I've been getting all of your emails. I am sorry that I haven't written for the past few days. I've been trying to think about how I'd like to write what's on my mind. I want to be thankful and clear, without drawing attention to details that I'd rather not broadcast. Here goes...
Months ago, I was talking to a friend of mine, D, a mother of four boys. I was going through my vertigo, but hadn't yet been diagnosed with Meniere's. As I was explaining my symptoms, I was telling her how the doctors said it could go away in days, or perhaps months. Walking around dizzy is a scary feeling, and since I live alone with my son, it's me driving him to and from school, doing homework with him most nights, and managing the house. Being non-functional isn't really a viable option. D's son, she said, has just had a concussion and spent weeks at home. He was told not to do is homework, or anything that might cause his brain to work too hard. She said that things are always changing, our health, our kids, finances. Instead of getting down about it, she said, just look at it as the new normal.
The new normal keeps changing. I was out with my friends, M and K just last week. We were getting our nails done, and then going to lunch. I made the very rookie mistake of working out very hard early in the morning, and not eating enough food. I also didn't drink enough water, and since I am also taking diuretics for my Meinere's, I need to take in twice as much water as most people. After my workout, I had an hour long appointment, then met my friends for our afternoon out. About 30 minutes into our meeting, I got dizzy. Really dizzy. The room began to spin and just wouldn't stop. Laying down made it worse; so did closing my eyes. My sweet friends took me to the ER and stayed with me while the doctor did a neurological test, an EKG, and tested for low blood sugar and dehydration. My blood sugar was low, so they gave me fruit and juice to level it out a little bit. I hadn't eaten enough to compensate for the 700 calorie burn.
While we were between tests, my friends and I had a long conversation. I said, "I swear, I am not always like this. It's weird, and it's stupid. I always think that I am so healthy." My friend M reminded me that as we get older, we have to redefine healthy. She and K both said that as we age (are we aging already? ugh, we are) we start to have pains we never had, and our body responds differently than it did when we were 20. K said she wakes up every morning and her back hurts. M said that yes, there is always some pain, somewhere.
They both kindly said things about their own personal experiences that made me feel much better about getting dramatically dizzy in the nail salon and needing a ride to the ER. K even needed to pull over when I thought I might vomit. I feel very lucky to know that these friends were there for me when I needed them. I am still fairly embarrassed about this incident, which is why it's taken me four days to write about it.
The point that I wanted to make, along with making a very public Thank You! to the girls, is that life isn't consistent. While we think things will continue along a certain way, hope that they will, that's not always the case. Our health may not always be perfect, though we do our best to care for our bodies. Things happen that are beyond our control; how we deal with it is ours to own. I need lots of work on that end. But like my friend D said, it's just the new normal. That's how we have to look at it to stay sane. Life is a mixed bag, and as we ride the peaks and valleys, we will experience both joy and heartache. What matters is how we choose to experience it.