The truth about chronic illness is that you will have limitations.
They may be small, or they may be large, but you will have them.
One of my biggest limitations is that I can no longer take on the same amount of work that I could have before I got sick.
It hit home for me very hard this week.
I am working on a big project at work. The original timeline we set out for the project was very aggressive, and I wasn’t sure we could make it. We have now had a couple of setbacks, and we are three weeks behind schedule. I feel responsible.
So, I have been working extra hours. Going into the office instead of working at home on snow days and lengthening my commute. Working on the weekends.
This week was the worst it has been. I worked late every night, took the last bus home, and barely had time to eat dinner before I was supposed to be in bed.
I say this not for sympathy, some who read this blog who know this is how I am. I don’t like to leave work unfinished. I hate having projects running behind. Most importantly, I hate when I make promises to people, and I have to break those promises. So, I will do what has to be done to make sure these things aren’t happening.
But chronic illness changes that.
I can no longer work on 4 hours of sleep. I can no longer power through with caffeine and sugar.
Now, I need to rest and exercise. If I don’t get 7 hours or more of sleep, the pain creeps in. If I don’t move, the pain gets worse.
But this week, I tried to live like my old self. And I paid the price over the weekend.
I was possibly going to have dinner with friends on Saturday but had to stay home. My exhaustion finally caught up with me and forced me to rest. It also brought along a headache and pain for a real party.
I feel better today, and I am happy that I don’t have to work until tomorrow. And I am trying to figure out how to work smarter and not harder so that this week, I can get more sleep and more exercise.
Because I do have a chronic illness, and while I have a mild case compared to some, there are still limitations. Some weeks I will really push my limitations, and some weeks I will live within them just fine. I think the key to a happier life for me is figuring out a balance between how hard I push and how easy I relax. (And maybe sometimes figuring out a way completely around a limit that isn’t working for me at all.)
I wish you all a week without any limitations. I am off to enjoy the rest of my weekend. 🙂