Mondays often find me in contemplative mood, and there are certain questions that come up in my mind again and again, week after week.
Will I achieve anything this week?
How many plans will I have to cancel because my body lets me down?
Will I end up spending days in bed or even in hospital this week?
There is a certain amount of fear associated with these questions. Fear that the next severe asthma attack or anaphylactic reaction will be my last - not just landing me in ICU, but worse; fear that my friends or husband will eventually get fed up with me being sick all the time; that I'm no use to anyone.
There is also the unnamed fear that I might not be strong enough to handle whatever comes next. My body likes to throw curve balls, and also seems excessively fond of my local hospital, despite the food. I find hospitals scary places, which seems an odd thing to admit, given the amount of time that I spend in them, but every time I get that scared, tight feeling in my chest, and would like nothing better than to stick my head under the duvet until it all goes away.
But, as many of you will know from personal experience, that isn't an option. The pain, nausea, fatigue, dizziness and shortness of breath will follow you under the duvet. They are in this for the long-haul.
So I have tactics. I try to be prepared for the unexpected (I still need to show you my hospital bag and handbag), and try to make friends with the doctors and nurses. I keep good 'emergency lists' so that the ER doctors are able to treat me appropriately while they wait for my medical records, and so they can see the most important points in my medical history without having to spend several days poring through my (extensive) notes. I try to stay well hydrated so that my veins are as prominent as possible, keep my phone, kindle and laptop charged, keep a hospital bag packed, and keep plans with friends as flexible as possible.
Every Monday, despite my fear of what this new and unknown week may have in store for me, I try to remember that it may have wonderful things in store. There are beautiful and amazing things to be found in each new day, and I try to spot them and be grateful for them. I am so grateful to you, dear reader, and to my friends, husband and family for giving me the strength to face this new week, and the hope that the good in this week will outweigh the bad.