I think I need to write this down and make it public. Maybe then I will be more likely to follow this rule.
The doctor really wants me to ask for help from all of the people always offering to help me rather than using my bit of daily energy to do chores. My priority order is treatment plan, happiness inducing activities, chores. If I have enough energy to do something fun and a chore after doing my daily treatment, great. If not, only do the treatment and fun thing and leave the chore for another day or someone else. In Dallas, there have been no chores. My Mom cooked for me and there was a maid. I did more than usual, but still rested a lot. When I did use energy for something other than treatment, it was for something fun like going out to eat, going shopping, blogging, or talking to Jake. The doctor echoed what my Mom and Jake have been telling me for a good year, “If you only have a little energy, use it to do something that makes you happy, not to do a chore.” To me, this sounds selfish. It feels wrong to ask someone to come do my laundry when I was able to go to a park for awhile that day, do my hair, or visit a friend. I guess that is why historically, I tend to only do something of that nature once every other week or so, if that.
The doctor says I need to do something each day that makes me happy if I want to continue improving at the rate I have been. Not being stressed and doing things that make my happy releases good brain chemicals that will help battle all the bad ones being released from POTS putting my body in sympathetic mode so much of the time. Also, it is healthier to not use every ounce of your energy for being sick, treatment and cleaning while viewing something as simple as a 40 minute visit with a friend every other week as living it up. She pointed out how it is not my fault I am so sick and I shouldn’t feel guilty asking for help, especially since people want to help me. I don’t feel guilty asking for help when I am too sick to stand. Like I said, I just feel guilty asking someone to do a chore that I could have done myself had I not opted to do something fun that day.
It was the first instruction she gave that instead of saying, “I will do that!” I said “I will try to do that.” I really am going to try because she comes from a place of experience with tons of POTS patients. She knows where they run into trouble with continuing their recovery when they go home. I just need to become okay with this mindset of “pleasure before work” rather than “work before pleasure”. It is not how I am wired. Although I will say, for now, I consider adhering to my treatment plan my work. It will take about an hour a half each day, and I suppose you could say part of this new job is letting people help more than I usually would. Maybe knowing I am getting better and this is just temporary will make it easier…