As my body's driver, I am more familiar with my body than anyone else. I know how it feels when functioning, what my comfort levels are or are not, and understand exactly how smooth or rough the ride can be. I, along with God, determine what's most important in my life, the purposes that I strive for, and the expectations I have regarding my functionality. How I feel and the quality of my journey, may often be more important and essential, than how I actually look or what the “blue book” value an outsider may perceive that I am actually worth.
My mechanics, or doctors if you will, help me manage and develop possibilities that may help improve how I function. Just like vehicles, I have many different systems that have to work together to be effective. I have various areas to take in consideration, some requiring more attention at time than others. Sometimes the adjustments we make may help, sometimes they will be trial and error, at times the changes may even create new additional problems, but all in all we slowly continue to make small calibrations in hopes of improving my overall condition physically and internally.
In the automotive world, different fuels work better for different vehicles and burn the fuel at different rates. So doesn't it make sense that different people work better with different types of nutrition and hydration and similarly different people burn their fuel at different rates as well.
Comparable to automobiles...
If one places too much physical energy, or battery power, in controlling, maintaining, and meeting everyone else's expectations, they might drain themselves to the point where nothing is left for them to thrive on. In this case, the sole purpose of their life, the heart of the engine, which is to ride through the wind and travel along life's journey, may not be successfully accomplished. Too much energy spent on attempting to meet only medical expectations, without respecting the mental and emotional needs as well, can unfortunately come at the cost of leaving no energy available to enjoy an acceptable quality of life. Similarly, focusing only on one's emotional well-being and physical activities, whether enjoyable or not, without taking care of the medical needs (mechanics), can also create issues, as the body would not have the capability to perform efficiently.
Like a defective alternator, our mind often produces symptoms that alert us of potential problems before larger problems begin to arise. It's main job, or purpose, is to make sure that the battery, our energy, remains charged so that like a vehicle, we can function appropriately. However, if we do not carefully monitor and control the energy expenditure it can become completely depleted of energy and will not be able to keep up with the amount required to successfully function and meet even basic needs. This is why it's imperative that we do not ignore our warning signals. Eventually, this can lead to the possibility of being left alone and stranded. Additionally, it can also create a domino effect of "electrical" problems that can ultimately cause a complete breakdown.
Batteries, alternators, radios, and other vehicle components, like our bodies, can sometimes fail on their own with no warning or reason. However, there are ways that we can attempt to extend and improve the quantity and quality of our lives.
Personally, I am currently trying to return to feeling somewhat comfortable with tolerating my health, like I was prior to my latest infection. It wasn’t perfect by far! I was still dependent on IV support and tube feeds, running on low energy, and dealing with symptoms daily. But, I was also starting to figure out how to function alongside my limitations, which meant that I could also reserve and discover a little energy to enjoy life with my family. When I felt consequences from choices I made, whether it be activities missed to recharge and refuel myself or trying to do too much physically, resulting in wearing myself down, I could at least say that those moments were worth it and acceptable.
Currently, I am not always feeling like there is a “worth it” label for the struggles I’m having within my health journey. At times I'm missing the human element, losing my idea of self, and am extremely tired and frustrated because it can feel as if I am running on a hamster wheel, getting nowhere, just wearing myself completely out, for what??
I need and want a different view. I don’t want to be stuck in a wheel of hellish symptoms for nothing but worn out frustration. I don’t believe that I can continue to drive my life around and around a "roundabout". Where and how do I choose the right road to lead me in a tolerable direction?
It just seems as if the harder I try, the sooner I lose energy for anything else because all of my energy expenditure is used to keep riding around and around in circles. How do I determine when it's time to take the risk of trying a new road or simply stopping for a break?
I’m okay with taking time to recharge my engine, if it means I get some time to explore, move, and live life with my family as a result. I don’t want to drain every bit of energy, potential, and life away to be left with nothing. After a while the jump starts will not work anymore. Eventually, if I don’t appreciate and listen to MY body, all aspects of it, I will become completely useless and hopeless, forgotten and neglected, possibly even thrown in a local scrap yard. What then?
Unlike with vehicles, it's not as if I can calmly and confidently walk into a store and buy a new battery or alternator. Furthermore, I can not trade in my body for a brand new one. It's MY responsibility to take care of myself and all of my imperfections, the best way possible, with the help of my family and doctors.
A proud mother, educator, Gastroparesis & GI Motility Disorder Advocate,
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