Sunday, June 27, 2010

Being Tested ... Update

It honestly feels like it has been months since I wrote that original post, but it's barely been two weeks. The first couple of days after my doctor appointment I was pretty much a mess. My anxiety was in complete control of me - constant stomach pains and racing heart beat, fighting off tears, unable to concentrate, unable to do anything really.

But I knew that I had to do something since I will have to wait two months before seeing the doctor again. First thing I did was get a massage since my shoulders and neck were like a rock. I was a little anxious about going because sixty minutes of nothing to do but think can be a bad thing, but I knew I needed it. And I was so glad I did. I just kept deep breathing the whole time. Three breaths in, four breaths out. It worked so, so well. I was completely relaxed the rest of the evening, probably more than I have been after other massages.

The next day I had an appointment with a hypnotherapist to work on the anxiety and getting through this. It's not a magic trick, but it has definitely helped. I decided to schedule three weeks in a row instead of every other week like I did in the past. I actually had my second appointment a couple of days ago and it went even better. I was able to relax enough to go completely under, which is amazing for me. I remember her counting to five, opening my eyes, and worrying about the fact that I was paying for a full session when it had only been ten minutes. When I asked her about it and she showed me the clock, it had actually been almost an hour.

Besides the fact that I have felt more relaxed on a day to day basis, I feel this little spark inside me since starting the hypnotherapy. It's hard to explain. I will tell you this much - Rommel and I went to breakfast at a restaurant this morning with some friends and their parents. We had to sit on the patio, away from the crowd, but I was at a restaurant. A month ago I would not have even said yes to the offer let alone actually sitting down at a table. I also said yes to a laser tag party for our cousin's son's birthday next week. Again, something I would have either just said no to or would have told Rommel to go alone.

We also went through an exercise where I picture all the negative stuff in my body, including the lump, disappearing. She prefers each person to come up with their own image, like one woman pictured chimney sweeps sweeping her leukemia away. I am picturing a dandelion and a wind blowing all the seeds away from me.

Don't get me wrong, it has not been a walk in the park. I still feel like this is a test for me. My anxiety makes me feel so out of control sometimes that I try to control aspects of my life, even unconsciously. The fact that I have to wait two months is something I have no control over and it eats at me. But this is the test that was placed in front of me and I believe that I can get through it gracefully.

As for my RA, I have been up and down. I only had a couple of days were I was in a large amount of pain. The rest of the time my hands were achy during the day and the pain increased in the evening. If I keep my hands moving, they are fine. But the moment they stop, the pain sets in. It gets annoying, but I can deal.

1 comment:

Living It, Loving It said...

Attitude has a lot to do with how we feel. Once we come to terms with our conditions, we start to see more clearly the next steps. You are doing great and it is a confusing journey but chronic illness is there whether we want it there or not and doing nothing is worse than actually doing something. I look at RA and fibromyalgia as a daily test for me. I went through the denials, the grief, the depression, and finally the acceptance. And all of these feelings come back depending on how we feel on any given day. I understand what you mean about control. You come out a winner if you focus on the things you actually have control of instead of the ones you can’t. RA doesn’t get better but we get better at handling it in our everyday lives.