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Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Chronic Illness: Steering the ‘Type A’ in All of Us

I’ve heard many lupus patients say, over the course of time in which I’ve spoken with patient groups, that many of us were and still are “Type A” personalities. The ones who did it all. The ones who would take the call to help – and pitch right in. The ones who seemed to have multi-tasking down to a science and an art. When lupus hit, those skills came in handy at first. There was juggling the new list of specialists, meds, and tests. There was trying to add the lupus lifestyle without sacrificing other activities or responsibilities. There was the initial energy from the relief of finally getting a diagnosis, finally knowing what was wrong and having a game plan – and so there was, at first, the ability to forge ahead still in “Type A” mode. I’ve been right there with you, as have, I know, not just lupus patients, but many people with chronic illness and pain.

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But now, with years of lupus under my belt,  I recognize that the “Type A” tendency needs to be, well, steered more firmly than before. And, it’s quite a task, even on the best of days! That ol’ plate that used to be heaping with “to do” items has gotten smaller and, so, the number of tasks that can be on it at any given time.  Recognizing fatigue and rationing energy are even more important, now, as is relaxing, truly relaxing (really tough sometimes…okay, frequently!). Faith becomes ever more important, too, as a way to calm the spirit and help discern exactly what to do with the precious few minutes or hours of strength in any given day.

The most crucial thing I’ve found when it comes to not having as much ability to run blithely ahead throughout the day is that this reduction in energy does not mean I or you or anyone with lupus or another illness is a failure. It simply means our lives are different, now, and we can take who we are, all that we are, and fit quite nicely into the parameters of those new lives.

Trying to keep on the way life was before lupus or any other illness is much like trying to jam a foot into a shoe that is way too small.  Pain ensues. And disappointment. But in the right size shoe, ahh! Now, we can walk!

Blesssings for the day,

Maureen

 

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