Sunday Salon: A time to fight, a time to chill

The Sunday SalonConsidering the timing of this post, there are some definite political interpretations of today’s headline, and I am a political person. However, what I want to write about is a more personal health-related meaning of the words “A time to fight, a time to chill”.

Having lupus means it’s extra important for me to stay fit, because the less fit I am, the more often I fall into the fatigue vicious circle (too tired to exercise → less fit, therefore more tired) – and for me, when the fatigue hits, it’s serious business. So early this year I made the decision to really push myself to get fit. I started running at least twice a week, going a little further each week, no matter what the weather, no matter how little I wanted to go out sometimes.

And it was working well. My first run in the first week of February was about 2.5 k in 17 minutes. In mid-April I beat my previous PB of 5 k and started plotted out some 6 and 7 k routes to aim for. I was finding it hard to get past 5.5 k but I was so proud of myself for how far I’d come. I was feeling healthier, happier and had energy.

Then the problems started. I’m not sure if it was the lupus or running injuries, but one week I couldn’t run because my hip was incredibly painful, then my foot started playing up. I’m still running, but this month I have been out only three times and barely hit 4 k each time. Last weekend I felt so guilty for not running, despite my foot hurting whenever I walked, I burst into tears. I wanted to fight and I was frustrated by my stupid lupusy body.

Here is a barn owl we met two weeks ago on a lovely relaxing day out with family. (Photo by talkie_tim)
Here is a barn owl we met two weeks ago on a lovely relaxing day out with family. (Photo by talkie_tim)

Which was very silly of me because one thing I learned years ago about having lupus is that the best cure is to rest when my body tells me to. I have to take time out to chill sometimes and that’s okay. Sometimes Tim has to remind me of this.

Between physical aches and pains and the terrible news stories of the past week, I haven’t felt up to reading anything too serious or strenuous, so I have mostly read comics. Not that all comics are necessarily light easy reads, but the ones I’ve picked have been!

This weekend, I decided to go right back to the beginning of John Allison’s Scary Go Round webcomic, which started in 2002 and was updated daily until mid-2009, so that’s a lot of archive. It is the perfect combination of familiar and wacky. Yesterday I caught up to the section that was published in the book Skellington, which I reviewed a few years back. When that archive runs out I’ll go back to reading Allison’s current webcomic Bad Machinery.

And when the foot pain subsides I’ll go back to running further and more often. But until then I’ll keep reminding myself that it’s okay to chill.