Friday, October 23, 2015

If you look at my class, I'm the sweaty one.

Image found here

I carry a couple of sections of paper towels with me to my tai chi classes so I can mop the disgustingly copious amounts of sweat that I produce during the hour. This is more than a little bit embarrassing since I am the only one in class that even breaks a sweat while doing what others have told me are "totally relaxing movements".

I believe them, really I do -- because I've seen these people complete the moves with easy, fluid grace without breaking even the tiniest bit of sweat. Our instructor has started to turn on the gas fireplace at one end of our class area because of multiple complaints that it's just too cold in there. I'm trying not to become disheartened about this. I know that even at my best, I'm still exercise intolerant. And after a flare, even though I can feel some of my energy return, I still have to be patient as my tolerance to any kind of exertion rebounds.

As I was soaking my paper towels during class today with yukky sweat, I thought of something that helped me to reframe this. I was looking out the window of the building during class and noticed the grounds maintenance crew outside cleaning up their landscaping. They were edging and weeding and, well...just doing all their maintenance stuff. And it occurred to me that my fatigue was kind of like the need for weed control.

Yes. This is strange but bear with me here and read to the end of my post. THEN you can say I'm strange. And I will completely agree.

I thought about keeping my flower beds weed-free. And then thought about what would happen if I just decided to quit weeding this imaginary garden for a month. When the month was up and I grabbed my gardening gloves, the weeds would still be there plus even more weedy-type buddies; so I'd have to work harder and longer to get back to square one, weed-wise. And it would only be then that I could expect to cruise along at my pre-month-long-weed-vacation work levels.

Which is what it's like when I have a flare. Being in a flare means that I have to just quit doing stuff for awhile. And when I am ready to begin doing stuff again, I can't just pick up where I left off. It takes hard work and persistence to get back to my previous levels of ability.

Autoimmune disease. Gardens. Flares. Weeds. Oh brother. Guess if conjuring up bizarre imagery keeps me going back to class, why then -- that's what I'll do.


Anonymous said...

Oh Julia.... I understand completely what you mean about being the ONLY one in your tai chi class who sweats. I've given up organized exercise class because of it!! My head sweats (call me the human water fountain!!) and my hair is soaked with the slightest exertion. I am embarrassed of the puddles of perspiration I leave in my wake! Probably due to my neuropathy.... (sigh)

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

I. too, get overheated with any exertion at all. It is one of my most frustrating complaints. I never used to sweat at all, and now it is just awful. I have been attributing it to my taking Cevimeline. No wonder people don't understand us sjoggies. We talk about dry, dry, dry, while sweating profusely.

LM said...

Perfect explanation. Couldn't have said it better. I always feel 'behind' on some portion of my life. Sigh... said...

You all sweat?? I get extremely overheated but don't sweat. I just thought everyone with SS had the same problem. Dr. said because of my lack of moisture, I don't sweat which means my body has no way to cool itself off. This thing just gets stranger day by day!:-(

Kris said...

I think your comparison is spot on.

Helen said...

I am also a very Sweaty Betty. Over the years, I have found that a small camp towel comes in really handy during exercise sessions. More absorbent and softer than paper towels, and they are re-usable, taking up no more room in a pocket or bag than two or three paper towels. If you google "camp Towel" you should find lots of brands and sizes (and colors!!!) available from lots of vendors.

Thanks for your blog. I really enjoy it.