Doing What We Can

Something I’ve struggled with during my decades of illness is what I WANT to do, versus what I CAN do.

I’m learning to accept that I can only do what I can.

Some days, like last weekend, it is hiking up over 500 steps on the side of a mountain. Some days, like yesterday, it is simply resting all day and attending a comedy show for a couple of hours in the evening. And other days still, it’s barely getting out of bed.

It’s been a trying few weeks. From a bout with strep throat and an ear infection, to stomach flu, to RA flares and migraines, and a biopsy on my finger resulting in stitches. It’s been a trying few months, with an unending mountain of medical problems (both my own and other family members’.) Reactions to medications. One or two instances that would reasonably fall under the category of a cancer scare. And more.

But it’s been a good few months & weeks also: I went to Montreal. I got a new exercise bike and ordered a new telescope. I re-joined a gym and already did my first water aerobics class. I stated my Take Shape for Life and Optavia 30 wellness journey. I spent time with friends, family, my pets, and my husband.

I got a (great) new idea for a (great) new fiction novel.

I don’t feel great today.

My shoulder is flaring, my finger still intermittently hurts, my back and neck have been giving me issues, as have my muscle spasms.

Migraines seem never-ending.

I’m worried about the future of healthcare and medical research.

I’m tired — physically and mentally/emotionally.

But instead of dwelling on the fact that I feel crappy, I’m trying to instead focus on all the good that still is left.

Like my book idea and my current books.

Like this article that was distributed in print to over a million people.

Like my work with the Autoimmune Registry and Healthline.

Like the Lady Gaga, Ed Sheeran, and Britney Spears concerts that I have to look forward to, and the work I do with WearWoof and Paws N Claws Eyewear.

Like my husband making it back on to American Ninja Warrior again.

Like upcoming trips to Cleveland, Hilton Head, and Vegas this year … and possibly Hawaii and Quebec next year.

Like trips to my family’s camp in Ohio this summer.

My knee replacement surgery is in July. That falls under both the categories of things to dwell on/worry about, and also something to look forward to and be excited about. A total joint replacement is a very big deal and a huge operation. It has risks associated with it. It’s a bit scary. (Okay, a lot scary.) But — who knows? Maybe I will have some positive, life-changing results afterwards. (At least, I hope so!)

For now, I’m trying not to let anxiety or worry or my occasional bouts of OCD get to me. (I am less-compulsive, more-obsessive. It’s a thing. Google it.)

For now, I’m going to focus on what I can do, and what I do have, instead of the things that illness and pain have taken away from me.

I’m not in a place to preach, but one word of advice? I’d encourage you all to try to do the same, even when it seems hard to see through the haze of sickness.

Best of luck and best of health to all of you!

Love,

Ashley

PS: Have some free time this weekend? Check out this article in The Lifted Brow about rheumatoid arthritis in pop culture.

quote-of-the-week

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