Wednesday, July 10, 2013

One Step at a Time


I took my new hiking shoes for a little walk yesterday. The weather was beautiful beyond description: sunny, warm but not hot, a very light breeze, and low humidity. Lulu and I hopped in to Goldie and headed down the hill to a local park mid-morning, me wearing sunscreen, a hat, carrying my ergonomically correct cross-body purse, with Lulu perched on the drink holders in the back seat console. She rests her chin on my shoulder when she sits that way. I love it.

As we pulled into the parking lot, I promised myself that since this was the first time in a very very long time I had attempted a walk of any length -- that wasn't shopping -- that I would try my best to assess my energy levels and not go beyond them.


It's a lovely park with such a pretty little lake. There's wide and well groomed paths for walking. Perfect.

We headed out at a very slow pace. Lulu was in doggie heaven, zig zagging in front of me so that I'm sure that she covered at least five times more ground than I did. She greeted every other person in the park and sniffed every tree that we passed.


It was fun. It really was. My shoes fit perfectly and I didn't feel as though I was spending beyond my energy budget.

Until.

About two thirds of the way thru my walk, I realized that even such a limited distance was probably too far for me. Where did all my dumb stupid energy GO? Honestly. I hadn't been walking for more than fifteen minutes at a very very slow pace.

Lulu and I made it back to the car, and as I pulled into the garage just a few minutes later sweating buckets and brain foggy, realized once again.....

THIS DISEASE STINKS.

Yeah. I know that there are others out there with far more difficult and painful life situations than mine. And I am trying very hard not to take for granted the amazing resources that I have available for me.

BUT. THIS DISEASE STINKS.

I moped my way through the house and flopped into my hammock chair in the backyard and watched Lulu prance around in the grass as I alternated grumbling to myself with mopping perspiration. Mumble......grumble....DUMB STUPID SJOGRENS.....grumble...DUMB STUPID SWEAT......mumble...

Funny how after just a few minutes with my feet up in the hammock things seem to get better. Nicer. Happier.

Hammock magic works for a lot of different maladies, I decided. Especially for fixing my after-the-walk-crash grouchiness.

As my energy levels revived, so did my spirits.

Next time: err on the side of caution, Julia, I told myself. Because there definitely will be a next time.

8 comments:

Pat Green said...

Julia, you are commended for at least making the effort. Since my diagnosis 3 years ago, I haven't resumed my daily after work walks (OK, maybe not "daily" but at least 3x a week). The Florida sun is brutal on my fair Sjogren's skin even with sunscreen. Your post pushed me closer to at least thinking about resuming them again.

I really enjoy your posts.

Vickie Spires said...

Julia, you rock! Small steps forward are still forward, and you should be proud of yourself. I used to walk a lot and I am trying to start again. I can't do an hour like I used to, so I am trying do a couple small walks. About 15 minutes in the morning before work, 15 minutes at my morning break, and occasionally I can even do 15 minutes after work.

Jennifer Pettit said...

Maybe you just need to build in a rest mid-walk? Find a bench or rock or log to chill out on for a little bit? If you felt so much better after a break in the hammock I feel like maybe it's just a matter of recharging. Though congrats on wrangling a curious dog while walking :)

Anonymous said...

It is so hard to adjust to this illness, our bodies won't cooperate with our minds! At first, every time I started to feel a bit better, I would overdo and end up back in bed. Kudos to you for trying, try again, and definetly rest even while on the walk. I stop, stretch, put my feet up.
My doctor doesn't think my excessive sweating is due to the Sjogrens, but it defintely showed up at the same time! Do many of your readers have this?

The Cranky Native said...

Ha! I tried walking out to the mailbox yesterday and kept listing to the left. Trying to correct that, I just ended up looking like a drunk.

My neighbors haven't seen me outside of the yard in so long, they braked to watch me.

I'm with you Julia. Sjogrens Stinks! You sure do get to a lot of beautiful places for girl that can't walk very far though.

Nicole said...

That looks like a beautiful park! Yay for you taking those boots out on a test run. My hiking - once a regular 6 miles twice a week - has taken a serious hit. But with meds working and energy climbing, I'm starting to get a little back. You make me look forward to it, slow as I am!

Katherine Lovett said...

Julia, I am new to this. I am one month into a diagnosis and start of treatment so I am still at the walking around the house one day and then paying for it the next. Like everyone else here I went from very active to nothing so fast and it's been a 5 year journey to the correct diagnosis. Thank you so very much for your daily journal. It is one of the first things I found after my diagnosis and has been a tremendous help. Thanks to everyone else who comments too. You all leave me feeling stronger.

710.9 said...

I had intended to comment about how much I can relate, but there are so many other comments to that effect. Your post made me feel not alone; all the others made me feel like we're everywhere. :-)

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