Hm… so I still feel like I’m behind on a lot of things, like understanding how taxes work and what the right kind of skin ritual I should be doing at night. But I do feel like I’ve come a long way since college. To be frank, in the past two years I finally wrapped my head not only around therapy, but accepting that I could use medication to help with the crazy amount of depression and anxiety I had been struggling with. I felt like I was mentally drowning so much of my life that it almost made me accept that this was the norm, and that either everyone else around me felt the same and was just handling it much better, or that I was very different and there was something wrong with me.
I still feel emotions of course- sometimes I get a bit down or upset, sometimes when I focus on my health and how different my life could’ve been if I hadn’t gotten ill, where I could’ve been. But it’s nowhere near how I used to feel- hopeless, trapped under this giant heavy cloud that was drowning me of any ambition and motivation. It’s therapeutic to write on here for how much of my mind is reflecting on the “negative” aspects of my life, which don’t play out too well with everyday conversation and interactions with people.
That said, adulting. I used to feel completely naked and vulnerable whenever I had to ask someone for help, like talking to professors for understanding and assistance in my grades and absences that go hand in hand with chronic illness. I used to feel my whole day ruined when I forced myself to trek short of breath anywhere: to class, to the mall, just because I wanted so desperately to act as normal as I looked on the outside. It was too much to accept how severe my health was, and that it would always be this way until it got worse.
I’m worried about getting ill and losing my job, it can make me panic to realize that my youth is leaving and my chances at a youthful life are slipping away, and even worse that these struggles will never leave- I have to simply adjust my perspectives.
But for now, I still have my job, I’m still learning to speak up about my health and reasonable accommodations for it without feeling ashamed or acting like a victim, and that so many things are out of my hands.
This week, my parents left for Taiwan. I hope they’re having a lot of fun and enjoying their 60s. That said, it does make things a bit harder for me, such as expending a more limited expectation on the mundane chores I have to take care of everyday- cleaning up after my dog, cooking, washing dishes. But it’s nice being alone, so that I don’t have to talk to anybody, and I can do things at my own pace without judgment. I rest when I have to, and give a bit of energy here and there to manage it all. I’m trying to eat up all the food left in the fridge by myself before it all goes bad, so I’m stuffing myself with two bananas a day, eating perishable foods even though they might not be my cup of tea.
I went to UPenn Tuesday, and my lung doctor said the antibiotics appear to be working and the inflamed white lining around the hole in my lungs seems to be thinning out comparing it from April to August, which is great. I do realize now that I’m getting closer to my usual baseline how it was definitely worse last year. When I took deep breaths, the ceiling of my breaths were lower, so I got short of breath more severely and quickly, and as a consequence, I got more fatigued and uncomfortably short of breath/dizzy.
I was annoyed by this person who was administering my breathing tests, and he was super cheerful and when he opened up my patient charts, he was all “omg, I can’t believe you have severe COPD?? No way, you don’t look sick at all.” I wasn’t going to say anything, but it really irks me when I get that. So a couple seconds later, I told him “I mean, you can’t see lungs on the outside, can you?” And he said that’s true. He tried to make amends by saying that some people spiritually seem really low and defeated and carry it with their aura, and that I don’t. So I guess that was a slightly nicer spin. Having these comments said to me always fed me imposter syndrome and made me feel like I was playing a special card to ask for help, because it seemed like rarely did someone believe me when I asked for help. It’s really frustrating.
My friend from college came to visit me Friday evening, I really appreciate when friends make an effort to stay in touch with me, even if the time we see each other has stretched to a year apart. I saw my neighbor/best friend briefly so she could help me eat some food in my fridge Saturday, then she encouraged me to go to the gym before it got even colder Sunday, so I did. After I returned, I was again thankful that she gently pushed me to go while it was relatively nice outside (60’s). And now, today is Sunday. It’s cold, my nose is cold even with my sweater and socks, so I just start to feel lethargic and want to bundle up in a blanket and not move at all. I’ve managed to be sort of productive though, and have made headway on cleaning up the bathroom and my dad’s room, and then eventually will put away my summer clothes in my room. I’m throwing away my old pill bottles, making lunch, going to clean up the dishes soon, and then will go back up to finish cleaning and taking a shower.
My dad’s room is full of random things and it’s all over the place at the moment, which is ironic because he’s the cleanest in our house and regularly vacuums the entire house down. I know he’s been super busy and overworked lately, so I think now that I have energy to recharge this weekend, I am able to go and organize some of it. My mom cleaned her room and my room before she left, so it’s nice because I am pretty crappy at folding the bed, and that takes more energy than other things.
I’m also busy cleaning up my dog’s poop, which is like 3x a day but feels so much more frequent. When I have to raise my body in any sense vertically, like bending down to pick up her poop, I notice that it affects my heart rate much more than other movement.
Anyway, that’s all for now.