Sunday, September 11, 2011

Memories are fickle things.

Why do I remember the backwards dinners my mum used to let us kids have? Dessert first, then our main. But I don't remember what foods we ate.
Why do I remember the last words exchanged between myself and a friend a week before she passed away? Yet I can't remember the countless hours of conversation we had in the previous year?
Why do I remember my brother decapitating my Barbie doll, but not any of the holiday we were on when he did this?

Memories fascinate me. I'm intrigued to know why people remember specific things throughout their lifetime, whilst other events go by the by. It would make sense if you remembered the important things, whilst all the in-between nonsense was forgotten. But memories don't make sense. At times I wish I could erase some of my memories and have retained different one. But it's no use wishing, reflecting and hoping for something that will never be. Somehow you've just got to make sense of what you've got and what you can learn from them.

I do believe they can either make you stronger, or entangle you, leaving you trapped & wresting with the 'what could of' 's, 'what if' 's.

What is not surprising to me is the lack of memory I have from the end of last year and the beginning of this year. I was so very ill that I don't have any doubt that my body had better things to use any energy I had to keep me alive, rather than trying to create memories. When I reflect back upon that time, I don't think I really believed how ill I was. I was in my own bubble trying to convince myself that I was ok. The main problem was that I had absolutely no mind / body connection. I never listened to my body. I ignored every warning sign that something was wrong.

I begun to get tired. A pretty common symptom in everyday life. My daily workouts began to get harder and harder. I attributed this to my fatigue. As the days went by my memory failed me. I could not concentrate in class, but not for lack of trying. I then began to get heavy legs. This should have been a red flag. This was not your average - had a hard workout sore legs. This was a - my legs felt like someone had weighed them down with lead. I could no longer complete a full class at the gym, which for me was unheard of. I was the girl who did Body Attack (BA), ran 10 km and still had energy to burn.

The first class of BA I left early was devastating to me. To me it was a sign of failure - not a sign that my body was trying to tell me something was up. A few more weeks went by - marred by memories of severe stomach aches, constant fatigue, no motivation, lack of ability to think straight, my heart beating erratically, a headache that never ceased to go away and depression set in. I don't remember much of this time. All I know is that I sat my end of semester University exams. How I passed is beyond me. In the weeks leading up to them, I missed so much class, I didn't study at all and spent most of my day in bed. After exams, I went to bed... and very nearly didn't get back out.

Sleeping away 23+ hours a day was not normal. But I didn't have an ounce of energy to care or do anything about it. I would try and get up but could not stand for more than a minute at a time. If I exerted myself anymore than that minute, I began to get nausea, dizzy and feel my body about to faint. So I had to immediately crouch down and sit on the floor wherever I was in the house. One day I got up to grab something to eat. I knew I needed to eat something each day because I was asleep for nearly 24 hours out of each day, which obviously wasn't conducive to eating. I stepped out of bed and felt my heart drop. It was an eerily humbling feeling. It was in that moment that I knew something was drastically wrong. My pulse was so slow and skipping beats. My chest felt so heavy from the effort my heart was going to, to pump blood around my body.

It was another 24 hours until I summoned the energy to drive to the local hospital. Another hour I sat in my car in the hospital car park trying to figure out how to make the walk from there to the ER . Every step felt like a marathon. Upon entry, I was immediately admitted to hospital. It was only then that I finally realised how seriously ill I really was. And how important it is to listen to what your body has got to tell you.

If you feel something out of place. If your body doesn't feel just right. If you have a gut feeling. I urge you to listen. It's much easier to get it checked out. It's also much better to be cautious and for nothing to be wrong than waiting and developing a serious illness.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lazy days.

Exercise is my oxygen. A dose is required daily for optimal functioning. Obviously I require oxygen a tad more frequently, but only marginally.

The next three weeks is mid year holidays from Uni classes, with semester 2 starting at the end of July. I plan to take full advantage of the next few weeks, to up my exercise intensity with the pretence of making some good fitness gains. The time I have free from Uni classes, study and assignments will now be replaced by some longer runs, increased weight sessions and of course my favourite classes. Of course, work is thrown in there too.... girls gotta eat (and pay the rent, but that's by the by). The days tend to fly by when I am exercising, hanging out with friends, working, eating and of course recovering from exercise. Recovering from exercise a.k.a curled in a blanket with hot chocolate, watching hours of tv shows and napping.

Ever since I became seriously ill last December 10' - I've slowly been working on picking up the pieces. One by one. Slow and steady. It's not easy, and there have been many days I wanted to throw in the towel. But giving up is not an option. I had strength before I was ill, & i'm damn sure that I'm going to come out the other side stronger than ever. I plan on documenting my ups, downs, lessons learned, some topics important to me and a whole lot of nonsense that goes on in the life of me, you're average Australian gal :)