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My Illness Causes Me to Struggle Some Days, and That's OK

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Don’t you just hate those days when you are struggling?

I have had a few weeks when I have been reasonably well. Oh boy! Did I enjoy those days. I had energy! I had some get up and go! I could even exercise and I was loving this. Then whammo! The illness is resurrected.

These struggling-type days seem extra hard after these few weeks of wellness. I am back to my tired old body, this total lack of energy, and unable to do anything. I feel like a slug! I think the being well for a short time is making today even worse.


I am struggling once again with my asthma. It is extremely humid and it has been raining for a few days. Humidity is an asthma trigger for me so I am not really surprised. I have the too familiar feeling of chest tightness and am too short of breath to do much. Having my shower today was exhausting. Even talking has left me short of breath.

Struggling days accompany being chronically ill with asthma. My asthma just never really goes away. The illness is different each time it flares. Fortunately, I at least know what to do: take it easy, take extra Ventolin, sit upright rather than lie down and listen to my body. I have an asthma plan to follow.

Chronic illness is quite complex to deal with. You need to juggle so many factors: the actual illness, how the illness affects you, how you feel about having the illness (and these feelings can change from day to day), juggling all the treatments associated with your illness, keeping track of it all and lastly, the side effects of the medications and treatments you need to have. It’s a lot to add to your daily life! On days when I am struggling, all of this can become overwhelming.

So today, I am sitting with my struggling body, reading a great book and doing some writing. It’s OK to be a slug on some days. I don’t feel bad or guilty that I haven’t done much! I have accepted that these sort of days are part of my illness. If I do push myself with “shoulds,” then I will just struggle for longer!

Forcing myself to be positive today isn’t going to help. It would just minimize what is happening today. Minimizing can be counterproductive as it is denying my reality. I need to acknowledge that today is a struggle. I don’t feel negative, nor do I feel positive – just flat.

This too shall pass. Tomorrow I might not feel like a slug.

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Thinkstock photo via Silmairel.

Originally published: June 16, 2017
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