Before I was a skater I was a Mom, wife, gardener, optical communications specialist (I play with lasers), etc. Now I am sick. I finally decoded my diagnosis. After doing lots of blood tests and even chest x-rays my doctor said I had 'viral syndrome'. I figured it was a bucket diagnosis meaning he had no clue what was wrong with me so go home and be sick for a while. After doing some reading on the Internet it turns out he left out a few crucial words and a hell of a lot of explanation. What I have is "post viral fatigue syndrome" which is a subset of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Apparently when someone has a viral infection like I did over Mother's Day it can often led to PVFS. This means that I basically can't do anything and most of all can't tolerate any sort of aerobic exercise. This would explain the flu like symptoms the day after I went skating which happened not once, not twice but three times! Okay I've taken the hint no skating for a while. I have to rest. My body needs to heal.
An odd subset of this are the ideas coming out of the alternate healing community. That this is mostly a woman's disease; that it comes of doing things for others; that it comes from not taking care of oneself; that it comes of putting all others before self. Hence the 'cure' is resting, doing things for oneself, taking care of oneself. While I'm not totally sold on everything they are saying it did get me thinking.
What have I done lately for fun?
What do I for fun?
Does everything have to become work?
Does everything have to be perfect?
Can I put myself first?
Do I always have to use my spare time cleaning the house?
Do I really have to take on the role of breadwinner while my husband's business tanks?
Do I have to be breadwinner and housekeeper at the same time?
Can they even coexist? Particularly when I throw athlete into the mix?
Should I have a career or a job? Are they mutually exclusive?
So I sat in the backyard this morning. Contemplating all things me. What I was supposed to be doing was watching the bees and clouds meander by and instead I find myself thinking that I should: pick some weeds, put my tomato plants in, go take a shower, get dressed, start skating figures as soon as I can get back on the ice, brush off the patio furniture, fix the broken wheel on the planter, move the bricks in the walkway, etc, etc, etc.... I really suck at this relaxing thing.
So in between the list of shoulds I managed to watch a Red Admiral butterfly. I saw the honey bees which I knew would be busy in the catmint I moved from the front of the house years ago when it got to big for its original spot. I saw a dragonfly the size of my hand and ones the size of my pinkie. All of them were enjoying the flowers I had put in years ago when I was a gardener and skating hadn't become my obsession yet. I felt the sun warming my skin and finally didn't feel cold. I felt the breeze tousle my hair and make the seed heads on the grass sway. I heard the birds sing and the chipmunk squealing from somewhere in the hostas. The breeze picked up and my wind chimes started to do a random walk through the Gregorian scale. Then one pipe was hit and the note sustained reminding me of the Buddhists call to prayer. The call to meditate on the healing powers of nature. And the world finally fell away.
The ideas coming out of the alternative healing community have always bothered me but I wasn't able to put my finger on it. You know the:
- You got sick because of all the stress in your life.
- You never took the time to take care of yourself.
- You got sick because you always put others first.
- If you just rest you'll get better.
- If you just think happy thoughts you would get better.
- If you just exercise more you would get better.
- If you just got up earlier you would feel better.
- If you just imagine your life as perfect it would manifest itself.
How I live now can make me more miserable than I am or make me feel better both mentally and physically but it WILL NOT CURE ME!!! I am sick. I need science to figure this out. And mostly IT ISN'T MY FAULT!