Good news, Chronic readers: I’ve been busy.
Like actual, honest-to-goodness busy.
Busy in an I’ve-had-stuff-to-do kind of way.
If you are a Chronic, you are nodding your head right now. You know there are different kinds of busy.
There is “I’m busy with medical stuff” busy. This is the kind of busy you are when you are in a flare-up and you have 22 medical appointments in 5 days while you simultaneously change 12 of your medications. This is a no-good-very-bad-kind of busy. Nobody wants to be medical stuff busy, but we will probably spend 75-95% of our Chronic life being it, just ’cause.
There is “I’d love to, but I’m busy, so I can’t go out tonight” busy, which may or may not be a real busy, depending on if you are dealing with the above-mentioned medical stuff or if you really can’t go because you don’t feel up to it but have said that the last 32 times and don’t want to have to say it again. This kind of busy either means you are taking a nap or… well, ok you’re just taking a nap no matter the circumstances.
There is “I’m busy so I can’t help you with that problem that involves thinking.” Translation: My brain is busy trying to keep me upright/awake/alive and so is otherwise occupied. If I interrupt it to think about your problem, who knows what will happen!
Then, of course, there is “I’m going to just say I’m busy so that people will think I am doing something productive when really I am just staring at the ceiling/wall/out the window because I just can’t get it together to do more than that right now” busy, which is a real thing that happens all the time.
These are Chronic busy’s, and they are 100% legit, but they are not what the general population means when they say, “I’m busy.”
For example, using the above definitions, I have been busy for 13 straight years, with little to no time off from all the busy-ness I was occupied with. In a way, I was that busy, as navigating multiple chronic illnesses has a way of eating up all your free time. And by free time I mean all of your time, because it’s amazing how your schedule magically frees up when your life drastically and severely changes.
However, if a healthy person said to me, “Oh, you’ve been busy? What have you been up to?” I may not actually have a concrete answer. Most people will not understand that “adjusting to my new medication” is a thing that takes energy and effort and doesn’t just happen spontaneously and/or painlessly just because it involves the one minute action of taking a pill. I get that there are an additional 23 hours and 59 minutes in each day, during which time I am processing, ok? It makes one very busy, I promise.
Google is kind enough to tell me that the definition of the word busy is “having a great deal to do.” It lists as synonyms “occupied, engaged, involved, employed, working, hard at work.”
So yes, I’ve been all that too, though for a slightly shorter time period much closer to 4 weeks than 13 years. Well, except for that “employed” thing, though I am working on it and consider myself “pre-employed” which is a fancy term I’ve come up with to describe what you are when you are writing and rewriting your resume and have bookmarked every job-finder website known to man.
I have been occupied by studying for my medical transcription final.
I have been engaged in road trips to see family members and go to POTSie conferences.
I have been involved in the reorganization of my living situation (a blog post for a different day, but spoiler alert: I’m moving!).
I have been working/hard at work on building up a tolerance to running/walking outside.
So, yes, Chronic readers, I am busy. And while it is exhausting, it is exhausting in a completely different way than being Chronic busy.
A whole lot of people like to complain about how busy they are, but I find I kind of like it.
I may or may not even jump up and down a tiny, heart-safe, little bit because I get to be busy-busy.
Perhaps it’s time for a new spirit animal?