So, I deceived myself again, people. I deceived myself into thinking that everything was going to go perfect after my transplant. And everyone else was right there with me. All running along under the “hunkey-dorey” kinda life sorta situation….
But, then reality hits in the form of set-backs. Bringing me jarringly down to earth. And by that I mean various infections, like C. Diff, E. Coli, and other nasty acronyms and abbreviations.
|Trying to endure a recent pH Probe test
Or aspiration and reflux, for which there will be lovely potential gastrointestinal and abdominal surgeries in my future.
Or 40% loss of lung function, which I hope to get returned, but may not.
Or an increase in steroids, and all of that jazz.
But, I don’t need to dwell.
The point is transplant patients, or lung disease patients, or diabetic patients, or fibromyalgia patients, or any kind of patient with a serious chronic disease will at some point experience a set-back in their disease treatment process. And sometimes this will occur at a point when you do not expect it to happen, making it feel even worse that it already even does.
So what are we supposed to do about it?
I refer first to my previous statement: “But, I don’t need to dwell.” I know it’s hard, but for me, the first thing is to try not to overly concern oneself with whatever the set-back is. If all I do is sit around researching and reading about whatever problem it is that I’m having now, it’s only going to make me depressed, not to mention self-centered. Yes, it’s important to be knowledgeable and to be well educated about your health and whats going on with your body, but there is a point where WebMD is NOT your friend anymore. Believe me, I know. We had to break up. More than once. So, let’s not dwell. And let’s try not to make other people dwell with us. It’s for the good of the whole.
Instead, let’s try to distract! When I get down because of a set-back, I find distractions are the best way to turn myself around. This is different for everyone, but here are some suggestions:
- Try a new recipe
- Take and arts and crafts class (There are free ones, too!)
- Get a new hobby, like crochet
- Go out for dinner at a new restaurant
- Have friends over for board games (Pictionary!!!)
- Play classic video games
- Themed movie night (ie; Black&White)
- Plant an herb garden
- Read your Bible (Read it conveniently online here!)
- Write a new post in your blog (OK, that one is mainly for me…)
The best distractions are this – family and friends! As mentioned in a previous post, my group of friends and family are AWESOME! They work hard to help me with everything I need, and I would not have been able to go through this journey without them so far. I love each and every one of them!
Something else that helps when you have a set-back is to focus on your spirituality. The Bible says,
“Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need” (Matt. 5:3).
I find that is so true! When you have a set-back in your health or life, finding scriptures in the Bible that teach you about those who went through similar experiences, or simply have words that speak to your heart, just makes everything feel so much better! For example:
“Therefore, we do not give up, but even if the man we are outside is wasting away, certainly the man we are inside is being renewed from day to day. For though the tribulation is momentary and light, it works out for us a glory that is of more and more surpassing greatness and is everlasting; while we keep our eyes, not on the things seen, but on the things unseen. For the things seen are temporary, but the things unseen are everlasting. ”
2 Corinthians 4:16,17
Another thing to help with set-backs is to try to keep moving. This is the hardest suggestion by far, and the one that I have to remind myself about the most. When you have a health set-back, the worst part about it is that you don’t feel as great as you did! But try to resist the urge to be sedentary completely. I find in my case, that always makes it worse. Keep moving, even if it is a little bit, a little bit at a time. Remember the picture above with the pH probe in my nose? I went all over Houston scaring the masses with that thing! Yes, people stared at me. Yes, small children ran away crying and were probably traumatized for life. But, I got a new pair of shoes, and almost forgot that thing was in there. Almost. I was walking all over the place, talking, laughing, carrying on as normal as I could. And when I got home I was so tired I went right to sleep, and the probe didn’t even bother me. If I had sat home all day in front of the TV or tablet, the outcome would have been much different.
Yes, my friends, set-backs are hard. They’re unexpected and disappointing. But we can bounce back my fellow sick-lings! We’ve made it this far –