Everything was going so well with my recovery. I was walking 25-30 minutes a day, able to do most of my own housework, and had some energy left over to see friends and do crafty stuff. But then came a crazy heatwave, with over 100 degree temperatures. That knocked me down some, despite our best efforts to overcome it. Pete had bought another wall unit for the bedroom and got the car AC fixed, knowing that last summer the heat had knocked me down a lot. And I came up with all kinds of creative ways to "beat the heat", involving hanging sheets over our windows and putting ice in front of fans! I was determined to not let the heat impede my progress. But the heat was still too much for me, and it weakened my immune system so that I caught a summer flu bug earlier this week. Actually, we both did, and spent a couple of days staring at each other through our nauseau. I was too nauseaus to take all of my supplements, but did stick to my candida diet.
Ok, so everyone catches the flu once in a while - no big deal! By Thursday we were over the bug, but my energy did not come back to where it was the previous week. I think this is because the candida has come back with full vengeance because I was too sick to take my supplements! I tried to get back to walking Friday, and was only able to walk 6 minutes! And I feel about the energy level of only being able to walk six minutes in day. That is down from 30 just one week ago! I got very frustrated and I hate to admit, even in a bit of a self-pitying funk for a few days. I was doing so well, why did you let this happen God, that kind of stuff.
God is helping me pull out of this funk, and just accept that this is all part of the journey that He has me on. It is just the nature of adrenal/ chronic fatigue to have setbacks - again and again and again. In "Hope and Help for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome", Dr. Bested writes, "If you become ill or cannot exercise for a while, you will lose some of your muscle mass and strength within a few days. So reduce the time you walk or reduce the amount of wieghts and repetitions and begin again. Expect that you will begin again and again and again on your road to recovery. Do not get discouraged by this, but look back at your progress over time." She is right - at least I can walk 6 minutes, and am not walking with a cane! At least I have the mental energy to complete a sentence, or write this blog! And at least I know that if I get sick again, I need to be more creative about how to take my supplements, even if that means crushing them up in yogurt so I can take them. And at least I know that I am on the right track, and why my body gets so set back after an illness, rather than shooting in the dark like I used to! So yes, I refuse to give up. I refuse to sink into self-pity and stop persevering because of a little setback. I am determined to get well.
Pete pointed out to me that of late I have been falling into a Pelagian mindset about getting myself well (Pelagius, for all of you non-church history buffs, was a heretic back in the day who taught works salvation). And he is right - I am not Pelagian in my theological beliefs, but I have been a practical Pelagian in my approach to getting well - I have been depending too much on my own efforts, instead of trusting and relying on God. I think that is one reason God has allowed this setback - in His grace and mercy, He would rather me be well spiritually than walking thirty minutes a day.
I think part of my struggle with practical Pelagianism is because I come from a family of pioneers. I do not mean they wear bonnets and live off the land, I mean they have a can-do, persistant, and creative attitude to life and obstacles. My sister Melissa constantly comes up with creative ways to teach the autistic children she works with. My sister Monica started a successful real estate home business from scratch - a few years ago she was an administrative assistent. My sister Erica helped, and is helping, her son overcome a neurological problem which used to give him ticks - all through creative therapies and natural means - that is not supposed to be possible. My Mom fed a family of nine on a budget of a 100 dollars a week, using very creative means - and she never complained.
In many ways I am grateful for the legacy of this pioneer spirit. If I didn't have this example, I would still be bed-ridden. But with it comes some pitfalls and temptations. On the one hand, if I succeed in overcoming obstacles, I am tempted to become self-sufficient and forget to give God the glory. On the other hand, if I am not successful or there is a temporary set-back, I am tempted to get hard on myself and get discouraged. Both temptations really come down to pride - pride in my abilities, and lack of a practical daily reliance on God for everything.
So this time around I will try, by God's grace, to recover ....by His grace! I am by no means giving up on getting well - I have to keep trying. I have to keep trying for the sake of my husband, who has been so loving and supportive. I have to keep trying for the sake of my family members who struggle with adrenal fatigue and feel like there is no way out. I have to keep trying for the sake of my own sanity - there is so much I want to do! But I am giving up doing it in my own strength - the battle belongs to the Lord.