I love to travel but when I do, I know when I get home I will be wiped out by fatigue for sometimes 2-3-4 days.
This little mini trip was no exception.
Fatigue can often be described in various ways. Sometimes it is described as feeling a lack of energy and motivation (both mental and physical).
I had the privilege of going to Washington DC the last week of February 2020.
I participated in rare disease week, spoke on Capitol Hill seen so many historical places and also participated in a focus group.
It really was an amazing trip.
It was also exhausting.
I pushed my body to the limit, correction beyond my limit. I walked far too many steps than I was used to. But ya know what I did it, I made it sure it was tiring but I made it.
And I would do it all over again.
Of course I am paying the price now as I was literally exhausted for 3 days after I got back home.
But I enjoyed every minute of it.
A few things also caused me to use up a lot of my saved energy or spoons
Example: On the last night in Washington DC after I attended a focus group , I wanted to go on a bus tour for like an hour or 2, see some monuments at night but I was tired
I called the consiere who said the trolly picks you up at the hotel and brings you back to the hotel. I was sold and went on a night tour, we went to MLK monument, Jefferson,Back to Capitol at night, the White House , Korean War vet and Vietnam memorial, Lincoln monument, Arlington cemetery and lastly the Iwo Jima memorial, one of out lasts stops.
I was feeling great tired yes but invigorated from this tour, a woman younger than me also on the tour who had MS lost her balance when she was walking to the Iwo Jima memorial her cane went flying she fell, and as she was going down she tried to grab onto me and this caused me and a young man to also lose balance and so I fell, and he did to but he kind of rolled.
I however hit the ground so hard knee first I thought I shattered it.
All I did was pray dear GOD protect me , please don’t let this be the way my trip ends.
Thankfully this happened at the end of the tour. I felt pain and numbness but I also felt my knee swelling fast.
The tour bus dropped me off at the Capitol Hilton
I hobbled to my room after the tour starving, ordered room service cleaned my knee which by now was the size of a grapefruit .
I was hurting scared and a bit pissed off, should I go to the ER? Do I just wait when I get home tomorrow?
I called the George Washington Hospital and was told they are full of flu patients would have at least a 6 hour wait but I could come in.
I chose to wait.
I don’t think the woman on the tour meant to do that. It’s a natural reaction to reach out and stop from falling.
I think I was also so tired I just couldn’t keep myself from falling. That’s what pissed me off.
All my energy just went down the drain. I was hurt exhausted and I mean I was hurt.
I probably should have went to the ER
I chose to tough it out. Hobbled and got 2 buckets full of ice and made my own ice packs from zip lock bags wash cloth and hair scrunchie.
Oh I needed energy and was totally depleted but I had to dig deep and get moving for that ice.
All that great mojo was gone in an instant.
We cannot store up extra energy or “spoons” to use later unfortunately so sometimes we have a tendency to over do it when we feel good. And then when shit happens it’s exhausting.
Room service came with my leg propped up , so I ate and went to bed. The pain was so intense I was worried how the hell was going to make it through the airport the next day.
People see you are doing ok and this can lead them to assumptions – Some people thinking your suddenly well because you had a few good days .
People just don’t realize how much pain a person may be in because it’s an invisible disability.
People also don’t realize that a few goods days is exhausting.
And when you get hurt and you already suffer from chronic pain I swear it’s intensified 10 fold.
I’m usually a happy person and pain or no pain I am grateful that I am alive and can move.
That night I did all I could not to cry.
One thing pain has taught me is how to deal with pain.
I wish I didn’t have pain I hate it because pain is more than an occasional visitor in my body it’s more like a permanent unwelcome tenant.
Every time I feel a bit better something happens and the flipping pain is back all over again.
Most people have no idea what living with chronic pain is like.
I used to get offended when people would not recognize chronic joint pain as a disability.
I would love to see many of those who think that oh joint pain is no big deal do what I do in a day with the level of pain I have and still be as happy as I am.
Because I am happy, I just have to pace myself.
My life is all about pacing.
This is because everything I do cook, clean, sleep, walk, blog, travel, advocate,it all takes time. This gradual approach to every aspect of my life is not only about enlightenment or mindfulness.
It is about pain. Or more specifically, trying minimize it. Minimizing it is the key because I’ve learned it just can’t be avoided, at least not entirely, no matter my effort.
So take those spoons and energy and live your best life . You cannot store spoons but you can learn what to do when your spoons run out .
And remember rest even when your on vacation, eat well so you can be strong and hopefully you come home in the same shape as when you left.
It’s been a week since I’ve been home knee still swollen like a grapefruit
I did ho see my ortho and had xrays. I have a bad bone bruise and a lot of soft tissue swelling
It’s gonna take 4-6 at least I was told weeks and I hope it is back to where it was before the fall.
I’ll keep you updated
Please send positive vibes
Also if you don’t know about spoon theory here is a good link