You have no idea how hard I try…Hownhard I push. It’s a daily battle to be all that I can be and then I pretty much fake the rest for my daughter. I’ve gotten really good at faking my feelings and how tired I feel. I tend to push myself too hard and pay the price. I do not like to be limited! I hate it.
I want to be Wonder Woman.
I want to be strong. No… I AM strong… I want to STAY strong!
I want to do it all and push my limits and not feel the consequences. People who train for triathlons… I want to be like that!!! I want to train for a marathon! Yes, a 26.2 mile marathon! But sadly… I know that’ll never be a reality for me no matter how strong I get because my endurance is crap. CMS robs me of normal day in-day out endurance.
Here’s my reality… I workout. Granted I’m having a hard time getting back into it since my surgery for no other reason than pure laziness! But I do workout. Before I had my daughter I was so happy to have a treatment for CMS I worked my self up to working out up to three times a day! Well, I don’t have the time or patience for that anymore. Lol. But I still want to be healthy. I want to remain strong. I have a family including a husband who requires complete assistance for his care (he has Spinal Muscular Atrophy) to care for!
There are moments like this all the time…where I need to make a critical choice. Do I give in and do something that will inevitably spiral me downward and cause increased weakness, nauseousness and perhaps difficulty breathing? Or take the easy route and just say no. I can only say no so many times before I start to crack!
So, the other day, my daughter begged and begged and begged me to take the stairs back to our hotel room on the 11th floor. (Hard to believe I bore a child who LOVES stairs since I had such a horrible view of them as a child since I was tortured my stairs daily before my diagnosis (see my blog: My Own Personal Rollercoaster)
I put it off as long as I could! Finally, I told myself, Sure. I can do it. But what will happen to me afterwards? I will get weaker. I will take an unknown number of days to recover. But I also want to prove something to myself! I CAN DO IT!!! I want to show my daughter that I am STRONG!
Fault me if you must. I know I shouldn’t risk my health, but I’ve done this my whole damn life! Why should today be any different!? I know I will get my strength back eventually. Just keep taking albuterol and I’ll be ok…it won’t be anything critical.
So, we started the climb. The first 3 floors were not too bad. I tried hard not to use the railing since my daughter was flying up the stairs ahead of me as if it was effortless. Then at floor 4, I begin to feel the familiar burn in my legs… My breathing got harder…
Just keep climbing. You can do it. Hey! You’re not even half way!
So I keep climbing! I had to just concentrate on stepping carefully so I didn’t fall. The more tired I get, the easier I fall.
My legs were burning and I was at floor 6. I gave in and started using the railing because I was nauseous. When my muscles over exert, I get nauseous. And I sweat! It’s awful. I know my body is telling me to stop. I don’t listen. I have a goal. I’m going to floor 11. There’s no quitting.
Floor 8 to to 11 were really hard. I was pulling myself up each stair. But I wasn’t giving up! Not until I saw floor 11…
My daughter effortlessly climbs stair after stair. She remarks with a giggle that she feels like her leg muscles are getting tickly… To me it’s burning! To her, it’s fun and “tickly”…She asked me if I used to like doing this kind of stuff when I was a kid. In my head I scream HA!!! HELL NO!!!! I HATED STAIRS!!! But instead, I gently remind her that I was not always as strong as I am today. I could not do this many stairs when I was younger…(Not EVER!)
She forgets. She forgets or cannot comprehend that I was not as strong when I was younger… Not sure. I have shared some of my struggles with her when she asks questions about gym class, sports, and other things she enjoys that I NEVER enjoyed as a kid. She forgets I was not like her. She forgets I’m not like her now! Maybe that means I’m doing a good job masking my disease from her? But maybe that also means I’m doing a disservice to her? Not being totally truthful? Not letting her know how freakin hard it is for me to appear normal? How much I push myself beyond where I should? I just want nothing more than for her to feel I am strong, that I work very hard and I can do anything I put my mind to!
But, isn’t there an easier way to prove these things without climbing so many freakin stairs????
For now, I’m winging it. All of it!
I have no idea how to navigate being a good parent and lead by example when I’m facing a chronic illness? Something I don’t want her to ever see as a limitation in my life. Yet it is…
Floor 11. I made it….
I need to sit and rest because my legs are feeling like jelly…and my muscles are still burning. I’m nauseous. Slightly dizzy.
I’m wobbly. My balance is off. Probably because some of my leg jusckes are already shutting down from fatigue and not listening to warning signs.
But, I made it up to floor 11. My daughter felt accomplished! I felt accomplished too! But I paid the price….
I was weaker. No, I AM weaker. I didn’t get it back yet.
My muscles were trembling when I wasn’t using them…and even as I stood in line for ice cream later that night. My legs were trembling. My arms were trembling when I extended my have clutching my credit card to pay for ice cream…And when I try to fix my hair.
Let’s see how long it takes to feel “normal” again?
So far, it’s been 4 days and I’m still not back to normal…Yet…
No idea where this blog was going… I just wanted to share that I am NOT Wonder Woman…I make some really f-ed up choices sometimes when I push myself too hard in order to try to prove to my daughter that I’m strong! I wanted to feel victorious after reaching floor 11!!! Yet I only felt regret.
I push myself past my limits over and over again and my body starts shutting down…I’m quickly reminded I’m not Wonder Woman. I am stupid for pushing myself too far again…
But, I’m just doing the best I can…