How I Use Recovery Plans to Face Stressful Events

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by Dagmar Munn |

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This month, I have a few ALS-related activities scheduled that in the past could have easily left me feeling exhausted. But now that I’m following my own advice, I know my recovery plan will let me sail through the month with ease.

I’ve often discussed the ALS symptoms of moving, eating, and reacting more slowly combined with lower energy levels that leave me feeling like I’m driving in the slow lane and getting stuck in traffic. Well, using that same analogy, my recovery plan could be portrayed as taking the exit ramp for a scheduled rest stop.

What are my challenges this month?

I have an appointment at the ALS clinic scheduled for the middle of the month, but before that happens, I have to report to my local lab for routine blood tests. Sounds pretty simple, right?

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Actually, as I write this, the lab visit already happened the other day. I was in a tizzy because my regular lab closed a few months ago and was replaced by this new one. It’s in a different building, where parking is questionable, and I wasn’t too enthused about their online scheduling. Nevertheless, I showed up. Trudging over a bumpy sidewalk in my ankle-foot orthoses — and despite my death grip on my rollator handles — I kept a positive attitude.

Despite the lab’s sparse decor and small work areas, I found the two lab technicians I encountered friendly and professional, which put my mind at ease. I even found myself dropping my shoulders and breathing more slowly while the needle was in my arm.

Next week is my appointment at the ALS clinic, which involves an exhausting session of talking and testing that lasts several hours with multiple staff members. I tend to treat my ALS clinic appointments like an Olympic challenge, so I expect my recovery plan to help me once again.

What is the plan?

I actually combine multiple strategies. I wrote about the first one in the column “Even Summer Fun Needs Recovery Time.” It involves three steps: planning and expectations, practicing self-care, and focusing forward. This is helpful both before and after the event.

The second strategy is helpful to use during the event. It involves humor, attitude, and mindful thoughts and action.

Both strategies include scheduling adequate recovery time. This means taking two to three days after the event to let my body rest and recharge my emotional batteries. Above all, I focus on rebalancing my health by eating right, getting enough sleep, exercising gently, and taking proper medication.

If you have events in your life that leave you feeling wiped out and unable to fully recover, try using my strategies.

Build them into your schedule, balance your well-being, and learn to live well while living with ALS.


Note: ALS News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of ALS News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to ALS.

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