Adjusting The Sails

“ The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The realist adjusts the sails”

William A Ward

When I sat down to write this blog I wasn’t exactly sure how to put into words the mindset I have been in the last few days. Then, I came across this quote that seems to sum it up perfectly. This week, I have been all three types of sailors; the pessimist, the optimist, and the realist.

This week, I was in a really bad flare, one that left me feeling incompetent of tasks that are normally simple to complete. The past 6 days were filled with several moments where I was too weak to even stand, throat tightening, and hives to literally anything I came in contact with. I suddenly felt like I couldn’t do this any longer. I questioned how I would ever succeed in a job, classes, and life in general when there were days that random attacks left me incompetent of the easiest things. Earlier in the week, I was the pessimistic sailor , I did nothing but complain about the winds.

The transition from the pessimistic to the optimistic sailor wasn’t exactly clear cut. Instead, days were mostly filled with me complaining about the winds, with moments throughout the day where I had hopes that the wind would change direction. There were several occurrences this weak where I couldn’t even take my own advice and refuse to sink. I felt guilty about this. I didn’t feel like myself at all, and in a way I wasn’t.

On a quick side note -I wanted to bring attention to something I wasn’t aware of for others with MCAS. During flares/ certain reactions the mast cells in your brain will release histamine (H3). The histamine in your brain can in a sense take over. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible to overcome the negativity, it just makes it extremely challenging. Although this has occurred for me in the past, this week in particular there was a high amount of histamine being released into my brain. For the majority of the week, my dizziness has been at an all time high, I have felt detached from the world, and negativity has been challenging to exscape. Unfortunately, I don’t know of a medication or supplement that can help suppress the H3 histamine being released into the brain. However, it helped me to be educated in knowing that just like any other reaction I have had, it will pass with time. During these reactions in particular, you simply need to just hang in there.

Through this crazy flare up I have learned a really valuable lesson. Although remaining positive during a tough time is really important, sometimes this is not exactly possible. This doesn’t have to mean that you become negative. There is a third option that lies in the middle-being realistic. Truth is, the occurrences of this week has opened my eyes to challenges I will need to overcome, in order to move forward. Currently, my responsibilities are limited, and therefore there is no problem of laying low and staying home when these intense flares occur. However, in the near future I will have a job, internship, and classes, that I can’t “blow off” when random flares occur. At the moment, I am still not sure how to go about these responsibilities when these symptoms are present. But, after five days, I have come to my senses and realized that complaining about the wind is going to get me nowhere, and so is sitting and hopefully wishing for the wind to change direction. Whether I like it or not, the wind will continue to blow in the same direction. So Instead, I need to be realistic, take the matter into my own hands, and figure out how to adjust the sails.

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