Today I had my water exercise class at the Y. I do this very toned down water exercise class offered by the arthritis association and designed for people with arthritis or similar problems. It has been perfect for me, and I do in lieu of pool therapy my doctor prescribed because a lot less expensive and more convenient.
so I went to my class today and was feeling pretty good, even more smiling and friendly, less shy, so that it was noticeable to the others there who were kind of teasing me about it in a friendly way. Then about 5 minutes into the class it was as if -- well, you know in science fiction movies when the power on the spacecraft suddenly goes out, how there is this sound effect they always use, like descending tone 'nyuuurrr..." , and the flashing lights and buttons on the control panel no longer work... yeah, Well, anyway, there wasn't actually that sound, but it was sort of a similar situation. Almost all my energy failed me in less than a minute. I thought it would pass, and just sort of stood there and rested, but it got worse, and then anxiety set in. It took everything to hold back the tears. Everyone was watching me, concerned, asking if they could help. I was so embarrassed. I wanted my husband so badly to come rescue me, but he wasn't due back to get me for another 45 minutes. I had to get out of there, which still meant I had to get out of the warm water pool, walk the length of the regular pool and through the maze of the showers and locker rooms before I could even get to my cell phone to call him. Everybody I passed was looking at me, asking me if I needed help, etc. They were well-meaning, and actually I did need help, but I was too embarrassed and panicky to deal with it.
It was so upsetting on so many levels. One, I hate having people see me and you can see on their faces how bad I look, like I'm dying or something. It's embarrassing and humiliating. Two, I just don't understand the sudden, no warning drop of energy. Usually if I don't see the warnings at the time, I can look back later and see what I had missed or been ignoring. Not this time. I did have a little bit of a busier week, but I had slept well and hadn't been particularly worn out or felt I had really pushed or overdone it except for on Wednesday maybe a little. But Thursday I had stayed home all day. It doesn't make sense. Maybe I am trying to make sense where there is none.
Now also, when I go back I will be embarrassed again, because I know people will ask if I'm better, how am I? etc, and will kind of be "watching me" if you know what I mean. This is very hard on me and my sense of self, how I see myself and want to be seen by others.
And lastly, each setback like this is so discouraging. Makes me afraid I guess, worried that things will never change, that my whole life will be this, and that is something I don't want to believe.