I've been thinking a lot about the way that our bodies handle stress when we are physically challenged. I am obviously hanging on by a sort of thin thread here since I got out of the hospital in November. By the very nature of being active on the transplant list it means that you are in "end stage" disease. This still shocks me, when I read it on my chart (which I steal to read out of the door basket thingie of every room I am ever waiting in, in any hospital or doctor facility, ever). Ever time I read "end stage lung disease," or "respiratory failure" or any of the scarier phrases that have been attributed to my health in the last few months, I think, "Seriously?!" But anyway- so that is where I am in my body right now.
A body in that state is going to react to stress differently- and obviously I'm talking about my body. Ever since I got out of the ICU in the fall, I have been thinking about the way that we humans handle stress, and how we think of stress when we are in good physical shape. A year ago, if you had asked me about stress, I probably would have described it in mostly mental terms: the way I think about things that happen, the way I make decisions, the amount of sleep I had, the number of difficult mental things that come up in a day or week, how quickly or slowly my mind is cycling through thought. "Stress" has a negative connotation even if the stressors come from positive experiences, which is really unfair to us humans. For example, a bride on her wedding day, can be very happy and extremely stressed at the same time, due to what's going on in her mind. However, if she shows her stress, people will assume she is unhappy. Poor bride !
My point is - and I have more to write about this topic but want to just get the idea out there - that stress for me right now is not so much a mental "bad" state that I am participating in - it is just my body's natural reaction to any given stimulation around me. I find that my body (and to an extent, my mind), is not able to hand stressors like loud noises, striking visuals, or other every day things, in the way that it used to. It seems like my body is only able to meander through every day stressors and that other, more complicated stressors, are not really breaking through to my mind at all. I don't know. I'm not explaining this well - but my point is-
CFers, What are the major stressors in your life, and how has your reaction to them changed as your state of CF changes?