(Image description: A beige, peachy color background. Orange, blue, a pink blobs of color border the image, along with white lines. The black text reads, “My Body is Tired…Again”)
A few times throughout the year my body gets very tired, and stays tired for an extended amount of time. I am used to it. I am used to having to slow down and take a break. I am used to sleeping more than usual. I am used to my neck hurting from holding up my head. I am used to having difficulty eating sometimes. I am used to the depression that comes along with it. However, I am also used to the unusual fatigue ending. But this time is different.
This time it is lasting way too long. I think it has taken Covid putting a stop to me living life as usual to realize: my body is getting weaker. Since around October 2020, my body has been consistently tired. My jaw gets tired if I talk for a while (this is the primary reason for taking a hiatus from my podcast, Rolling Through Life). My neck is hurting worse than normal, and so are my hips.
Between the recovery of my kidney removal, the pandemic, doing college from home and then taking spring semester off, I listened to my body and took into account that SMA, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, continues to weaken your body the older you get. I decided to start trying to slow the effects of SMA on my body, both mentally and physically.
I started physical and occupational therapy full-time to keep the strength and movement for as long as I can. I took a lighter load of college classes this semester, and will probably continue to take lighter loads through graduation. I have also started the process of getting on a medication called Spinraza. Spinraza will stop the progression of SMA, and it has the chance to make me stronger! Also, I took a deep dive into learning more about mental health, why it is important and how I can help my own mental health. One of the biggest, most important things I’ve done has been surrounding myself with people who care and help me. From family to friends to professors to different faculty at Piedmont, it has been very helpful for me to find these people.
I have worked hard over the last year and a half to remain positive and not let depression and anxiety get the best of me, but it is very difficult. I have great days and I have bad days. I used to think that bad days meant I was weak and that I wasn’t strong, but boy was I wrong. The bad days are normal. They are what I call my “rest days”. Rest days are days where I do not try to impress anyone, even myself. I let myself feel bad for myself. On those days I don’t try to be the happy person I strive to be. I let myself be in a bad mood and complain. As of now they are more frequent, but I know that it will not last. On good days I will get up, feel happy, strong and positive. I am looking forward to having fewer “rest days”, but until then I am who I am and that is okay.
I say all of this not to complain, but to give people more of an insight of my life, currently. You never know what someone is going through in life. Always treat people kindly, even if they’re having an “off” day. Because having an “off” day isn’t a bad thing, it is a part of everyone’s life. Be kind to them, and as cliché as it sounds, treat others the way you want to be treated.
My “4 things”:
(for the meaning behind “4 things”, check out Amy Brown’s podcast, 4 Things with Amy Brown)