It’s my 10 year high school reunion this weekend, which is a shitful time for anyone, let alone someone with a chronic illness. Just the thought of it acts as a reminder that my life is nowhere near where I thought it would be, or where I want it to be now.
One of the most important coping skills for living with a chronic illness is self-management. When your energy is so limited that you have to ration it for each daily task, self-management provides the tools to do so. It plays an even larger role when your illness has no other treatment available, such as ME/CFS.
Content warning: contains discussion of dietary restrictions
You know when you’ve been putting something off for so long that you just can’t ignore it any longer? That was me and FODMAPs. There were so many reasons I couldn’t do it: it’s complicated, it’s expensive, I don’t have the brainpower, I can’t cook (!). A few weeks ago, I finally reached the tipping point where my desire to not be in constant, crippling abdominal pain overwhelmed all these reasons, and I gave the low-FODMAP diet a go.
Usually my POTS* is content to take the back stage and let ME/CFS run the show, but recently it has been asserting itself in a rather forceful manner. Sitting on raised chairs, showering and just existing seems to send my blood rushing from my head to my feet, leaving me spending a lot of time on the floor or against my dresser with my legs up to get that pesky blood back where it belongs.
Do you have a chronic illness? Have you heard the same tired comments 50 times already this year? (No, I’m not contagious, Jan.) Instead of having to think up answers to the same old questions time and time again, I’ve provided a handy guide for those phrases that crop up time and time again.