For the last week, I’ve been operating at greater-than-normal stress levels. My son has covid, his school kicked him out of the dorms because of that (there may be a lawsuit involved here), Jason had to travel to get him and then spent 13 hours in the same car as him when M was contagious, and our whole family is under lockdown. I’m trying to take care of the household – including the things that Jason normally does, since he’s quarantined to his room – plus take care of two people who can’t leave their room. I’m monitoring symptoms and temps, making sure all of us wear masks/gloves and use the right bathrooms and all the rest. It’s exhausting on top of the stress and worry that I may lose a family member in the near future. Furthermore, I’m now isolated from 99% of my support system. I can’t see friends or family even at a distance, nor can I go for group hikes. Christmas is canceled completely because my household family can’t risk getting anyone else sick. And beyond that, I can’t even leave the house to exercise. Once again, I’m basically confined to my room for the next few weeks.
All of this sort of snowballed over the first few days of this last week. I was handling things well until Sunday evening, when Morrigan – who’d had no symptoms in the first day he was home – suddenly spiked a fever again. He’s right in that relapse period where you’ve felt better but now it’s coming back, which is of course a very dangerous time. After getting him set up with medicine etc, I went back to my room to try to busy my brain with a few other things. I opened up my GGS personal coaching program, and found that I had a second-quarter form to fill out rather than a normal weekly form. The form noted that we were halfway through the program, and then asked 1) what we were most proud of achieving over the last six months, and 2) what behavior-based goals did we want to work on over the next four weeks. Looking at those two questions, overloaded with stress, anxiety, and fear, I broke down.
Alone. Not just because I’m isolated, unable to even hug Jason for weeks. Not just because I have no access to my support system or family, or because this will be the most depressing holiday season ever. Alone, because once again, I’ve spent years trying to root out the cause of what’s screwing over my body, and there’s nobody else who can help with that. My doctors all gave up long ago and assume there’s simply nothing wrong. Each time I move to a new doctor, I start the process over, and they give up in the same place. Each time I try a new program, things get worse. What have I accomplished through the last six months of this very expensive program? Absolutely nothing. I’ve done nothing, learned nothing, gone nowhere. Not that I haven’t tried – I’ve done every single thing they’ve asked of me. But the problem is…I was already doing 95% of what they’ve asked.
What is the point of making behavior-based goals when the goals are nothing more than boxes to check off a list, and don’t actually lead anywhere? Nothing I do matters. Literally the only reason I keep trying is because I know what happens when I give up, and I’m not willing to do that. I have to keep hoping that one day, something will click, and I’ll find the answers, or find someone else who can find the answers.
So yes, staring at those first two questions on my quarterly survey Sunday evening, I just started sobbing. Hell, I’m trying not to start sobbing again just writing all this. And I did express all this to my program coaches. I told them that the further I got into the program, the more I lost faith that it would help me, because I’m not learning anything new (about fitness, about food, about the right mindset, about myself…). I thought there would be new insights here, but apparently I’ve been studying health and fitness for so long that a personal coach adds nothing to my knowledge. The things they’ve asked me to do don’t help me to achieve my goals. It’s not their fault – they’re not doctors, they can’t tell me what’s wrong with my body, and my body resists any actions I take no matter who mandates them! My coaches are nice people and I know they’ve been trying their best. They’ve put far more into this than I expected. But even with their best, not only have I not made any progress, but I’ve gone backwards over the last two months.
My body isn’t well. My brain isn’t well. And the past six months have been hard. I gave up my plans for the future and now am once again not sure of what I want to do. I discovered that I no longer love writing the way I used to. Even running – my primary goal for this year – has basically been nixed since early October when my body went crazy. I’m much further from all my goals today than I was a year ago. Now, with losing the last of the things that gave me joy this year – my hiking group, my distant-and-masked visits with a few select friends and family, my outdoor exercise – I am flattened. Defeated. And horribly alone.
Note the first: My coaches responded with sympathy and by asking what they could do on their end to help. They are the best of people, even if the program isn’t helping me. They don’t judge me, or tell me that I’m doing something wrong, or anything. That’s what personal coaching should be!
Note the second: I saw a new doctor yesterday regarding the bloodwork I had done on Nov 29th. She listened and immediately recommended that I see several specialists (endocrinologist and rheumatologist) rather than continuing to plod on with treatments for PCOS which don’t help – and may actually be harming me. She’s transferring my care primarily over to her, and wants to start working as a group with multiple doctors to get to the root of this 6.5-year problem. I saw her the morning after I drafted this post, and while I still don’t know if things will get better now, I’m thankful to have a doctor who is listening again. Hopefully this time, it’ll last.