Why I Dread the 'Good' Days With Chronic Illness
Since becoming ill in 2015, there have been “good” days.
Make no mistake – not a day has gone by since that fateful August that I’ve had even a significant fraction of the health and abilities I had prior to FQAD (fluoroquinolone-associated disability) – but there have been days when the nausea has subsided, and I’ve been able to ingest my favorite foods.
There have been days when my heart rate and blood pressure remained blissfully within the bounds of “normal” and I didn’t have to lie down or remain inactive for fear I would faint.
There have been days when the pain’s been more manageable.
Days when the vision’s less blurry, the tinnitus less pronounced, the dry sicca syndrome less…dry.
I hate those days.
Don’t get me wrong: it’s not that I’m not grateful for any measure of relief. I am.
It’s just that, every time I experience a “good” day, that day brings with it physical and psychological consequences:
On a good day, I am likely to “overdo it.”
A low-symptom day means that perhaps I can tend the garden.
Or grocery shop for myself.
Or spend the afternoon with a friend.
A low-symptom day might allow for a walk, a short car trip, going to see a show.
But inevitably this “overactivity” that would’ve been but a drop in the bucket for healthy me, now pretty much guarantees that the next day, or the next few days, or even the next week will be one of punishment and pain because I dared use my body on the one “good” day.
Likewise, psychologically, a “good” day brings with it a false hope: if the nausea is gone today, perhaps it will be gone tomorrow. And forever! Perhaps today is the first day of the miraculous healing I’ve been praying for since the day my body first told me something was wrong.
Low pain day? Perhaps this is it! That rainbow after the flood! The promise that my body – a healing machine – has finally figured the complex code necessary to get back to that pre-FQAD me.
“It’s here!,” I inevitably tell myself. “Finally! Relief from this nightmare! Today, tending the garden. Tomorrow – working and traveling and conquering the world!”
So, imagine my heartbreak – the soul-crushing despair – that comes when the symptoms return and I am once again at square one (or square minus 101).
It’s like becoming sick all over again.
It’s the loss of my healthy self all over again.
It’s the cycle of grief all over again.
It’s more than just a setback; it’s a continuous re-injuring.
I hate the “good” days.
And yet, I continue to live for them.
Because it’s the hope these days bring that keeps me going.
Man, I hate the “good” days.
But I sure hope today is one.
We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.
Thinkstock photo via DinoStores.