Category Archives: Activity or Rest?

VIDEO: “Unrest”

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I would have missed this award-winning documentary on PBS by a young woman named Jennifer Brea had my brother not alerted to me to it after he heard a segment on NPR. (See below for streaming links).

Here are a few words that were in my mind as I watched: Brilliant. Inspiring. Courageous. Talented. Heart-rending. Timely.

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One Window at a Time


A job half done is better than not at all. Maybe I’ll get the rest of these wreaths and other holiday decorations put away by February first…

My brother was visiting recently from Manhattan. It seems to me he’s been checking up on me often now that my son has left for college, and I have to say the company is welcome.

One particular day, I was obsessing about all the things undone around the house, including how filthy the windows have become after several years of neglect.

I can’t afford the professional window cleaners I employed when circumstances were different. But I certainly don’t have the energy to wash more than 20  windows myself.

So I was feeling frustrated, angry, and stressed about my lack of energy—and lack of money, too.

Just wash one, my brother said. One a day, and you’ll be done in less than a month.

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Running on Empty

Credit: Taylor a’s Flickr stream

I did it again just the other day. I ran out of gas.

I accepted an invitation to meet my friends Susan and Eva for lunch in Maryland 25 miles away from my Virginia home, even though I already had a doctor’s appointment on my calendar for that morning.

I climbed into my car and drove thirty miles to my appointment. Then I got back in the car and, instead of going home, I drove to the restaurant. And then I ran out of gas.

Meaning that I hit the wall physically. And this keeps happening to me because I can’t get it through my head that lyme means you never have the energy you wish you had. You want to do things you’d normally do, but wishing doesn’t make it so.

I’m learning to think of my energy like the gas in my car.  At this point in my treatment, I would say I have about 1/8 of a tank. Continue reading

Lyme: Lessons Learned

Taking care of yourself isn’t, well, rocket science…
[Dr. Robert Goddard. Credit: NASA on Flickr/The Commons]

I’ve had the misfortune of getting re-infected just as I was pulling out of two-plus years during which I was largely sidelined by lyme and other tick-borne infections. There’s a bit of good news, however. I learned a few things the first time around, and I’m doing things differently.

Here are some lessons I’ve learned. Maybe you can benefit by taking them to heart now, instead of learning the hard way like I did over time and missing out on benefits you could have enjoyed much, much sooner. Continue reading

Afraid to Exercise? Start by Doing Half

A little exercise can be just enough. Credit: Flickr stream of kh1234567890

A little exercise can be just enough.
Credit: Flickr stream of kh1234567890

In the middle of my second bout with lyme following a new tick bite, treatment has reduced the severity of symptoms in recent weeks. I’m no longer confined to bed by the terrible pain that was very nearly intolerable.  I’m no longer on round-the-clock pain meds. But I still have debilitating symptoms. I do best if I rest.

The more active I am, the more the pain, numbness, and fatigue escalate. I try to cope with the help of hot baths, heating pads, and meditation. But on many days when I get up off the sofa and move around too long, I have to turn to pain meds.

What’s too long? That seems to be different for everyone, and different at various points in recovery. But one thing I’m sure of: Some exercise every day is important for healing.  Continue reading