The Ups and Downs of Chronic Illness

It’s been hard to write lately. The exhaustion that I’ve been dealing with has made me almost non-functional. The addition of my two new treatments has put my body into bed.


Physical therapy treatments for me are “easy”. I mean that they are easier than anything I’ve ever done before, and easier than what older people than me seem to be doing. But, these exercises are easy, because doing anything harder would be impossible.

I remember that in my 20s, 30s, and early 40s, I could participate in aerobic activities with no trouble. That seems so long ago. The acupuncture treatments were causing severe problems. I say severe, because I was having itching reactions and exhaustion afterwards. I got to the point of taking benadryl every day to stop allergic reactions and to prevent anaphylaxis.

So, after talking to my therapist, she agreed to use less needles in my treatment. This made all the difference in the world. For three days after the treatment, my energy levels were much improved. My itching has gone back to my normal for itching. This has brought me so much relief!

Now, after the three days of feeling better, I feel awful. Oh, well. My body goes up and down all the time. It may go up and down because of treatments, weather, or doing something. We all understand that when you do something, you’ll pay for it later. This might mean that I’ll pay a high price for cooking a meal or bathing the dog.


But, the big Ups and Downs also involve the emotions. When my body has extreme swings in energy and pain, this also affects my feelings. When my body gets down and stays down for days and days, I’ll get down emotionally. People say, “just get out of the house, and you’ll feel better” (or something like that). This is just not true, if you aren’t physically able to get out. Just getting a shower knocks me out for hours.

When I get down emotionally, I know it’s only a short-term issue. When my body gives me proof of bouncing back a little, my emotions are going to follow. Those of us with chronic illness get disappointed in ourselves because of what our bodies can’t do. We get our hopes up that we can ________. But, when we can’t _______, our hopes are dashed.

That doesn’t mean that we should stop hoping. We need to keep looking forward. We need to keep trying. This is important to remind ourselves of new possibilities. I like to read Scripture that reminds me of how God cares about how I feel.
Psalm 34:18 ESV
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

@2017, copyright Lisa Ehrman


  1. Thank you for bringing awareness to chronic illness. You put it into writing so well. You put chronic illness into words that I feel. I had a stroke over a year ago and I feel exactly how you write at times. I feel the ups and downs all the time and it is hard to go through. Prayers to you for your treatments and for peace! I went to follow you on Twitter and I noticed that I am already following you! 🙂 I’m @natdey on Twitter.

    • xaoti

      October 23, 2017 at 2:32 am

      Thank you, Natalie for the kind words and prayers. It’s good to hear from you, and that you understand. I hope you’re recovering from the stroke. Thanks for following me on Twitter. I just saw that I was following you, too 🙂

  2. Hi guys. I just wanted to ask if any of you tried using medical marijuana for anxieties? I’ve been suffering severe anxiety for almost a year now and been given a prescription for Benzodiazepines for my medication. But i heard alot of people telling me that marijuana helps relieve anxiety but im not im not sure if its true so i came up to search something about this idea and came across this marijuana strain from it says that i can discard all forms of stress and its euphoric buzz it delivers often is useful in combating anxiety and depression. I wanted to hear your thoughts about this guys and if you can give me any tips that can help me with my anxieties. Thank you!

    • xaoti

      November 17, 2017 at 2:40 pm

      I don’t know the answer. Medical marijuana isn’t legal where I live. Many people use CBD oils to get relief from a variety of problems, with the buzz or other side-effects. Maybe someone else can help you.

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