Yesterday morning I was ready to venture back into the Bikram studio. I have been going to Bikram regularly 3-5 times a week and in the month of Feb I only made it into the Bikram studio 4 times. My body has to readjust to the heat, the intensity, and the mental challenges. I got over there early so I could get into the room and just adapt to the heat. The yogis are very pleased when they see me and I love that feeling. I feel like I’m letting them down and letting myself down when I don’t go but I really feel like I’m letting myself down when I don’t have a good practice.
This time I envisioned a great practice and saw myself really enjoying the 90 minutes. However when the class started the dizziness came on quick. I tried to clear my head and just relax through it. I have done this so many times I can’t figure out why I’m struggling so badly now. I get that I’m weak but when will the good feelings of Bikram be back?
At one point I actually saw my color change in the mirror and woman who is very friendly to me said after class that she saw my skin go green. I try to hide how I’m feeling from the other people but when you feel that bad you just can’t hide it. I thank her for caring but told her not to worry and that I would be back in the studio this week. She has a nice energy and I want to sap as much of that energy from her as I can. I feel stronger when I’m around people like that and hoping that being around it now will help me get stronger faster.
I’ve lost confidence in myself and every time I walk into the Bikram studio I’m nervous and every time I walk into the gym and get on the elliptical machine I’m nervous. I worked so hard to get to the point where I was and now I have to build confidence in myself as well as trust myself and my body. I need to push myself a bit but not over push. It is a fine line and I’m not sure I know exactly where that line is but I need to find it if I expect to get back to where I was before Feb and the illnesses came crashing down on me.
I survived the yesterday without a flare-up and thankfully my MCTD sore throat is gone, the neck stiffness is gone and I feel back to the way I was before. I am also thrilled to announce that I have gone 100 days without a flare-up. Between being sick with all kinds of other things I’m not back to base-line but I am flare-up free. I realize I cannot take this time for granted and still need to be in self preservation mode for a little longer to ensure my body holds up. I actually slept last night and woke up well rested therefore I’m hoping my high level of fatigue will decrease as the days go on and I will start to feel stronger. My goal is to work on gaining back strength in the month of March and it truly might take me a whole month.
My other goal is to try and be illness free for the rest winter. Since we are expecting winter for many more weeks to come my focus has to be strong to keep myself healthy. How is this even possible in an environment where everyone you come in contact with is sick? Good question, I haven’t exactly figured that part out yet but my husband keeps saying, “don’t touch your face and wash your hands when you can” good advice.
In the middle of the night I woke up with a MCTD sore throat and you are probably wondering why I think this is MCTD and not my strep throat. I get MCTD sore throats regularly and it is a dull ache in my throat which leads to stiffness in my neck, shoulders and upper back. I have pain in the back of my head and my jaw tightens up. When this happens 2 things will follow, either I will go into full flare-up with the shakes, pains and nausea. Or, I can teeter back the other way and not go into flare-up. My thought in the night was to relax, not fight it, and try to stay calm. I need to go into self preservation mode and just focus on me.
Yesterday I was leaving for work my husband just looked at me with loving eyes and said please take care of yourself. At some point your body is going to rebel and you will fall hard. Now is the time to dig deep into self preservation and take care of yourself. He is so worried about me and honestly I have taken my long period of time with out a flare-up a bit for granted because I think I can just keep motoring along as long as I go slowly and really I am at point where I need to stop again. I’m so desperate for my old routine back and yet I think part of the problem is I just need to design a new routine for this new stage I’m in.
It has been such a long time since I really felt like I was at base-line. I’m trying to get back there but everything is thrown off schedule. I’m barely sleeping but if I do get any sleep it is only for an hour or so. That leads to not being able to have enough energy to really get up and work out in the mornings. I’m not eating because my stomach isn’t really ready for food and my taste buds make it such that nothing really tastes great except for really sweet not so good for me foods.
My house-hold relies on my consistency and routine so when I’m off everything is off. I have 2 cats, little old ladies really. They are 12 year sisters Moab and Zion and they don’t know if it is time to eat, sleep, play or get attention. I’m up at 2am trying to figure out how to sleep and they think it is time to eat and play. When I do get up to feed them they are so exhausted they can’t even get out of bed to come eat. I feel their pain, I’m having a difficult time knowing what I’m supposed to be doing also.
It’s weird because part of me thinks my body is strong since I’m not having any flare-ups even while being sick. However, I also think my body is just so worn down that it doesn’t have any fight left in it and that is why I’m just going from one illness to the next. I don’t know exactly what is happening because I haven’t been faced with this before but I do know in the midst of it all I’m just exhausted and I’m not following my number one rule of making sure I haven’t enough energy in the reserve for me. I need to go back to basics and regroup and find a new routine. Mostly I need to make sure I don’t flare and stay on my long flare-up free journey. It’s time to stop and relax.
I don’t want to jinx myself but I think it is important to write about my experiences. Since I have been able to go so long without a flare-up I have also noticed that my Raynaud’s isn’t as bad as it has been in the past. I use to get Raynaud’s just climbing out of bed and having the slight temperature change was enough to send my fingers in a state of purple.
I was taking Niacin daily to help with the Raynaud’s but it has been a few weeks now I haven’t had any Niacin. I was contributing some of my decrease of Raynaud’s to the fact that I was sick and not leaving the house. My house was nice and warm and I was in bed quite a bit, not to mention I was so sick if I did have Raynaud’s I probably didn’t notice. However, now I’m back to a semi-normal life and being outside and have noticed I’m not getting Raynaud’s nearly as much as before. I don’t know what to contribute this success to other than maybe my body is just pretty healthy right now and a mixture of flare-up and decreased Raynaud’s is going hand in hand.
I am realistic of course and I’m assuming if my body goes into flare the rest of the symptoms including Raynaud’s will come back also. Until that happens I’m enjoying winter with the use of my hands and feet and certainly like seeing a bit of pink in my finger tips.
I had a quick trip to Toronto that went well. The flight was easy and since I was only gone a couple of days it made it much less stressful on my body. I’m still suffering with my throat issues and waiting patiently for the antibiotic to kick in so the pain at least goes away. I did exhaust myself and looking forward to some good rest, but honestly my body is holding up like a dream. I have gone 96 days without a flare-up and even with the flying my body did not experience any stiffness or soreness.
I’m due for a rheumatology appointment soon and it will be interest to see what he says about this change in my body and what he contributes it to if anything at all. Also, I’m curious to see how the blood work looks and if my inflammation has decreased at all. I’m very interested to see the changes I’m going through but won’t be disappointed if this is just a fluke and everything remains the same. I still feel great about the success. Looking forward to my next trip in the coming the weeks and hope I continue to have success.
This morning I woke up and could not swallow without a lot of pain. I am very use to having sore throats with the MCTD. It is unfortunately a common symptom for me and usually leads to a flare-up. This was very different. The pain associated with this one was beyond my normal MCTD symptom. I am traveling tomorrow and didn’t want to take any chances.
I have been down and out for a while although I really felt like I was on the mend, which I probably was but also susceptible to most illnesses now. I took no chances and went to the doctor right when they opened at 8am. Holiday or not they were going to need to see me. She asked when my sore throat started and I told her I woke up with it. She was shocked and said no one comes in the first day of a sore throat. I’m not just anyone and I have to be extra careful as well as I needed to make sure that I could get on an airplane tomorrow without worry.
She did some tests and came back to say my lungs and chest were clear which is great because now I know for sure the bronchitis is behind me. She followed it up with a big but. I have type C strep throat. What is type C you ask? Apparently type A is the strep that makes you feel awful, is highly contagious, and keeps you in bed. Due to the fact I don’t have any other symptoms other than my sore throat and my culture came back negative for type A they consider it type C or type G. She is ruling mine a type C and put me on a double dose of antibiotics so I could be cleared to travel. If I have type A, C or G the antibiotic will take care of it and if it turns out this is just all viral then I’ll still have a sore throat when I get home from my trip and will need to immediately see her again.
My body is just tired, tired of not feeling well and tired of fighting all these different illnesses. Someone asked me if a flare-up would be better. I’m careful how I answer that question for a few reasons. Flare-ups mean the body is attacking itself and I really don’t want my good cells attacked for no reason, also I really don’t want to wish a flare-up on myself. In the midst of all that has been happening with me I can still call myself flare-up free which is a positive thing. Finally, a flare-up might only last a short time where this is lasting much longer but perhaps my immune system is actually getting stronger so I won’t have colds and the flu going forward if I can build up a natural immunity to it.
Long story short, I’m back down partially but able to fly out tomorrow and hopefully by the time my plane takes off I’ll have enough antibiotics in my system to feel semi-normal and have a success trip. I’m hoping to stay flare-up free during my trip and hopefully when I get home will be well on my way to a full recovery. I’m still walking and will try Bikram again when I get home. My practice is not where I want it to be and my workouts are pretty relaxed but at least I’m walking.
I went to my energy healing physical therapy appointment this past week and when I walked in she said tell me what’s going on. I had to cancel a couple of appointments and I always feel so good during and after my appointments it has to be bad for me to miss one, never mind two. She was worried I had a flare and that was why I had missed. When I told her I hadn’t flared she was thrilled for me and then asked what was going on. I filled her in on my situation and she told me to get up on the table. As she was feeling around she said that my right lung was a little bit worse than my left lung. It is funny since the doctor who listened to my lungs said the same thing. He heard fluid in my right side but didn’t hear anything in my left side.
She worked her magic and sent the energy where-ever it needed to go and we had a great hour of talking and laughing while she did her healing. She gave me right lung to liver home-work and I have been doing it. Honestly my lungs feel so much better. I think I have finally kicked this thing and can say with great certainty I’m back to base line.
My lung capacity still needs work and I will increase and strengthen that daily with moderate exercise and lots of Bikram until I’m breathing and able to get my heart rate back to where it was. I do feel like I don’t have to worry at this point and can start to push it more. She did say to me that my body felt strong to her and I felt wonderful after hearing that comment. Her healing hands are exactly what I need weekly to achieve the level of health I desire.