as I go, and that isn’t the most efficient way to write. But at the same time, writing so quickly is exhausting for me and makes me herx with symptoms ranging from headaches to insomnia to sweating to G.I. upset. I keep doing it, though, because sprinting with my friends is fun and because it’s important that I use my brain. It's becoming easier with time, and it helps loosen the Babesia in my brain and increase blood flow, thus allowing the antibiotics to reach more bugs. In the past week, I have also begun walking 2 miles on the treadmill most days. If I don't do activities, my improvements will likely stall no matter how many antibabesials I take, but I have to find the balance between pushing myself enough that I can continue to make progress and keeping my herxing to a tolerable level.
The holiday season is officially upon us! I enjoy Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, but I hate the business and stress that often accompanies them. I’ve been preparing slowly and will continue to do so. Over the summer, I made some handmade gifts, and last week my mom and I did some Christmas shopping at local thrift stores. I’m easing into the holiday season and will continue to do so.
I’ve been comforting myself with the promises from Scripture that will never fail and listening to Scripture Lullabies that are based on them. Some of my favorites are Nothing Can Separate Me, Everything is Possible, and My Hope Is in You. I've also been enjoying my nice comfortable bed, blankets, and pillow and herbal tea.
I'm wishing for my herxing to end. I've been herxing intensely for a month now, and it's hard to be in bed most of the day and to feel extra sick. Thankfully, in the past week, I have begun to feel somewhat better, and I know that the herxing is part of the process to recover. I am thankful for the progress I am making, and I'm wishing for some big improvements once I come out of this herx!
Despite Pain, breaking tasks into smaller chunks is definitely helpful, and yes, everything we accomplish is worth celebrating! Thanks for commenting. I hope you have a joyous Christmas season.
You are so right about celebrating anything you finish. I often break tasks into really small do-able size chunks so that I feel I am achieving my goals. It really helps. When you’re living with chronic illness/pain, those small achievements matter.
Well done on having made a start on getting organised for Christmas. It can be a stressful time, so being organised early can help.
Dad, thanks for reading, praying, and commenting! I’m glad you enjoyed “Nothing Can Separate Me.”
Sheryl, thanks so much for organizing this linkup! I hope you’ll continue to host them and plan to participate in the next one.
Sarah, yes, that balance is hard to find. Thanks for your encouragement.
Anne, thanks, I was excited to meet my writing camp goal. Thank you for making the effort to understand my disease. I was touched that you looked up the terms that were unfamiliar to you. I’m sorry that you have to endure difficult treatments too.
Well done on your writing camp goal, that’s a great acheivement. I think I’m defintely easing into Christmas too. It’s only one day after all, we can do it! I had to look up some of your terms, I’ve never heard of babesia or herxing, but it makes sense to me now. I guess I have a kind of herxing after my treatment because I receive plasma into my blood to combat rogue anti-bodies. I have many of the same kind of symptoms while the treatment works. I’m happy you decided to join in with Sheryl’s writing prompts, good to have you on board and to meet you.
It sounds like you’ve had a really productive month Lauren and I enjoyed reading your post. It can be hard for anyone living with chronic illness to find that delicate balance between doing too much and not doing enough, which can have a negative impact on our physical and mental health – it sounds like you’re doing so well with that though :-)
Best wishes for the holiday season