Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Image by brainloc

My rheumatologist and I are in the process of evaluating a drug's effectiveness for me. I discontinued taking the medication, and my doctor advised me to closely evaluate my response. Oh, brother. As I commented in an earlier post:  

Ever since I had to quit work, I have been doing nothing but focusing on myself. My entire day is booked almost completely with the word ME in every time slot. There was a time when I would have thought that this would be a perfect existence. Several of my friends have commented that they would love to change places with me.

 Let me tell you honestly, focusing entirely upon yourself stinks. Especially when you are a chubby 50 year old with a strange hairdo and a disease that saps your energy when you least expect or want it to. 

I am just not interesting enough to warrant attention 24/7.

If I allow myself to become uber focused on my body and it’s symptoms, I become very strange and hard to live with. Every pimple, ache, or pain seems to be magnified 200% simply because, in the absence of anything else to focus on, that pimple turns into a monstrous problem. I become anxious and fretful, and even crankier than usual. It’s not pretty.

I was trying to think of ways to continue to objectively monitor my symptoms without morphing into a self-absorbed hypochondriac, and formulated a plan: I would spend a few minutes evaluating  any changes in my body, would jot it down in a journal, then move on immediately to a different task. 

Hm. A different task.

I knew that the new task needed to be somewhat appealing, didn't encourage yet more bad habits, wouldn't increase my pudgy physique, and also wouldn't break the bank. 

Dang. There went watching endless old movies, pie baking, and shopping. My favorite things. 

Instead, I have decided that I would use this opportunity to re-visit the concept of doggie obedience. When I shared this idea with John, he laughed until he had to wipe away the tears. What a skeptic. 

I'll show him. Maggie, Bart, and Sam have no idea what lies ahead for them. I have dusted off my copy of Dog Training for Dummies. Oh, yeah. We're starting again from chapter one. 

Wait - for dummies??


Anonymous said...

I never thought about the "Me" issue. I guess that's why I can't stand it when I'm so sick that I can't move. I try to keep busy as much as possible even if it's just my mind.

Your attention to this issue is inspiring and certainly goes against the perception that many people have of people with disabilities or chronic illness.

Julia Oleinik said...

Well, I never thought about myself in inspirational terms before! Smile. Thanks for the nice thought, Connie.

Vicky said...

Yes....you get tired of focusing on "ME". Interestingly enough...I find you very fascinating. I guess because we share a common thread in life. So even when you think you are boring and are tired on focusing on yourself....others are interested. You do provide help and comic relief. :)

Julia Oleinik said...

Thank you, Vicky!