I have learned something very important - the longer I go without exercising my muscles, the worse my tendonitis issues become. This is nothing new for me; I developed tendonitis in my thumbs when my son was a baby (apparently I wasn't holding him properly... who knew??) Then I developed it in my wrists and elbows from working on computers. It took me almost five years to learn that delicate balance of rest and exercise.
Keep moving!There are lots of great ways to exercise. I used to love going to the gym, but that eventually became impossible. Unfortunately, the less mobile I became, the worse my tendonitis issues became. Not only that, but it was spreading throughout my body! Needless to say, I was freaking out over this systematic breakdown of my connective tissues. Then I remembered when my arms had recovered through strength training! I started out with VERY light weights and, yes, my arms did get worse before they got better. But, by working with my physiotherapists recommendations, I was able to get the strength back in my arms and get the tendonitis issues under control. So when I developed tendonitis in my ankles and hamstrings, I knew what I had to do. Again, thanks to working with a good physiotherapist, I learned exercises to strengthen my hamstrings which allowed the tendons to settle down.
Losing the fear
I think one of the biggest challenges through all this has been learning how not to be afraid - afraid of the debilitating pain, fatigue, brain fog, etc. I try not to think too far into the future, knowing that anxiety awaits me there. I do believe that all my physical issues are for a season in my life and won't be here for the rest of my life. I could be wrong, but I prefer to live with faith rather than hopelessness.
Keeping the faith
I have noticed that the less time I spend with God, the worse my fears become. I don't know why I do this, but sometimes I go through times when I just feel too exhausted do my bible study, or spend quality time with God. I also go through times when I don't feel I can face God and what He expects of me - or, what I think He expects of me. To be perfectly honest, I think it's more related to facing my own self-critical judgments. This is not how I expected to be at this stage in my life. While I am still learning how to navigate the waters of chronic illness, there is a part of me that feels I should be better at it by now. See, there I go again, being all critical and judgmental with myself. It doesn't have to be this way!
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34
"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7