Almost everyone has been sick at some point. If you’re like me, as soon as you feel better, you jump to do all the things you couldn’t do while you were in bed. Hurrah, I feel better, I can do the windows! And bake some cookies, it isn’t even difficult! And, and… And then you drop to bed again, exhausted. And that’s what happens after the flu, not after something more serious, and considerably longer.
Last year, as I’ve mentioned before, my thyroid gland was giving me trouble again. In June, I could barely do anything during the fencing training. I had to rest every few minutes. My muscle mass dropped — and my muscle mass was never something to be proud of, so you can try to imagine what that was like.
Now, I knew I would get better once the increased dose of meds kicked in, which usually took about three weeks. What I also knew, but chose to forget about, was that meds kicking in would be just the beginning. At that point I would be able to start rebuilding my muscles. It would take a while before I managed to get them into anything remotely resembling shape. I was aware of it, sort of. Being as impatient as I was, I just didn’t want to remember it, so I was disappointed by the recovery speed, even though it was normal.
After you spend some time barely using your muscles, it takes time and effort to rebuild them (or build them into something better). If you have a sickness causing your muscle mass to drop, such as hypothyreosis, you lose your muscle mass faster, and it’s harder to gain again. With the proper treatment, you will recover, but it takes time and effort.
Patience helps. Persistence helps — you won’t be able to run a marathon or to lift heavy weights just because your hormone level is right, you’ll need to exercise too. Having a goal in mind helps as well; I want to be able to do so-and-so is a perfectly good goal. People who support you without pushing you are great, if you’re in contact with any (sorry, the yelling sergeant from the movies wouldn’t help me at all).
After a while, you will get better. You’ll get there. Remember that recovery doesn’t happen in a single night, and you’ll get there.
Somebody please point me to this post the next time I rush into activities straight after feeling slightly better.