Monday, December 8, 2014

Work horses, house donkeys, and headless chickens, oh my!

It’s been forever and a half since I updated. As all of three of you may have noticed. It’s just been insanely hectic. The Husband and I have gotten up to some serious High Level Grown Up Shenanigans, that involve moving house, buying things like toolboxes and dining seating and navigating suburbia. And in the midst of all of that kind of malarkey, we became the central meeting point for two halves of my family, and are hosting nearly four times the normal amount of people that would reside in my house. For a post-brain-op, rare connective tissue disordered, degenerative spine diseased introvert, this is all rather challenging. Yet while I did hit a wall this morning – in the literal, not metaphoric sense – on my way to work, so far so good.

Which is, actually, pretty surprising. Y’know, that I’m physically holding up as well as I am. I’ve been unpacking, installing, cleaning, sleeping little and poorly, and running around like a headless chicken for about a month now, and other than some bug I've had for a week, I’m actually doing ok.  Subhnanallah. I had thought my days of being The Tireless Workhorse (AKA House Donkey), were over. Fo sho, no longer can I single-handedly pack and unpack a house in mere days, or stay on my feet morning till night running errands, or tire out my nieces and nephews playing in the park. But I can, it seems, still do a hellova lot. And for that, I am very very grateful.

This gives me hope that a lot of the weakness I’d been feeling over the past two years -- when I first slowed down because of spine problems, then thyroidectomy, then brain aneurysm -- is from deconditioning that is reversible. Honestly, a year ago, I felt like a 50 year old. Everything hurt. I was slow to get up and move. Bending or stretching was painful and often resulted in pulls. I had no stamina and even walking a short while could cause me pain that would last for days. For my sis Zeba, that progressive deconditioning has been going on for years and she’s not been recouping, so when I was also diagnosed with the same Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome she has, I assumed that would be my trajectory as well.

Of course, EDS, like pretty much every illness, effects people differently. It seems I won the lucky draw and got the rare brain aneurysm from mine, which no one else in the family has and may it Inshallah stay that way. And though I seem to be able to recover my lost strength and stamina right now, that may change, and I may hit a new phase later where I can’t any more. But I’m glad for what I have right now. I can run up and down the stairs in my new place, and clean house and unpack and run errands, though I hurt for it later. I’ll take what I can get and thank Allah for it.  J

On a semi-related note, here’s an interesting article from the BBC on why people with disabilities seem to be happier than those without: