Friday, May 6, 2011

An Interview with Laura Hillenbrand

Some excerpts:

What advice would you give to others out there who suffer from ME/CFS?
The most important thing I have learned in my 24 years with this disease is to listen to my body. Everyone with this disease has different boundaries, and we find out through trial and error where they are. It’s critical to know where they lie, because when ME/CFS patients overextend themselves, the result can be utterly disastrous. Several times, I have overdone it, leaving myself bedridden and desperately ill for years. Because many patients have been accused of merely being “lazy”—something I heard all the time in my first years with ME/CFS— they often push themselves too hard to prove they aren’t malingering. I did this myself, and paid dearly for it. So my advice is to always put your body first, listen to what it is telling you and respect those signals.

What are some natural treatments and/or ways you use to cope with
I’ve been doing yoga for about a decade now, and it has been a godsend to me. Even when I’m quite ill, there are a few poses I can still do, and it’s wonderful for my body, keeping it flexible and maintaining muscle tone. It’s even better for the mind. Yoga relaxes me, alleviates stress, and quiets my thoughts. There is a beautiful and nourishing mindset that attends yoga, focusing on acceptance of yourself and your situation, living in the moment, awareness of the interconnectedness of all things, and cultivating gratitude for your blessings. There is so much loss, so much anguish, and so much stress involved in being as ill as I am; yoga helps me cope with it and love my life and all I have been given.
Along with yoga, I practice meditation. No matter how sick I am, I can always meditate, and it always refreshes me and fills me with optimism. In spite of what the disease does to me, I’m a very happy person, and I credit meditation for much of that. In my sickest years, I sometimes meditated three times a day.
I am also careful about the chemicals that go into my body. I try to buy products that are natural. I buy products from companies like Loving Naturals, which sells products that are organic, simple, natural and absolutely safe. I try to do this especially with products I use every day, like moisturizers and lip balms. Also, we only use nontoxic, natural products in our home, because we don’t want to breathe in harsh chemicals, and we don’t want to pollute the environment.

No comments:

Post a Comment