By admin on January 21st, 2014
You never want to wish anyone ill, however, my family have all been sick this winter with pneumonia, bronchitis as well as the flu. Being the one with the auto-immune system issues, I assumed I would be right along with them, sick. However I have not! What?! How can this be? What joy this brings to my heart, not that they were sick, but that they were sick and I didn’t fall sick as well. How is it that the one with the compromised immune system was able to not catch all of these viruses from the sick people I was cleaning up after? I am shocked, amazed and very thankful! It is an exclamation that my body is getting stronger, my immune system has to be getting stronger. After three years with Chronic Fatigue I am seeing some improvement. What have I done? What do I think helped?
First and foremost, I have worked on my mind. When you are sick it is easy to wallow in your sorrow and self pity. Why is this happening to me? Why am I not getting better? Why is this taking so long? Instead, I made my mind turn to positive things when I wanted to think negatively. Making time for meditation, prayer and singing to lift my spirits. Instead of focusing on things I couldn’t do that I love like hiking, rock climbing, playing tennis, I turned to the things I could do. I specifically focused on something that gives me joy, photography. Opening myself up to doing something that pleases only me. It is not for production or for the approval of others. It is for the pure joy of doing it. We all need to make more time for whatever it is that fills our souls and bring joy to yourself.
I also got a Fitbit. If you don’t know what this is, it is a small thing you clip on your pants and it calculates how many steps you have taken, how many calories you have burned and how many miles you have walked. It then has a computer program that keeps track of your progress. On the program you can add your eating, sleep habits or patterns,weight or anything else you want to keep track of. Anyone who has an auto-immune system issue has the “crash” factor after trying to workout or even just plowing through your day. The Fitbit for me was my alarm system. Because your body isn’t going to tell you when you have done to much, the Fitbit is a way to help you track it. This has been huge for me. A normal healthy person should take 10,000 steps a day. After a few months of using my Fitbit, I realized for me not to have the “post exertion malaise” I needed to keep my steps between 5,000 and 7,000 steps a day. If I had a busy day with the kids, or a day when I was standing a lot, I made sure I only did 5,000 steps. This has helped me to exercise and slowly increase my steps without the crash. I think this is a huge part of why I haven’t gotten sick this winter. It is important for those with CFS to increase exercise gradually or you will be doing more harm than good. For me, it has been three years and I am now able to walk 1 mile at a fast pace without the crash. It is slow, but it will help you heal. Also, with this though is resting. When I would walk for exercise, I made myself lay down on my bed for 20 minutes right after. It was hard to stick to this because I always have so much to do. But resting is a must! Allowing yourself to truly rest, clear your mind, meditate and let your body recover from walking.
Finally, vitamins. I have been taking 200mg’s of CoQ 10, B complete, 10,000 mg’s of D, Protandim and coconut oil. For me, these seem to really help. As I stated in my previous blog post that I did cut out all sugars. I think this is also a key because we don’t realize how much sugar is in processed foods. Sticking to meats, veggies and if I want something sweet, dark chocolate chips. Being strict and staying on this schedule, over time is helping me get well. Over the holidays when I did eat sweets, I was amazed at really how bad I felt the next day. It really feels like you have the flu. So, for me cutting out sugar was huge.
So for today, I am happy, I am encouraged and I am making progress however slow it may be.