Sunday, January 3, 2016

So Now What?

Right around Christmas, my mom posted on her Facebook page that I have been given a clean bill of health.   People had been asking her how I was, and that was the simplest way for her to let them all know.

The problem is, that a "clean bill of health" is at best an over-simplification, and at worst just not the truth.  It is true that I am feeling much better and am back to being able to do most things.  I'm 100% back at work certainly.  My throat has definitely cleared up quite a bit.  I do feel much better than I did when I started seeing all the doctors.

But I'm a far cry from being completely healthy.  My doctor did not at any point declare that I have reached remission.  There are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about it, but I'm not in the clear yet.  Even when it is in remission, I suspect there's going to be a lot of work to do with my nose to get it in working order.  It's working better than it did before, but I'm still using a sinus rinse at least once a day in order to keep my nose clear enough to breathe.

I'm also dealing with the aftermath of being so sick I couldn't move and the medication that went with it (the lovely prednisone).  I have gained a lot of weight, and I have lost a ton of strength, flexibility, and stamina.

2016 is going to be a year of improving health for me.  There will be lots of doctor's appointments.  There may or may not be some surgeries (we'll see if I need them, but I'm prepared if I do).  There is definitely going to be a lot of work toward eating well and moving more.  Developing good habits is really a top priority for me right now because the better my health is overall, the more likely I am to avoid a flare up of GPA (this is not necessarily based in fact, but it make sense to me).  Or, if I do have a flare, I like to think I can ride it out better if I'm over-all healthier.

The truth is, though, that I will probably never actually have a completely clean bill of health.  GPA is chronic.  I'm always going to have it and I can relapse any time.  I think I need to hold on to that in order to take care of myself going forward.  My last remission lasted so long that I let myself believe that I was well and truly done with it.  That I was sick, once, back when I was 18, but that I was completely over it.  While I do think it's worth being optimistic about staying in remission, I need to accept that permanence of my sickness in order to properly take care of it.

I hate going to the doctor when I'm healthy.  If I acknowledge that I'm never healthy, that block goes away, and I can get the regular maintenance I need to function as a healthy person.

As for this blog, I'd like to keep going.  I'm not sure what direction I'm going to go with it though.  I've not updated in a while because things are getting so much back to normal.  Also, I've been busy (I love that I'm able to be busy!).  I will try to update at least once a month.  I might just talk about how I have or have not made progress toward my good-habits-goals.  I will definitely update with any doctor's appointments, but my next one isn't until March.

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