Reply To: Exercise during GBS recovery
I hope this makes sense…
Pacing yourself (with an autoimmune condition) is a fluctuating learning curve. No two days are alike. Well, maybe they are, but it doesn’t seem like it. Early in my recovery, I could barely stay awake for a trip to the grocery store. I felt like an idiot. Now, I rarely take a nap.
It helps to be self-aware, able to see your situation objectively. If you need to, keep a log book- like you would for weight training or conditioning. Include what you do, how you feel during/after (exhilarated, fine), “external” things such as humidity/hormones/meals…I’ve studied exercise enough also to see how curious it is from a patient’s viewpoint. On days when you are extra frustrated, review this log book to see how far you’ve come. All I need is to remember being unable to move, or even, when stepping off a curb, how I used to need to hold onto a street sign, a pole, or even the hood of a stranger’s car (alarms be damned-but none ever went off).
Pacing: eating a slice of cake per day for a week vs. the whole cake at once. Reading a chapter of a book per day vs. speed reading the whole book in a few hours.
I used to be able to work circles around people around me. I’m okay (for now) with knowing how hard I’ve worked to even try to keep up. It is like going from being a 100watt bulb to being a dimmer switch with loosening wires.
Be kind to yourself. Challenge, don’t punish. If you have a mile route to walk near your home, have a shortcut home if you realize you’re more tired than you expected. Once that is consistent, add an extra mile or 1/2.
So…if I know I have a “big day” tomorrow, I’ll walk a little less today. If the humidity is 100% (which saps all of my energy), I’ll do heavier housework inside as exercise.
I found an article today in Forbes by Sarah Vermunt: Too Ambitious For Your Own Good? Three Tips For Pacing Yourself. (Aug 6, 2013) [I’d include it, but tech isn’t my strength…]