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Posts Tagged ‘bath’

I am a person who struggles with headaches on a regular basis. They started roughly the same time as I hit puberty and have bothered me on and off since then. I’m now approaching menopause and am actually excited about that as I’ve been told that the headaches will likely disappear. Yay!

I’ve seen three neurologists, 2 dentists, a nurse practitioner, 2 family doctors, a periodontist and a psychologist to discuss possible reasons. No two headaches are the same. I’ve been told I have three different types of headaches; from migraines (although there is no consensus on that one), to cluster headaches (of which there is no treatment).

Most of the time I can catch the headache as it’s starting and with some behaviour modification it only lasts a day or two. Sometimes they start with a thunderclap and then there’s nothing I can do. I try medication, I try relaxation, I try lying down in a dark room. And after about 4 days it goes away. For those four days I walk around in a fog, and it’s often scary.

I am going to get my eyes checked (again) and see if that helps. I know I’m now in the market for bifocals, which does bother me somewhat, but I know it’s time. And that’s okay. I’m a woman “of a certain age” and that’s okay. Age is a gift.

I send this out as a record of acknowledging the pain in which I sometimes feel trapped. The diagnosis and treatments are often contradictory, especially about things like caffeine. If it’s a migraine, caffeine is good. If it’s a tension headache, headache is a trigger. Frustrating.

So today is day 6 of a headache cluster that contains elements of tension headaches, barometric pressure related headaches and migraine. Yay me. I hope that tomorrow will be better. I will stand up straight, drink lots of water, think positive thoughts and medicate as much as I can. Oh, and I’ll breathe.

I didn’t realise until recently that I clench my jaw when I feel stress and I hold my breath. Both are not good things. But I’m working on them. I’m a work in progress. Just like you.

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The past week has been a crazy, busy week with appointments, meetings and pastoral calls. Add to that the usual busy-ness of a household, laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc., and there’s just not enough time to get it all done.

I struggle with a condition called CFS or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It’s a rather mysterious and mis-understood illness that affects the immune system. I’m fortunate that my type of CFS is considered mild. To give you an example of what it feels like to have CFS, think of how you feel when you have the ‘flu…the aching, tight chest, dragging feeling. That’s how I feel on most “good” days.

But being the type of person I am, I push though it, I “ignore” the pain and get on with doing what needs to be done.

And on occasion, when I’ve overdone it for too long, and under-appreciated my body I get a stern warning, usually in the form of overwhelming exhaustion that makes my body shut down until it gets itself rested. On Wednesday night, this happened. I had “just one more” thing to do and I went upstairs to put some laundry away. Suddenly the horizon vanished and I had no idea if I was right side up or upside down. I don’t LIKE that feeling.

I called for my husband and he helped me find the way to right myself, and get me into bed. Yesterday, after a particularly grueling morning I left the unfinished things at the office and came home to lie down. I slept most of the afternoon away.

Today I feel like I’ve been put in a bag and beaten, but at least with epsom salt baths and early bedtimes, I’m beginning to return to some semblance of better. I wish I didn’t have this disorder and yet it helps me (as strange as this sounds) to better care for myself. Because when I ignore the longings of my body for rest for too long, my body fights back.

So, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to make a cup of sleepytime tea, and retire early tonight.

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Sundays are generally busy days in Church Land. For some reason or other, I don’t ever seem to sleep well Saturday night, no matter how well, or poorly I’m prepared for Sunday. Today was no exception. I woke with the alarm, but didn’t get out of bed for half an hour.

Showered, dressed, walked to church and began walking through my homily. You see, when I write my homilies, they take the better part of a week and very little actually gets written down. Starting on Monday morning I review the readings for the week and go back to them at least once a day. I look at commentaries, meditate on the word and see if there’s a common thread or where the Holy Spirit is guiding me.

By the time I get to Sunday morning I’ve said my homily, aloud, at least three times. Sunday morning I try to polish what I have and make sure the phrasing is coherent.

This mornings homily went over really well. Worship as a whole was awesome and I left the church happily exhausted. I got home, and looked at my chores list…it was huge. I got changed, had a cold drink and tackled some of the list. After about an hour and a half I decided I’d done enough and headed out to do some shopping. I know, I know, it’s Sunday.

Came home with my purchases and put them away, pleased with what I’d been able to buy. I sat down to read and hit the wall. My body hurt, my head was ringing, I’d been clenching my jaw and realised that I was one large stress ball.

The phone rang and it involved a meeting that I’d been trying to arrange for months. The only day that all parties involved can attend, is Monday. This is something that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. So Monday it is. The challenge is that I was supposed to be at a Day of Retreat out of town. But in all fairness, this meeting is important. And I’m not too far away from 10 days of holidays. You win some, you lose some.

So, I went upstairs and had a warm bath, put on clean pajamas and spent the rest of the afternoon doing nothing. I’m not normally good at doing nothing. But today I had to do nothing…my body was telling me so.

The dining room table needs to be cleaned off, and it will get done…but not today. There’s a stack of paperwork that needs to be sorted through, and it will get sorted through…but not today.

Listening to my body is something new for me. And while it seems I wait a little too long to listen, at least I am listening…eventually.

For those of you who are reading and nodding…be gentle with yourself. You know what I mean.

A new adventure awaits me Wednesday night…yoga. I bought a yoga mat today and am excited to learn more about yoga. I plan on bringing my yoga mat with me on vacation so I can practice what I’ve learned.

That adventure will wait for another day. Right now I’ve got a cup of tea to make and dishes to wash…on second thought, the dishes will wait.

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