Lets meet another really great Zebra. I’ve had the pleasure of having coffee and a nice long chat with Stephanie Lewis- from Kimball, Tennessee. Yes- we talked PI – but we also talked Shakespeare!
Stephanie is an educator with a fondness for the old Bard. She loves to take on-line classes from the Oxford University,or University of Cambridge. However- full time teaching is such a drain on her energy- she modified her learning and now only takes classes in summer when she is on break.
Stephanie was diagnosed with PI in 2012- But she had been sick for at least 5 years prior. Her biggest challenge is excruciating fatigue. She also gets periodic infections – especially respiratory. Allergies, asthma and diverticulitis also keep her company. She is blessed with an incredible support system. Her husband participates in every SubQ session. (C’mon – how many of us are that fortunate)? Her son, friends and colleagues understand PI and how to help her with fatigue and prevent exposurimg her to germs.
What’s been a challenge for Stephanie- a high achieving type-A?Learning that her brain cannot override her body. She has been tapering off activities that she loves because of a lack of energy. She finds it difficult to work AND do most anything else that she loves. It’s ‘one or the other- never both anymore’.
Stephanie performed as a guest musician at an Easter event- but since her energy has significantly declined, her music will be something that she enjoys on her own-giving up the pressure of performance.
Since CVID demands rest- Stephanie has instituted A WEEKLY DAY OF NO! NO makeup, NO leaving the house, NO to do list, NO sports activities, NO extra-curricular events. It’s a DAY OF NO!
Additionally- Stephanie would like to share her understanding that strong, negative emotion generates an equally strong, negative physical reaction. She is learning to better control her response to situations which might lead to a flare.
She is open about her health with her students. When she used to get IVig every 3 weeks- they would tell the substitute teacher than she was getting her VOODOO TREATMENT!
Thank you Jim; thank you Cooper; thank you Mom; thank you friends and colleagues. Your support keeps this Zebra going.
Lastly- THANK YOU for allowing me to profile you.
See you for coffee next winter, Stephanie.