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. Â 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. Â I have to stop frequently to cough of course…that is the point, after all. Â But it has dawned on me that this act is a win. Â It’s a small win, but a win, nonetheless. Â 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. Â Simultaneous walking was out of the question.
This is big! Â 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). Â 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. Â The energy of that place feeds my soul in a way that is hard to describe. Â The gym is my happy place, and I have missed her dearly. Â 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). Â CF is frustrating. Â Any illusion of control is busted at any time, with no warning. This wears on my psyche. Â It taxes my patience. Â It drives my worrying, monkey mind crazy. There is no way to stop the relentless progression of this disease. Â All I can do is my best to slow it down.
Indeed, the only way to win is to find small victories…every day. Â Some are much smaller than others. Â Some are so small that I long for my old microscope to find them. Â But they are there. Â A friend flying all the way from Texas to spend time with me and try to help me out. Â A funny thing that my son says. Â A dog licking my foot. Â A quiet weekend with my partner. Â 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. Â I’ll be back to my normal Julie eventually. Â Or, maybe I’ll just be a new Julie, still winning. Â Because I won’t let CF beat me. Â As long as I am in charge of the battle, I win.