Updated: Jul 14
When I first contracted parvovirus B19 (otherwise known as “slapped cheek”) from my kids, I was floored. The first part was the acute phase – about 3 weeks of being bedridden with flu-like symptoms. It was so frustrating because the only symptom my kids got was the bright red cheeks for which the disease is named (see the pic below). They both bounced back immediately. I didn’t!
After the acute phase I was able to get out of bed and on with my day,
but something wasn’t right. I felt like I was wading through mud, and as though my head were full of cotton wool. Not only that but having had a strong immune system previously I started to get every bug going – I remember being sent home from the training course I was on at the time because I’d turned up with hot and cold sweats. Then my digestion (which already wasn’t great) got worse.
It was after about a year of this that someone suggested I see a homeopath, which I duly did. I have to admit, I did think what on earth am I doing this for, homeopathy’s a load of new age nonsense, no? Well. I was in for a surprise. I was given a variety of different remedies for my symptoms – some of them repeatedly. And – this is the point I am getting to - there was no overnight big-bang, woohoo, look at me I’m recovered moment – no. It took time, many repeat trips to the homeopath, much listening to my body and learning to recognise when I needed to rest. But…there was a definite move towards feeling better.
There’s a great picture in Dr James L. Wilson’s book “Adrenal Fatigue” which depicts the healing process; he calls it the road to recovery - see above. (By the way, the term “adrenal fatigue” has now largely been discredited, “HPA axis dysfunction” being the preferred name these days, which makes sense, because it’s a whole feedback loop. But it’s still a great book). He shows a journey with many pitfalls, setbacks and plateaus in between the positive upwards bits of the trajectory. And this really is how it goes.
I know that suffering from dis-ease is not easy, just as the term suggests. Right now, we live in times of increasing instant gratification, with Tik Tok, Netflix, Amazon Prime, WhatsApp and all the rest of it making just about anything available in the blink of an eye. I think we expect healing to be similar, to be instant. We think that we can pop a pill, change our diet, start journaling or meditating, and we will be better overnight. Unfortunately, it's just not the case.
So it takes time. You need to invest time in your healing journey. What does this mean? Learn to listen to your body, know when to rest, when to take a step back. Learn to put down the devices and get out in nature. Get daylight into your eyes, especially in the morning. Set boundaries. Eat nourishing food slowly, do the meditation and breathing exercises, or whatever else it is that works for you. Progress is possible, but it’s not always plain sailing. It takes time. Enjoy the journey.