Small choices, big impacts

Essential thrombocytosis (ET) affects each person differently.  I'm adept in adjusting so I can maintain an active, successful life.  Sometimes though, I behave like a tantruming teenager.  Why should I have to change?  It's not fair (insert foot stamping and doors slamming).  So I don't adjust; I stubbornly stride ahead, deluding myself the result of this choice will somehow be different from every other time I've chosen this path.

ET puts out subtle warning signs when it's time to rest.  It starts with a wisp of fatigue, like a spider's web floating past my face that I can't quite catch to brush away,   I usually ignore that.  After a few weeks of my wilful refusal to admit a need to rest, ET makes the signs clearer.  Fatigue is less a spider's web and more a fishing net:  I can see through it, occasionally get past it, but increasingly get tangled up.  Simple things like taking a shower become a Major Effort.  Medication and fatigue fog my brain. Like a child who has gone past tired, rest is no longer an option...but neither, it seems, are words.  I function at work and at life, but the effort it takes to do so increases each day.  If I stubbornly continue without resting, ​my fingertips begin to join the fray.  They tingle and throb as my platelets clump.  They are the surly teenager again:  sitting on the bed with crossed legs and arms refusing to budge because dammit, I'm angry, I'm right and I'm not moving til you agree.  Oh, and it's not fair (no foot stamping or door slamming here, just a well-practiced teenage I-hate-you-glare).

By this stage, I usually have no reserves.  No energy left for basics.  No coffee in my cup.

​It's here - finally - I pay attention.  I remember what could happen if I don't take care of my body.  Bad stuff happens when platelets clump in the wrong places.  ​ So I alter my course.

ET doesn't define me, but it has changed me.  It's made me more aware that small choices have big impacts,  Waiting until it's nearly too late to make better choices is....not the best choice.​

At any time in your life and in any part of your life, if there are indicators along the way pointing to change, maybe explore a new route.

Don't wait until your cup is empty.​​​

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