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The Struggle to Balance Between Resting and Using Energy When You're Chronically Sick

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How do we achieve it? I think for any human being balance is very difficult. But for those of us with chronic pain and disease it seems to be even harder.

I wake up one day and feel actually pretty good. So I want to accomplish more than I usually can do, but I know deep down that doing too much on a good day will set me back the next day. I only do my best to do just enough to help me feel productive and make sure I rest in between saving my “spoons” (from the spoon theory) to be able to do more with my family or for the next day. But you see, that is a good day!

What happens to balance on a bad day? There are days when no matter what I do I just wake up having one of those days. More pain, more dizziness, more confusion, more blurriness, and more disorientation than a normal day. A normal day means something so different to me now, but that is a whole other blog.

On a bad day, I do not want to do anything. My body just says stay in bed. Thankfully I have a 2-year-old who won’t let me. So matter what my body says, at 6:30 a.m. I have a cute little girl saying “Mama Mama… hi.” Still, on a bad day I will be slower, and I will probably let her watch “Signing Time” and “Curious George” a few more times than I want her to. I need to remind myself it is a good thing I got up for the day. Even though it hurts to move and takes me twice as long to get the whole family ready in the morning, I know that still doing small exercises help. I still have to make myself walk, maybe not as far, or not as fast. I know that even though I need to rest, I am much more afraid of getting worse if I don’t use muscles regularly.


It is hard no matter what day you are presented with. I keep hoping that I will make wise decisions every day. I know that my disease is very invisible to others, but it is still very much with me. The good news is I am getting better. It is slow, but it is steady. I still have to watch what I eat and how much stress I allow in my life (trying to put a toddler’s hair in pigtails can be stressful for me) My body isn’t the same as it was before all this. And I need to find my new balance for me now and not trying to go back to how I felt before. That might never come, but I need to keep looking at the things that I can do now that I couldn’t do a year ago, like going grocery shopping, and cooking dinner, or being in crowds. Keeping my balance is a step by step journey!

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Lead photo by Thinkstock Images

Originally published: November 29, 2016
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