Overcoming a Difficult Day of Pain/Chronic Illness (insert disease here)

Sometimes you need to stop and make camp for the night even if it is early

Today is a painful day for me, my abdomen and specifically my intestines are inflamed and angry. That is a metaphor, really my Crohn’s Disease decided to try extra hard today and it won. So I ended up taking two long naps and more time in the bathroom being sick and basically it was a boring day. Also, I do not care about the Emmys. I would rather watch no TV or anything else. Better idea, now, in fact in my mind, I am envisioning that I feel good, it is a cool and sunny day and I am out on the water in a sail boat – out on the ocean and enjoying every minute!

The Ocean is fantastic

Instead of fighting against the disease- the suffering, I went with it today and listened to my body. I told my family I am sick and do not feel good. I slept through meals and ate when and what I could. These days are part of my chronic illness and more often than I would like.

I chose to not push myself and pretend I felt good because that does not work. Having a chronic illness is like having a bank account. There is a set amount of money/energy/ability to tolerate pain in said account. Well today I was broke, so why overdraw the account?

Perhaps tomorrow my luck will improve and instead of overdoing I will take it easy in terms of pacing my activities. Pacing is an important concept for chronic illness as it also is in many other activities including sports.

Imagine you are running a race every day and some days you feel more able to run than others. It’s a miracle, this one day you feel a little better. Do you increase your pace to a sprint or maintain the walk/jog? If you decide to sprint you feel good in your accomplishment. Then you wake up the next day and your feet hurt and you have to rest for the morning. If you had “paced” yourself – the next day would also be fruitful. This life lesson is one that can be faced daily. Essentially, what is my pace today based on how I feel? Best of luck to everyone out there in their daily race and try to find the right pace each day!

-Isaac Levinsky