I do yoga everyday. It is the form of exercise most suited to both my limitations and my needs. I suppose also well suited to my personality. On days when I feel strong, it lets me balance on my hands and fly through the air. It lets me draw my legs up from my core and see the world upside down. On days when I don’t feel strong, I lay my weight into various muscles, stretching them back to their right shape. It lets me think it’s exercise even when all I can do is sit on the mat and breathe. An achievement instead of survival.
On Thursday afternoon, while waiting to check in for my appointment with my mast cell GI specialist, I had anaphylaxis. I was standing and wasn’t immediately sure if it was anaphylaxis or POTS because they both start with a fuzzy lightheadedness. I sat down on the floor and within a few minutes, it became obvious that this was definitely anaphylaxis.
I told one of the admins that I was having anaphylaxis, took a few steps into the bathroom, lay down on the floor and used an epipen. They called a code team and very quickly there were a lot of people. I drew up and pushed some IV meds. I was already infusing IV fluids. They took me to the ER where I stayed for several hours to be sure I wouldn’t rebound or have a biphasic reaction.
The resident asked if I knew what the trigger was for the anaphylaxis. “I think standing up,” I said. It was funny in the way that terrifying things are sometimes funny.
My body is so different now. In every way, it seems. I buy new clothes online because everything I own is too loose or ill fitting. As I put them on, I find all these sharp places beneath my skin, angles where there used to be a softness. The layer of fat over my muscles has thinned considerably. It has the strange effect of making me look stronger and more toned when really I am just unhealthy.
I write constantly and so I always have a journal in reach. I was recently looking through previous entries for something. I was struck by how often I speak of my past self in the third person. I talk about myself like a character. Like I’m the narrator in a story that doesn’t involve me.
I say that I am a different person now because it’s easier to believe that the person I was then could never become the one I am now. It is easier to think that this person is entirely separate for a lot of reasons but mostly so that she could never decay like this. It is much harder to accept that I was that person that did all those things and that I am still that person and never will again.
The days are getting longer and warmer. My mind is working better. My body is well enough to be out of the hospital. I can’t keep down much elemental formula but can get down some nutritional drinks and plain potato chips. I am starting to make plans for later this year that I believe could be realistic.
Every day, I roll out my purple mat. Today I can only do a little and tomorrow I will only do a little but one day, I will be strong enough again to fly.
(PS: Hypermobility much?)