All morning we’ve been watching the clouds blow in and out, teasing us with notions of the pool and then stealing them away again. We’ve decided to risk it once the Rooster awakens from his nap and for this, the older monkeys are grateful.
I am grateful as well. It means escape from the house and adult conversation and at least a little sunshine here and there – three things this FitQueen requires for her sanity. But it also means the thousand little preparations: finding clean bathing suits (not always easy due to my severe distaste for putting away laundry), packing snacks that will appeal to all and not rot if they are forgotten, remembering things like sunscreen, clean towels (again with the laundry issue), and myriad “guys” for the Rooster. Oh – and goggles and the blanket. Then it’s the piling into the van, the piling out, and the lugging of the stuff. The frantic attempts to keep the Rooster with me while I get everyone/thing set up and the frantic chasing of the Rooster while he follows the big kids around.
And it is this way for every mom at the pool. I am not special in any of these instances. What makes it different for me is knowing I am on the verge of an EBV flare up. How do I know this?
Let’s check the list, shall we? Irritability – check. Slight fatigue – check. Tingling fingers and toes, dizziness, insomnia, and bouts of nausea – check, check, check, and check. And the overly emotional state of being that has me in sniffles over, well…just about everything? Check. Not being totally enthused about a possible outdoor run is a huge sign for me. I live for those workouts, especially the ones that take me outside. I’m already digging for motivation and coming up short. Which tells me the fatigue may be more than slight.
It isn’t awful yet. Yet. But I’ve been through the cycle enough to know what’s coming if I don’t get a handle on it fast. No processed stuff. Early bedtime. Choosing between the run and the lifting session instead of doing both (which was another reason to get all emotional. I mean, how does one simply choose between an outdoor run and leg day?????). Knowing what to do empowers me while at the same time pushing that lump into my throat. Because the one thing I dislike more than putting away clean laundry is seeing my own limitations on an ever-closer horizon.
So boo and hoo and all that jazz. Woe is me and whatnot. I tell you this not to gain sympathy but to try and make you understand, because I know I am not the only one. People certainly do not look at me with all my posts about double workouts, distance running, and event training and think, “Oh, poor girl. She’s really ill.” And most of the time – I’m really not.
But give me repeated offenses (poor food choices on a daily basis, even if it’s just once a day; lack of sleep due to Paul McCartney being on The Colbert Report, even if it’s just an extra 30 minutes) and I know I’m sending myself back down a road I would rather not travel. It’s my own fault. I get that. I may know my limits but I don’t always pay attention to them. Mostly because I’d just rather not. There’s far too much to do and no one else does it right.
There are others out there – gorgeous, beautiful, healthy-looking others – that go through this very same thing. There are bad days and then there are really bad days. But there are also enough incredibly great days that the illnesses get nearly forgotten – by everyone else. Never by us; that is always sitting in the background somewhere, whispering. I know when I’m pushing too hard even before the symptoms hit. I simply choose to ignore it because I want to smash everything into the good days just in case there’s a really bad day ahead. Sometimes they come even when I stick to my Paleo plans and I take my rest days and I ask for help around the house.
I’d kinda rather push and push and push and take advantage of the energy I have. I don’t want to squander it with resting when I’m not sure if I’ll have any left over tomorrow.
I was blessed to come across an article written by a woman with Lupus that expressed so much of what I feel on a daily basis that I was in tears within the first two paragraphs. And it got me thinking how lucky I am that I only deal with EBV, and that I really only deal with it sometimes. It may truly suck on occasion, it could always be worse.
I mean, I’m running marathons and OCR’s and color runs. I’m swimming with my kids and going to their baseball games and going on hikes. I am rarely completely limited by my virus – and for that, I am grateful.