Knowing your body’s capacity…

Welcome, today we are doing something slightly different, I am going to share my professional & personal experience…to bring awareness to issues that many are living with…

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So grab your beverage of choice & a treat you love & sit with me, while I share the following & we reflect upon it together…

If you have been traveling with me here on this journey, then you may be aware that I am a registered & qualified Clinical Counselor & Supervisor (Meet Jennifer). Counseling chronically ill patients in pain management therapies & coping strategies was a part of my career for many years…

I would often be asked by my patients on how they could explain their chronic illness to their family & friends?  This is a tricky one, especially in the chronic health conditions of Fibromyalgia (FM) & Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) including many other chronic conditions where the patient looks well! My advice to them, at that time, was to be honest in what they were experiencing to the Significant Others in their lives.

Then I became chronically ill, you may like to read Vanilla Rooibos Tea … At first I would explain what I was experiencing with FM, to those who asked, in the following way; that FM was like having the worse flu you have ever had in your life, with all the aches & pain wracking your body…without the coughing & runny nose…the intensity may lessen or increase but the pain & fatigue is constantly there…

I have noticed over the last few years, that many ways of describing how depleted energy levels are felt in chronic health conditions have surfaced on the Internet, especially with FM/CFS. The most popular one is the Spoon analogy but there has also been the Laptop & the Mobile Phone battery analogies put forth. Which have worked for the person/s using them.

But I wanted an analogy to give to my patients on how the body acts physiologically within chronic illness & how this impacts us psychologically.

Thus, I was bantering this back & forth with a professional colleague of mine one day & we agreed upon the following concept…

The “Well” battery verses the “Chronically ill”  battery… 

The well person’s body battery in its 100% capacity is used in the following way;

30% energy is used for the normal functionality of the autonomic systems of the body, such as the cardiovascular, nervous, respiratory, gastrointestinal systems, neurological functions & cognitive processing etc…

+30% energy is used for work loads in working life,

+30% energy is available for socialization, relationships & emotions,

+10% energy reserve to draw upon for support when needed = 100% capacity.

 

The chronically ill person’s body battery in 100% capacity (which remember may not always be actually at 100%!) is used in the following way;

75-85% energy is used for functionality of autonomic systems of the body to try & function normally, while being severely impacted by the physiological stress of the chronic health condition/s…

+15-25% energy is used for work, relationships, socialization & emotions.

No energy reserve left, as already being used to prop up the above areas! = 100% capacity

Thus you can see that energy levels are severely hampered by chronic ill health. This is why we are always fatigued, this is why our emotional capacity becomes depleted very quickly,  this is why our cognitive processing can be compromised, also known as mind/fibro fog (please read Listening… ) & our ability to socialize, greatly limited! And why so many of us have to lessen our workloads or stop work all together. And why our Significant relationships need to have great kindness & understanding.

The body will always prioritize its energy into the autonomic systems to function, as near as possible, to normal healthy system capacity, to keep us alive!

This knowledge helps us to become wiser within our own body’s capacity & capabilities. Knowing the above concept helps us to be kinder in our expectations of ourselves & our capabilities within chronic health conditions! We are operating at greatly depleted levels of energy for living our lives. It also helps us to prioritize & pace ourselves in the activities in which we choose to participate in, on any given day to live our new normal.

I hope this has been informative & helpful to you, whether you are living in wellness or in Chronic ill health, we need to be kinder in our expectations of others & ourselves but at the same time live the fullest life we can within our own body’s capacity…You may enjoy reading my Berry tea & expresso coffee…

Until next time dear friend…

Jennifer

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Having a whale of a time!

Hi, it is so lovely to have you drop by…You are very welcome to join me in a time of reflection, while we enjoy an old fashioned cuppa together….

Gold Coast, teawithjennifer.blog

I have an Apple & cinnamon tea blend for us to try today & gf Lemon glaze muffins, freshly baked for us, it is a beautiful spring day here, so we will go & sit in the garden to enjoy the warm sunshine, listen to the bird Symphony & see the colorful blossoms.

The Apple tea comes from Japan, a gift from my granddaughter… It is a refreshing blend, the taste reminds me of an apple pie & a perfect accompaniment to the Lemon zest in the muffins…As we enjoy this delightful setting, shall we reflect awhile…

Recently, I took a 1000km flight to spend some time with my second born for her birthday, she turned 40… We spent a lovely weekend celebrating this milestone in her life. Last time we spent time together we had Tea on the 77th Floor…

This time for a birthday treat we shared a holiday apartment, which had 180° views of the coastline, beach & the sea (as seen above)…The views were absolutely breathtaking & constantly demanded our attention. We both love the sea & whale watching…so this was the perfect spot for us.

Southern Humpback whales are now migrating South, down our coastline… returning to the Antarctic to their summer feeding grounds for a Krill fest…after delivering their calves in the warmer waters of Northern Australia.

Each time my daughter & I get together we go whale watching, hoping to see a rare glimpse of these beautiful & magnificent animals breaching, meaning a full body leap out of the water in playful exaltation…we hadn’t ever seen this in all the times we had gone shore whale watching together, we had seen many misty blowhole sprays, tail splashes, pectoral fin slaps on the water but never breaching…

So, I prayed a small prayer request to the Lord for a whale to breach for my daughter’s 40th birthday… As we waited & watched from our 5th storey balcony, we became very focused upon what we were looking for…We saw many blow hole sprays, then some pectoral fin slaps & then…all of a sudden…a Humpback female & her calf breached together in perfect unison…What a spectacular sight!

HUMPBACK WHALE

As we were focusing upon that spot again, we missed another one breaching… just catching a glimpse of the huge splash in our peripheral vision….over the weekend we lost count of how many times the whales breached! I thanked the Lord for His gracious answer to prayer. He definitely answers even the smallest requests of a Mama’s heart for her daughter’s birthday enjoyment…in the most amazing way!

As I reflected upon our weekend, I realized…we can become so focused, at times, upon one particular area of our life…As my daughter & I did above with the female & her calf…hoping to see the same again…that we can miss what God is doing in the other important areas of our lives…

Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? Refer

We need to ask ourselves, dear friend…are we so focused upon the area we want God to do the same action as He did before, that we are completely missing the amazing new thing He is already doing or about to do…Mmmmm…food for thought…Don’t you think!

Until next time…

Jennifer

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What makes you smile?

It’s Springtime here in Australia, blossoms are blooming, Azaleas are in flower in a range of glorious colors & the scent of Jasmine, honey blossom & Gardenias are in the air…

orange flower with butterflySo today I have prepared a tea blend called Orange blossoms & ginger…our tasty treat is a Gf strawberry muffin made with homegrown strawberries, freshly picked.

Shall we go out to the garden to sit & enjoy the sunshine, surrounded by blossoms & the intoxicating fragrance of Spring…

The fruity taste of both the tea & muffins are a perfect combination…absolutely delightful in this warm spring setting. Now we are seated & comfy, shall we enjoy our time of reflection together…

On my way to an appointment the other day, I decided to take a quiet drive on the back road that winds through the countryside, rather than the busy direct route via the highway…

As I was driving through the undulating hills & farmland…passed grazing horses & cattle with newly born calves…goats, with their new kids frolicking…the aroma of the countryside combined with the scent of the live stock…& seeing the farmers working their fields…I found myself smiling inwardly & outwardly…

My mind had flooded with sweet memories of working on the farm with my late husband…the familiar aromas of the countryside & farm animals had evoked memories of a time in my life when I had had good health & bountiful energy…working alongside my man, as we worked the farm together, on the days I wasn’t counseling…I loved every minute of that time! You may enjoy reading about it in Home sweet home & Tea by the sea….

It was a sweet drive…enjoying the moments of a time that are forever etched upon my heart…refreshingly evoked by the aromas of the countryside that surrounded me that day…

I arrived on time for my appointment, feeling greatly energized & revitalized…

At times the past is not so far away, bringing an unexpected blessing with it’s sweet fragrance in the present…& before we realize it…causes us to smile!

Have you ever caught yourself smiling…lost in thought to sweet memories…What caused you to smile dear friend…I would love to hear about it.

Until next time,

Jennifer

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