January Reimaginations

Recuperating, Reversing, Dawning, Mapping, and Re-Defining

These are the five words for our Chronic Illness Linky at A Chronic Voice. January is the perfect month for reflecting and looking forward, too. The five words enable us to think about how these words fit into our chronic life. My life has certainly felt chronic lately. I’ve felt chronically ill, chronically in pain, and chronically tired of it all.

Recuperating

Recuperating is the ONLY thing I’m doing right now. Since returning from Christmas “vacation”, I had to recuperate from a severe stomach bug and am still recuperating from Bronchitis. Every other year that I’ve taken the flu shot, my body has also avoided Bronchitis. As a child and young adult, Bronchitis hit me time after time.

But this year, the flu shot didn’t stop it. Because I was in a moldy old home for a month, I think my body was just too weak to fight it off. I made it home and saw my doctor, who gave me plenty of medicine and supplements. I’m a tiny bit better, but this is a really bad case. I have a zoom meeting with him again this afternoon, so maybe he can give me something more to help.

resting with cold

Reversing

Getting so sick caused my family to reverse our other travel plans. We weren’t able to visit my oldest and his family, because we couldn’t carry our germs to them. We had to miss staying with my daughter who is expecting, because she didn’t need the germs either. So, we reversed course and made the choice to go home and get better.

I didn’t make any New Year’s Resolutions, because they don’t work in my chronic life. The chronic life seems to be moving forward a step and then back two. There are a few times when I may go forward and actually stay there, but it’s unusual. I have to accept that reversals are just part of my very chronic life.

Dawning

2022 has arrived, a new year dawned and most people feel hope for the future. I don’t know what this year holds, but I do prefer looking at the new year with positive eyes. I do wish that Covid was gone. It’s been a very long haul. Those of us who are immunocompromised continue to fear for our health. We also miss being out in the world. I’ve had three covid scares, but so far have tested negative. That is a blessing.

Mapping

As an educator, I think of mapping as a resource that helps teachers get students in engaged. Using a blank slate, mapping can bring creativity into the classroom while reinforcing connections between topics.

Brain mapping is another type of mapping that measures the function of the brain. It’s non-invasive and safe and is used to help with addiction treatment and even pain management. Neurofeedback has been mentioned to me in the past, but I’ve yet to try it. Scientists use a qEEG to monitor brain activity. I’ve had an EEG, but this is a different test. You can learn more about one here.

Re-Defining

My chronic life is very well defined. I’m not going to get better. I am an unwell person. But, that doesn’t mean that I can’t re-imagine my life and future. Usually, people want to re-imagine themselves as everything they desire: healthy, thin, beautiful, and with plenty of money. But, the truth of living a chronic life is that my future doesn’t really have all those qualities.

Lately, I have been re-imagining myself as: unhealthy, overweight, looking older, and having enough money for my needs. Instead of waiting for the day when I’m thin again to put on cute clothes, I need to wear them now. I don’t need to punish myself and shame myself just because of being sick. I may look older, but I can accept that looking older means I’m alive and hopefully wiser.

@2022, copyright Lisa Ehrman

Disclaimer: I’m not a medical expert. This post contains my experiences and opinions and is not meant to be taken as medical advice. If you have a medical concern, please consult your personal physician.

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