Another bout of struggling to accept my fate at present.
Although I still like the heart rate monitor concept that I discussed in my previous post, it has done a wickedly wonderful job of highlighting my current limitations. I've found that my heart rate goes above my threshold just by standing up and goes through the roof I dare to walk around. I knew I was struggling but a part of me probably thought I was being over-cautious and could start to do a bit more. Seems I actually need to do less.
I think I am effectively going to have to turn the upper floor of the house into a bedsit to limit the journeys I made up and down the stairs. I still refuse to give up on going down to the ground floor in the evenings to have dinner with my girlfriend and watch a movie or whatever. Isolating myself up here is beneficial in many ways but the thought of being trapped here all day and night is pretty scary. However, it does make sense that I bring into my current living area all the things I might need during the day as exhausting myself to fetch a ricecake from the kitchen hardly seems sensible! It also forces me to think some pretty distressing thoughts about the future. What if the stairs become too much altogether? Move to a bungalow? Get a stairlift? Hopefully it won't come to that. Hopefully.
I find that how I manage to cope with being ill is extremely variable. At times I am calm and accepting, other times I get in a panic and other times I get very down and lose some hope for the future. It's not pleasant for me but I'm also very conscious of how difficult it must be for my girlfriend. She is very susceptible to anxiety and our whole future has been marked with a huge question mark. On the surface I think she is coping but I do wonder how much she protects me from, by giving the impression of managing.
I'm aware of the energy I spend trying to balance my needs with hers but sometimes it's simply impossible to do so. I'm also struggling with how much to discuss the subject with her. For me, this is my whole life and I do need to vocalise what I'm feeling. However, I also want her to not be constantly bombarded with my challenges. Also, she has said she isn't really ready to join me in talking about it all at length as she is worried how she will cope. I understand that and I understand that working on auto-pilot gets her through the day-to-day stuff so it's a tricky balancing act between asking her to join me in my world of boring and constant illness and trying to paper over the subject to give her a break from it.
I'm in contact with some great people who have had to deal with chronic illness for a lot longer than I have and they tell me I am dealing with things well and that my moods going up and down is to be expected. That's good to hear but I'm pretty hard on myself and often find I'm rebuking myself for not managing better. I know I have to be kinder to myself throughout this situation and it's something I continue to work on.
Off to listen to Hank Williams now - yep, that's how much I have the blues, haha.