Saturday, February 14, 2009

Living for Today

I like reading other people's blogs. That's probably why I have one of my own. I enjoy the little snapshots of people's lives- the things that make them happy, the things that make them sad, that new and exciting (or annoying) thing their kid/spouse/boss/other did yesterday. I like to check out the patterns they're knitting and ponder the philosophical questions along with them. Sometimes I comment, sometimes I just think. This time it's inspired my own blog post.

I came across a couple posts on different blogs tonight about taking life one day at a time. Focusing on solving today's challenges and leaving tomorrow's and yesterday's challenges alone. There is a certain wisdom in that. But it doesn't work so well when you've got a chronic illness.

The only reason I made it through today is because I planned for it yesterday. The only way I'll make it through tomorrow is by I laying the foundation today. Before I got sick I could fly by the seat of my pants if I had to. Sure, the day always goes smoother if the laundry's done and the meals are planned. But in a pinch I could get up early and run a load of laundry, and if I had to run through the drive through to pick up dinner, no big deal. I can't do that anymore. I always have to be prepared. I need that hour of sleep in the morning. I literally cannot function without it. And yes, I could go through the drive through if it was that or starve, but I'll pay for it big time afterwards.

I understand that they were perhaps talking about bigger things than the day-to-day necessities. I don't have time for the big problems. The small problems take up too much of my energy. And anyway, I know that some day my Crohn's is going to land me back in the hospital, possibly with major surgery. If you know it's going to happen, you don't have to worry about it anymore. It'll get here when it gets here. But the small things can back up on me quickly, and suddenly I have major problems that could have been prevented. If I wear myself out too much I end up stuck at home, in bed and in pain, for days at a time. If I don't make sure that I have gluten-free food that's full of nutrients and easy to digest I get even more tired. Or worse, I end up sick in the bathroom, which causes other problems that you don't want to know about.

I've had memory problems for months that I now know were caused by the Fibromyalgia. (Mom and I have affectionately named it "swiss cheese brain".) I forget stuff. All the time. And even if I remember something, I have a hard time applying that knowledge. For instance, I'll know that I have a doctor's appointment on Thursday. I'll remind myself every day that week of this appointment on Thursday. I can know that it's Wednesday. And yet, my brain doesn't make the next logical connection. The appointment is Thursday. Today is Wednesday. Therefore, the appointment is tomorrow. I can't tell you how frustrating that is. I've always considered myself a reasonably intelligent person. It's disheartening to have "duh" moments on such a regular basis.

It may not seem like such a big deal, to not realize you've got an appointment tomorrow, until you factor in all those little details. I have to figure out where the appointment is. I have to be sure there's gas in the car. I have to be sure I have appropriate clothing to wear. A list of current meds. Food for breakfast. Cash for parking. Change for tolls. Each of those perfectly ordinary, every day items is a discrete event, requiring thought and planning (and energy) on my part. I have to think about all of it, and plan it, before I can do it. It's exhausting.

Actually, now that I think about it, it's probably like having a baby. You have to pack for any eventuality. The only difference is, there's no sweet little baby cooing up at you as pay off. You're reward for surviving the day is- to twist one of my favorite author's lines- another day to survive.

So that's why "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" doesn't work for me. If I don't plan for tomorrow's evil it comes along and smacks me in the back of the head. And my poor old noggin can't take much more abuse.

Is this making any sense? I feel like I'm not expressing myself well. Time for bed.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate it!