I didn’t realize just how little energy I had as a result of my malfunctioning thyroid until I started taking thyroid medication—it was the kinetic equivalent of putting on a pair of eyeglasses for the first time. Everything was sharper, clearer, more focused.
It was a whole new world. Can you relate?
I didn’t realize just how awful (sluggish, congested, weak) I felt when I ate foods containing gluten until I stopped eating them, and immediately ditched the sinus headaches and malaise. Similarly, I didn’t see just how foggy and gross I felt eating foods with sugar (wine, fruit, vinegar, etc in my world) while on suppressive antibiotics until I eliminated all sugars from my diet and no longer got spacey or clammy or had palpitations.
Five years apart, these experiences opened up “whole new worlds” on their own—not without sacrifice, but totally worth it. Have you been there, too?
And of course, I couldn’t tell just how much the muck festering in my lungs clouded over everything and constantly made me feel awful until I started treatments that actually addressed it—postural drainage, chest physiotherapy, etc—instead of just throwing steroids at it and hoping the infections would subside.
It was a whole new world, one that didn’t automatically include multiple weeks in the hospital every year. Have you experienced that type of profound relief?
Sometimes you just don’t realize how bad things were until you do something to correct it, until things are different. When it comes to medical stuff, this isn’t always a bad thing. After all, if we can look back and compare a “before” and “after” favorably, then we’re doing something right; we’re treating the right thing or implementing the right therapy or making the right lifestyle choices.
And right now, I’m experiencing a related type of gratitude. It has been two months and change since I was acutely ill. That’s right, 10 weeks of relative normalcy, a huge step given that for the past year or two my stretch for bad infections had been about two weeks at the most. The few infections I’ve had have been much more minor than normal, so beyond the daily coughing/wheezing and maintenance, my various conditions have been really stable. Part of it is because my “bad” season is over (September-May), part of it is because I am out in public less during the summer (no commuting to germy college campuses), and I know a huge part of it is because of the very aggressive treatment I’ve almost completed.
Whatever the constellation of factors is, I’ll take it.
I forgot what it was like to be able to accomplish a lot of the things I want to do every day, or to make plans without hesitation or fear I’d just have to cancel, or to go to gym and know my lungs and body will hold up their end of the bargain. I forgot just how great and necessary it is to see friends in person, and be part of family functions, or leave the house and do fun things with my husband on the weekends.
Only now that the vortex of that long, awful winter has finally released me can I say that I didn’t realize what an effort simply getting through the routine of daily life was until it was no longer an effort.
And I love this feeling. It’s a whole new world.
Can you relate?