There is a certain level of deconditioning that happens when you spend as much time on a vent laying in a hospital bed as I did…
I have RT who work with me on reconditioning my lungs to expand and breathe like they normally did. I take a deep breath and feel a tight squeeze, I’m reminded that I can’t breathe normal just quite yet. That while my body has muscle memory it has to be reconditioned to perform like it normally did. There are exercises I need to do daily to regain my strength in my lungs.
For the first week after getting off sedation medication I had to use a walker or hold on to things at all times because my legs were weak and heavy. I have putty and my own squishy my children will love that OT has given me to help with my fine motor skills in my hands. Stairs… I thought I had regained my strength in my legs not needing my walker to transport me but I was quickly reminded in just simply three steps that my legs still have some conditioning to do. I have to work on it daily and each day I get a little stronger and improve.
When I woke up, I had not eaten anything in a week. My stomach had to work up to solid foods. My taste buds have changed and a positive has come that most unhealthy things no longer taste very good. Maybe it was the steroids or medication but I’m not questioning that one now that they are out of my system. I needed to make some changes to my diet so in my conditioning I am eating healthy and Have to make decisions every single day to stay on track. Sometimes I eat a little pudding or have some chocolate too but working on portions and keeping healthy in everything that I do.
The mind is not something that is physical. It does not rely on a muscle to preform. It is not always deconditioned when you don’t use it. Sometimes the work you are putting in is actually working to decondition it in order to change the voice inside of it. It can be altered with medication, lack of sleep, lack of nutrition or a great plethora of other things including emotions and faith. When I woke up my mind was not deconditioned from who I was before. I was still receiving medication that altered it. I was still not giving it what it needed to perform optimally. I was still not sleeping, in fact when the sedation medication was finally turned off and I was given steroids around the clock I was up for three days straight. I was not eating because my stomach felt weak and nothing tasted right.
I have learned that phones and iPads need to go up by 11:30. Sleep is so important and those things are not conducive for productive sleep, so away they go. This will need to be practiced even when there is not a person telling me to do so.
Did you know that in a study looking at how well people slept using a pharmaceutical aid vs those who meditated on gratitude nightly they found no significant difference. Sleeping aids can make your brain foggy and for body feel drained. I’m not very good on meditation just yet so every night I write, I write what I am thankful for and it has been the best sleep. Some nights are harder than others. Sometimes my dreams get to me and I wake up crying those nights I hold on tight to the wooden cross a friend brought with the words “I am with you always” painted on it and it calms me and gives me peace and power to go on.
I’m going to groups on emotions and learning what my unhealthy coping mechanisms did to me. Anger is my go to. When I’m not understanding something. When I’m frustrated. When I don’t know how I am feeling, anger is a standby because I know how to express that. I know how to be the beast and how to become the fire. Anger is not productive is is extremely destructive. I have to retrain my brain to not use anger and to take an inventory of my feelings when I start to get that feeling my my chest that rises to my head and tends to bubble and implode.
If anger were a color it would be red
If anger were a weather it would be a tornado
The above is my interpretation of my anger. I am a tornado sucking up my children (you can see them in the bottom left corner) and destroying my home, the representation of my life. It has no place here. It has no right.
“Roid rage” is not a scape goat. It is not an excuse, but it is an explanation of why lately that anger has taken over me. It is mine and I own it but taking the steroids away and working daily on better coping and stress management has made me a better person and just like all the conditioning with my body it will need to be a daily exercise and thankfully for my blogs and the negativity someone continues to spew I am having daily practice of feeling disappointment, hurt and frustration without anger taking hold and making me bold.
I can fight a fight without the anger and destruction. I can stand up for myself without the rage. I can set boundaries without being angry. I can be pushed without being controlled.
Lately, instead of anger I smile. I smile because I recognize the triggers. I recognize the reaction Someone may be trying to evoke. I smile because that reaction no longer lives here. That reaction no longer has control. My deconditioning is successful and I’m learning to train myself how to have control. How to speak from peace and how to move forward even when people want to hold me to yesterday. That is okay. That is where they are at and I have nothing to prove to them. Nothing I do or say will convince them so why even try. Their opinion doesn’t matter. They can not see past their own unhealthy mechanisms and overly dramatic reactions to everything and I no longer have to react the same. I don’t have to be who they think I’m suppose to be or used to be.
We see a dentist every 6 months. We brush our teeth multiple times a day. We floss. We whiten. We work hard to keep up our gum health and teeth, we only have 2 sets!
We see a doctor yearly and if anything comes up. We work daily to eat healthy, exercise, take our meds and vitamins daily. It’s a work in progress to keep our body healthy.
How often do we see a mental health professional? How often to we exercise our mind? How often do we practice healthy coping mechanisms? How often do we practice what we preach? The answer should be daily, hourly, moment to moment. The mind is the most important aspect of health and it is the number one thing neglected. Train your brain. I’m not talking about memory. I’m talking about who you want to be. How do you want to see? Will everything be behind red glasses or will you finally be free??
I will finally be free. And I will work daily to remain that way.