Thursday, 26 March 2015

Diary of a Relapse - Day 1

It happens to the best of us. We do everything we can to beat this disease, but we know there are no guarantees, and sometimes, despite our best efforts, the inflammation increases to such a level that we find ourselves in a state of relapse.

The good news is that, for me, this time, it's not a very severe one. The better news is that, this time, I seem to have found it within me to hold my nerve and calmly apply EVERYTHING I've learned so far to help me get better fast, rather than simply collapsing inward and feeling sorry for myself, as I usually do. (Not that there's anything particularly wrong with that - it's just that I usually eat crap when I feel sorry for myself, which of course slows my recovery!)

This time, dear readers, I'm doing everything I can, and I'm going to tell you about it right here. If you're facing a relapse yourself, maybe you'll find something here that'll help you too. Feel free to comment and let's do what we can to support each other along this rocky path...

The story so far

This relapse first started to threaten about a week ago. I called my GP to discuss how to self medicate with the small supply of low-dose oral steroids still in my cupboard from a previous relapse. When he suggested that rather than following the older protocol of 30mg/day for 5 days, followed by slower tapering off, I take 500mg a day for fewer days - as per the newer NICE guidelines - I panicked a bit and said that I'd rather try to manage without. Half a gramme a day of steroids seemed excessive and I hate to take really strong meds if I don't have to. I thought my mild symptoms would settle down in a few days by themselves.
They might have done, IF I'd done everything I know right then. I'm talking mega-strong green juices several times a day, meditation, bedrest, releasing angry and stressful thoughts, walking in the garden, and so on.
My big mistake is that, having turned down the drugs option in favour of the natural option, I then didn't properly implement the natural option. I carried on with my part-time work, slept no more than usual, did no meditation and virtually no exercise, and worst of all, I continued to indulge my addiction to stressful thoughts and situations. 

One thing I did get right was to have an acupuncture session last Friday, and some gentle yoga on Monday. But that alone was not enough to fend off a relapse after weeks of bad habits. It's like weight loss - you can't eat fattening junk all day and then expect a single trip to the gym to make it all right.

So, now facing an actual relapse, I have the choice between criticising myself for dropping the ball or focusing on how to get better. And this time I choose the latter.

Here's what I've done so far:

Yesterday (day 1)

  • Contacted work to explain that I would be unable to teach tonight. I'm so exhausted I'm not sure I'm going to get through this post before I have to go back to bed. And if that happens I'll deal with it. No more being a hero!
  • Made myself the greenest, most anti-inflammatory juice I could think of.
    Juicing with the use of only 1 and a quarter hands was not as difficult as I'd feared - just took patience and more time than usual. My left hand had only about a quarter of its usual dexterity, making fiddly tasks like unwrapping cucumbers particularly tricky. Felt very grateful that my right hand is never as badly affected as my left!
  • Ate only simple "clean" plant foods all day: berries, green salad, live sprouts, fruit, Omega 3 -rich linseeds and organic soya yoghurt - as much as I wanted, but without overeating (a rare change for me!)
    And plenty of cups of tea, because I like tea and don't want to give myself any sense of deprivation. (I make it with organic oat milk, so there's no dairy and no factory "nasties" either.)
  • Let my husband make me another strong juice when he got home. Felt very grateful for my husband.
  • Got to bed on time, after praying gratitude for this opportunity to learn something new about healing.
Click here for day 2...

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