I always thought of blogs as being narcissistic, business related, or as my sister's, a way of keeping in touch or memorializing.

But, by necessity, I am learning a lot about myself. I find I need to get my thoughts out, and it helps me to know that someone else will read them. So I have created this little space for myself, to express the things I have trouble saying (be it emotional or physical trouble), to share what I'm going through, and what I'm learning through it.

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Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Getting Ready and the Herxheimer Effect

This week, we are going on our annual camping trip. If you read the posts about this last year, then you know we go to a beautiful place, with the same people every year. We've been doing so for 6 years now, since my son and the other family's oldest daughter were very little. Every year since, we've had other families join, or not, with varying numbers of people.  Last year's trip was really great and we all know what to expect of me this year - basically, nothing.

The counterbalance to that is that my son is getting older and more capable. Last week, at the cottage with his step-mom, he loaded and unloaded all the groceries, and pulled the kayaks in and out of the water, all by himself. Camping, he is all set to build and strike the tent, pump up the air mattress (which is a major change for me as of last year - I usually go rough, jut a mat, but my body has needs now), and carry all our stuff. Now, will that change again when we get there? Probably, a bit. Although the other children are becoming more involved in the set-up as well, and that helps him stay on course.

This weekend my sister took me (in the wheelchair) to Canadian Tire to pick up the last few things we needed - more ice packs for the cooler, a new camping chair - stuff like that. Step one, done. Some of the camping things from last year are still in the dining room, so I sorted those out. Step two, done. Went to the basement and assessed what needs to be brought upstairs. Step three, done. Ordered groceries online, to be delivered today. Step four, partially done. Started fixing the recliner that broke last year, covering it with duct tape (yay duct tape!), doing bits and pieces at a time. Step five, partially done. Still need to pack everything up and bring some things upstairs. Steps six and seven not even started. But I'm doing well with this whole getting ready in small and mangaeable steps thing.

Am I concerned about any aspect of the trip? Well, yes. I am concerned that I will find a way to overexert. I am concerned about the walk to the washrooms, up and down hill. I am also somewhat concerned about the extended and intensive social interaction. This year there are 14 of us all together, which is quite a lot more people than I am used to spending time with. The more people there are, the more likely there are to be changes, situations that get emotionally loaded, and disagreements, be they mild or otherwise. Understanding that I have a physiological response to all of these things, which colours my emotional response, I am going into it with my eyes wide open, and armed with awareness of my triggers. The best part though is that the people closest to me on the trip read this (hi! *waves*) and know what I'm dealing with and that I'm working on these very issues.

The other area of concern for me is the reaction I am having to the anti-viral medication I started last week. I am experiencing what is known as a herxheimer effect. This happens, as I understand it (and I have such trouble with the details of such things) when the medication works, and the dying viruses or bacteria leave behind a whole bunch of toxins that the body cannot handle properly. All you sciency types can correct me or add detail if you wish. The gist of it is you feel worse before you feel better.

I knew there was a good chance of this happening with the PlasMyc Transfer Factor. Dr. Nathan warned me about it, said that I would likely feel flu-ish, and gave me instructions on how to cut back until we find the right dosage for me. Ok. So it happened, big time. Day one was ok, day 2 was hell. Day 3 was just as bad, and day 4 was bad, but different - felt like I had a cold, instead of what I'd been feeling the days before. So as someone explained it to me, it's possible that because my immune system is dealing with the reaction to the meds, it couldn't deal with the new cold too. Or it could all be part of the same thing. Or not. Or whatever. Honestly, all I know is I took the medicine and I feel like crap. On the bright side it feels like crap because it's working. Ummmmm, yay?

In any case, my related concern with the camping trip is that I'm still in process of figuring out the dosage, and have no idea how it will affect me there, when I do take it. I guess I will find out. And I also know it's not that different from just being there, because, considering how the air pressure affects me, and how one day my functionality level is here (hand out forehead height) and the next day it's... here (hand out chest height) and then it goes here (hand out throat height)... it's so unpredictable anyway, that even thinking about being stable, with or without the possibility of further "herx-ing" is a bit of a joke.

I am really very much looking forward to getting out of the city, to communing with nature and dear friends, and to breaking every dietary notion I've been following for the last few months. S'mores. Need I say more? See you when I get back :)

1 comment:

  1. Hope you have a lovely time. Glad you are finding the balance of trying to not overexert but also not cutting youself off from activities you enjoy, I know your annual camping outing is really special to you. I'll send you loving, energetic thoughts to hopefully help ;)