So far, 2014 has not been my favorite year. Three hospitalizations in four months is a personal record that I do not want to break. But, the good news is that I have learned quite a bit about “comebacks.”
I am writing this as I walk on a treadmill, sucking on a nebulizer which is providing hypertonic saline to my recovering respiratory mucosa. I have to stop frequently to cough of course…that is the point, after all. But it has dawned on me that this act is a win. It’s a small win, but a win, nonetheless. For the last month, my treadmill has been motionless, as I’ve either done my treatments from a hospital bed, or from my bed, or from the recliner in the living room. Simultaneous walking was out of the question.
This is big! I will celebrate by going to go to the gym today for the first time since mid-March (I cringe as I think of the monthly fee). Even though I am forced to be extremely cautious with lifting due to the effects of ciprofloxacin on my poor shoulders, this will be a huge step in the positive direction. The energy of that place feeds my soul in a way that is hard to describe. The gym is my happy place, and I have missed her dearly. God knows, my shriveled muscle fibers need to be awakened so that I can gain back my lost weight.
I’ve discovered that one small win a day keeps the frustration at bay (that could be a bumper sticker). CF is frustrating. Any illusion of control is busted at any time, with no warning. This wears on my psyche. It taxes my patience. It drives my worrying, monkey mind crazy. There is no way to stop the relentless progression of this disease. All I can do is my best to slow it down.
Indeed, the only way to win is to find small victories…every day. Some are much smaller than others. Some are so small that I long for my old microscope to find them. But they are there. A friend flying all the way from Texas to spend time with me and try to help me out. A funny thing that my son says. A dog licking my foot. A quiet weekend with my partner. A walk, even if I can only go 10 minutes, is after all, a win over a hospital bed.
They add up, the small wins. I’ll be back to my normal Julie eventually. Or, maybe I’ll just be a new Julie, still winning. Because I won’t let CF beat me. As long as I am in charge of the battle, I win.