Decision Fatigue

… apparently it’s a real thing.  And I know because I’m currently struggling with it.

I wrote this on Facebook and Instagram last night:

“Hey friends. I’m so thankful for y’all. Like really. Y’all are encouraging and have my best interest at heart. I share a lot about my health and how I’m feeling. I need that outlet. Can I ask a favor? Can you encourage me in making a decision that’s best for me and not share your strong opinions? I have been back and forth, back and forth SO much about what direction to take next, and it’s mostly because I have too much noise in my ear about what I should do from my well-meaning friends. It has been so exhausting and gave me decision fatigue. And I have had such a fear that I’m choosing the wrong thing because people are pretty passionate about how they feel. Here’s where I am. I decided to go with my nurse practitioner’s recommendation. She really has my best interest at heart and we talked for an hour last week. Then the nurse called me again later and said that my my NP remembered that my thyroid feels a little irregular and she really thinks that between that, the cough, and my sinus issues, an ENT makes the most sense. So I called this morning and made an appointment. And my insurance covers it, which is so helpful. The man who made the appt told me that I won’t have to pay anything until insurance is billed. And he mentioned specific testing that they do for people with chronic cough. I love the idea of seeing a functional medicine doctor, and I love everything I’ve seen and read about her. But. Y’all. It will cost up to $5000 out of pocket. I just can’t do that. I see the ENT on Friday. This feels more right than other things I have considered. Thanks for understanding friends!!”

So many friends have shared their encouragement and support ever since.  Boundaries are hard.  But they are necessary.  I’m thankful for the courage to say what I needed to say!

Then later I wrote this:

“Yesterday was a pretty good day health-wise. Today has not been as good. Tonight is even worse. So I’m pretty awake and struggling. I did order a journal to try to track triggers.

It covers all of this: Meals, medication, vitamins/supplements, and herbs; Weather patterns and how it affects your health; Possible irritants, including toiletries/cosmetics and household cleaners; Sleep patterns and blood sugar levels; Your symptoms and the time they occur; Physical activities.

I think it could be helpful!”

Y’all.  A friend told me something that no one else has told me in all of this.  She reminded me that I’m not doing anything to cause this.  It’s not my fault.  I don’t want to feel bad.  I don’t always have control over things.  Sure, we can sometimes help ourselves feel better, but it’s society’s issue of being pretty egotistical to think that we have control over all of this.

I think I needed that more than I’ve needed anything through all of this.

Most people have told me all the things I can do and things that I shouldn’t do to feel better.  Diets that I need to try.  Foods I need to eliminate.  Oils I should try.  Homeopathic remedies.  I have felt like it’s my fault all along.  I know that they are well-meaning, but it has made me feel pretty bad about myself!  That I’m causing my own health issues!

I have made so many changes.  I don’t diffuse essential oils much these days because they make my cough worse.  I use fragrance free products.  I don’t use scented candles (most of the time).  I have lost 20 pounds.  I eat dairy free and not much gluten.  I eat lots of veggies and fruits and healthy meats and fats and beans and oats. I make a whole lot homemade. I use mostly natural sweeteners. I try “natural” remedies like homemade elderberry syrup, homeopathy, supplements, etc.  I drink mostly water or lavender tea with raw honey or sparkling water.

I have a big soda at Sonic when I’m in town.  Sometimes I get a diet coke from the office at camp (about every other day).  I eat in the dining hall at camp sometimes.  I drink a lot of coffee (but not as much as I used to).  Sometimes I eat fast food (like Wendy’s or Chick Fil A).  This mostly happens when I’m in town with the kids.  But I often try to find food that is “healthy” like my favorite sandwich/salad place in the health food store (the Carrot Patch Cafe), Korean barbeque (a stone bowl with lots of veggies, meat, an egg, and rice), or a smoothie at another health food store.  Sometimes I take my lunch.  Not as often as I “should” I guess.  I don’t exercise much because I’m pretty worn most of the time.

I have a balance that I’ve always dreamed of.  I feel super healthy with what I put in my body.  I’m doing the all natural thing consistently.  Yet I feel like it’s not enough.

Because… I still feel bad.  Sometimes real bad.  Some days I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck, and some days I feel decent.  And I cannot figure out why.  Maybe there’s no connection to anything?  Maybe there’s not really a trigger?  Or maybe I have multiple triggers, which is why I can’t figure it out?

Alllll of these things have caused me to be so worn.  Like exhausted to the core.  Discouraged.  Helpless.

My next steps include seeing an ENT on Friday and starting to journal my food/drink intake, etc.  That’s all I can do right now.

I’ll keep doing what I’m doing.  I’ll keep taking every minute a step at a time.  I’ll keep resting when I need to, and when I’m feeling decent, I’ll do the things that I want to do.

Here we are.

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