Friday, 4 November 2016

Identity Crisis

I was quite ill for most of October and spent many days in bed. Truth be told, I cannot remember the last time that I was that ill. I was out for the count for a week and it has now been 3 weeks since then and I am still on the recovery path. I had a fever one day at work, left early and then the next morning my tonsils were so inflamed and painful. I then lost my voice for a few days and subsequently endured the same coughing fits that I had in Europe. I had interrupted sleep for over a week due to my painfully inflamed tonsils, coughs, phlegm and just general discomfort.

I normally get quite anxious when I am around people who are sick because I genuinely get scared of having the same fits. This time around, I was impacted greater than the time in Europe which I didn't think was possible. I don't believe I blogged about it but my persistent coughs resulted in a strain near the bottom of my right ribs which was incredibly painful. It took a month for the pain to subside fully and the experience has scared me a little. Unfortunately, I experienced a lot more chest pain / strains due to persistent coughing for over 2 weeks. I suppose my body was being 'kind' and the pain points rotated every morning. Some days it was the entire front area of my chest, sometimes it was the back, sometimes the sides and it rotated again. Irrespective of the area, it felt like something was stabbing me. The pain is currently around my shoulder blades and it has been for a while. Thankfully it is no longer a sharp pain but a dull and annoying ache when I cough  / breathe / move. For a while, my mere existence was painful, quite literally.

As you may gather from my blog, I find it hard to sit still. I am always planning what to do on weekends and things that I want to see and do. It was quite hard for me mentally to cope with being that sick. I had no energy and was literally in bed or on the couch all day. I honestly felt as though I had lost my identity which sounds like such a silly thing. I knew that I would get better, but it did make me wonder 'what if' I didn't, then who was I really? Then I couldn't answer that question which scared me a little. I have created my identity that is so intertwined with going on adventures and experiencing life that I don't know what I would be without them. I know that life is short and that is why I try to do as much as I can, when I can. However, it has sometimes crossed my mind that I sometimes - ironically - create stress by thinking that I am not living life to the fullest even though I know I generally do.

The funny thing is that after my trip to Mongolia, I had the feeling that I was over exerting myself and needed to have some downtime. For the past few months I have been bouncing from one thing to another and perhaps it was my body signalling that it wanted things to slow down a little.

I still have a cough but it is largely a non event now. I still have pain and I know that it will take a while to subside. This will mean that I will be taking it relatively easy for the rest of the year. I suppose it is also easy to meet that goal considering we are only 2 months away from the end of the year - madness! Well that is until my week long trip to Tasmania over Christmas which I am super excited about!

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