But some days are worse than our "normal." We feel more sick than our usual sick. Something flares up, or we catch and illness or infection.
What do we do? I know I tend to feel a huge sense of guilt. I shouldn't have gotten more sick. What did I do wrong? How can I keep this from happening again? This has to be my fault somehow.
Even if it is, that's not the right thing to be thinking of during that time. It adds stress and our bodies are already stressed because of our chronic condition.
So here's my advice for those times:
Stop trying to not be sick.
Just because you live in the chronic illness world does not mean an added sickness or flare up should not be taken seriously. Just because you are ill every day does not mean this added illness is not valid and should not be treated as such.
Give yourself permission to be sick, to let people know you are struggling, to be helped. Don't tell yourself this is just like every other day. It's not. You need to rest. To take a sick day off if possible. Spend the day in your pjs.
|I even bought some really cool pj pants, made by rescued women in India, for my sicky pj days!|
Also, don't expect your body to just bounce back out of it. You have a chronic illness and that weakens your body. It will take you longer than a "normal" healthy person.
That is not your fault, so don't feel guilty about it. And communicate it clearly to those you live with, or those who want to help. Go ahead and say it out loud. "Because of my underlying condition of ________, it's going to take me longer to recover from this. I need _______________ please."
For those of us who are ill, pushing forward when we know we are sick will only make things worse. So please, give yourself permission to be sick. Use the energy you would have spent on feeling guilty and re-focus that on resting and getting better. Shoot, stay in bed all day and read books if you can!
I don't know about you, but a real sick day every once in awhile makes my body very happy. It's actually very good for us, you know. A free kind of medicine.
If you are having a sick day today, I hope you get well soon! And in the meantime, I hope you have a peaceful, guilt-free rest.