I had an experience last week that reminded me of how I am still adjusting to my changing energy levels. A friend stopped by to visit and we had a nice time catching up. She was here for an hour and a half, and I was sitting in my recliner with my feet up, using O2 at 8 lpm the whole time.
I enjoyed talking with her, and we brainstormed about some ideas to help her business grow. I was so glad she came, but after she left, I noticed I felt totally drained. It took me several hours of resting to get my energy level back to where it was, which was pretty low to start.
This is new for me
I’ve been severely limited physically for a very long time, but I haven’t been drained by focusing and interacting until recently. I’m not used to it, and frequently I think I can handle more than what is realistic. I’m grieving about this and trying to adjust to my lessened energy level.
This is quite a change from my energy level before I was diagnosed with PF. I was a marriage and family therapist for 30 years before I had to retire because of my diagnosis. I had no trouble focusing and interacting in very difficult situations with my clients for eight hours a day. I had remarkable focus and sustained energy, and it is hard to see it waning more and more.
Adjusting and reevaluating
This is causing me to have to reevaluate how much energy I expend to interact, and how to use my precious time and energy. What I realize is that an hour and a half spent with a friend is actually a three- to four-hour commitment. It’s causing me to think more realistically about how I spend my time.
Adjusting to these changes is very hard. I let myself grieve and feel sad about it, and I ask God for strength, help and wisdom. He comforts me as I adjust, for which I am very grateful.
How about you?
In what areas do you struggle to adjust? Do you think you can do more than your energy allows? What helps you during these difficult times?
I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below and share with those who could benefit via email or on social media. We’re in this together!
Note: Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Fibrosis News, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary fibrosis.
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