Pre-pandemic quarantine, I was doing so well. My fibro was under control, and I felt great physically. I still had my bad days, but they were far and few between. I was happy with the way I looked, and I was excited to pursue self-publishing. And I was writing like crazy! I'm talking three full-length books within just a few months. It was insane and glorious all at the same time.
And then I went to my doctor for one of my normal check-ups. I'd been having dizzy spells, and we realized I had some concerningly low blood pressure--which is a known side effect of my fibro meds. So, we discussed weaning me off them to see how that affected my blood pressure. Knowing I was feeling so well, I was confident I could manage the pain and fatigue with my diet and daily exercise.
Within days of stopping my meds, I was down and out! My energy was drained, and it hurt to get out of bed. I was once again popping Tylenol like they were tic-tacs. Thankfully, I had a follow-up appointment already scheduled with my doctor. Good news: My blood pressure had returned to a more normal level. But the pain was quickly becoming unbearable, so we discussed putting me back on my meds, only at a much lower dosage. Whereas I was taking 900mg a day before, I returned to only 300mg a day.
I saw a marked improvement within days, but I was still waking up feeling like I'd gone a few rounds in the ring with a champion MMA fighter. So, back to the doctor I went, and we increased my meds again, up to 400mg a day. So far, this seems to be working, and I'm finding a good balance again.
Throughout this entire process, though, I'd lost all of my energy, all of my drive and excitement... I woke up, did the bare minimum throughout the day, then went to bed feeling like a failure because I didn't do more. I didn't write more. I didn't promote more.
While I had started feeling better physically, I still wasn't myself, and the people closest to me noticed, too, and that's when I realized...
I'm broken, and I need to fix myself!
Part of doing so was seeing my doctor and advocating for my health. I refused to feel bad or ashamed for needing to be put back on my meds, and I wasn't going to just "go away" either. Luckily, my doctor listened to me and worked with me to get me back to a better place.
Beyond the physical, though, I still didn't have the same spark and drive and excitement I'd had pre-pandemic. And yes, I know the world is a mess right now, and that absolutely has an impact whether I want to admit it or not. But I knew there were other things I could do to help myself.
I went back on the Keto diet--which is what I'd been on back when I first got my fibro diagnosis and it's what helped me lose 50+ pounds. Now, I didn't go back on Keto to lose more weight--I don't need to--but I did so because too many carbs sets off a flare-up, and my brain feels very muddled and foggy when I'm indulging in too many carbs.
I was also feeling extremely overwhelmed with work, so I had a heart-to-heart with my boss about it, and without going into too many of those details (for obvious reasons), that particular stressor has been significantly decreased.
Finally, I'm feeling like my old-self again. The pain is gone. I'm not nearly as tired as I was before. I'm slowly regaining the energy I'd lost, and best of all--the spark to write and publish is returning!
All of this rambling and over-sharing to say this:
If something is broken, fix it!
Especially when that something is you.
Self-care is the single most important thing we can do for ourselves, and we have to get better about making it a priority. Take control of the things in your life that aren't working, and do what you can to make them better, because at the end of the day, you're the only one who can.
So, what are you going to do today to take care of yourself?