(My FitBit stats since I have left the hospital. Nope, not obsessed at all lol. The cardio and fat burn is based on the amount of minutes my heart rate was in those zones. This has helped me realize that walking is so challenging for my body that it is sometimes a form of cardio. This has helped me mentally embrace how hard my body is working just to walk some days so even though the amount of steps may have decreased, the effort I put into those steps actually increased.)
I am still searching for all the lessons to be found in this experience with illness. In hindsight I feel like the first lesson wasn't new but applying a lesson I have known for a very long time. We can't control what happens to us in life, but we can control how we react to what happens to us. I didn't experience fear or panic like you would think. I felt a certain amount of surrender to the fact that I couldn't feel my limbs. I felt like I could trust the hospital and doctors to figure out what was going on and I felt safe. I knew that I needed to stay positive and hopeful and that stress and worry would do me no favors. I tried to laugh as much as possible and just stay calm and optimistic. I felt that I was able to apply this life lesson effortlessly.
The primary lesson since then seems to be learning to surrender. and this is definitely not effortless for me I wouldn't say that I am a control freak as I can definitely go with the flow quite easily but I am a planner. I like to have a daily routine, I like to plan out my weekly, monthly and yearly goals. I like to be able to take steps towards my goals each day and see the linear progress. Unfortunately that is not how healing works. In my experience so far I will have a good day that I make progress and then I have two bad days of setbacks. My first week leaving the hospital I was very focused on increasing my steps each day and it didn't really work. I became increasingly frustrated that I was pushing my body as hard as I could and was unable to achieve the linear progress that I am used to. This second week of recovery I tried that same approach with trying to push myself as hard as I could each day but the severe fatigue and pain really held me back. My first week out I had two days that I was able to take over 8,500 steps and this week my highest was 6,348.
I am beginning to learn and embrace the fact that healing is not linear. Yesterday I realized I need to let go a little, I need to surrender to this healing process. I can't push myself to my max every day for the sake of reaching a certain amount of steps. It obviously isn't working. I have to just go with the flow and accept what my body can handle each new day. If my body is exhausted then I am going to let it rest. This may seem so easy to some people but it is ridiculously challenging for me. I strive to be better every day so embracing setbacks isn't really my cup of tea. I want to fight it and challenge it not surrender and embrace it. After my exhaustion yesterday I only took 2,780 steps (the least I have taken since being out of the hospital) but this morning I have already taken 4,239. Maybe giving my body the rest it needed will allow for today to be great and it may not be linear progress but it is still progress. I can't strictly focus on the numbers since leaving the hospital, I need to remember that three weeks ago today I couldn't even walk with a walker. I need to keep reminding myself of how far I have come instead of obsessing on how much further I want to go. This is a skill I have never been great at and I think a lot of people have the same habit. We look to the future and where we want to be instead of looking to the past and how far we have come. I hope this inspires you to look how far you have come in your own journey. xoxo