Symptoms & Reactions

Breathing–A Revelation and a Reminder

Today was both a revelation and a reminder. I had no idea how much my body was compensating for my inability to take a deep breath without pleuritic chest pain. It’s amazing how your body will adjust to avoid pain and how you forget the benefits conscious, deep breathing…. **



One word to describe my Lupus body today:  Better

Which habits and rituals did I practice to soothe my Lupus body?

  • Breathed Fresh Air
  • Protected Delicate Skin
  • Moved and Stretched

More details about my physical symptoms:
Well, today started off one way and ended up very differently. I woke up with knotted muscles and stiff and tense joints. And, that strange nerve pain in my belly seemed to be taking over everything. But after my psychotherapy session, I began to breathe deeply from my diaphragm. The more I relaxed, the more effective I was in my “Move and Stretch” habit. Sometimes, I forget how integral breathing is to everything I do, and especially in how I manage pain.



One word to describe my Lupus mind today: Hopeful

Which habits and rituals did I practice to strengthen my Lupus mind?

  • Connected with My Doctor
  • Focused on the Positive

More details and thoughts about how I’m feeling emotionally today:
I’ve been feeling especially anxious lately, after meeting with the neurologist last week. I explained this to my psychotherapist and she pointed out something that I wasn’t even aware of—my shallow breathing and how I would take a deep breath, then talk until I ran out of breath, then take another deep breath, repeating the pattern again and again. She said that many times, anxiety is your body’s way of telling you it’s not getting enough oxygen, so it turns out that this time, my anxiety problem is a breathing problem. But the question remains for me: Is the anxiety causing the shallow breathing, or is the shallow breathing causing the anxiety? Either way, I suppose I just need to be aware of my breathing a bit more.



One word to describe my spirit today: Quiet

Which habits and rituals did I practice to nurture my Lupus spirit?

  • Meditated, prayed, visualized

Thoughts about my spiritual connection and spiritual lessons learned today:
Wow, today after my session with my psychotherapist, I decided to meditation to listen to my body’s breath and to breathe through the pain. Dr. O suggested a simple mantra for today: As I inhale, I say the word, “heal” and as I exhale, I say the word, “soothe.” Breathe in…heal. Breathe out…soothe. Heal. soothe. I was able to quiet myself for the first time in a long while. Thank you, God.



Today my meals were:

  • Breakfast: Paleo banana muffin, apple
  • Lunch: Tuna salad lettuce wrap and corn chips (oops!)
  • Dinner: Grilled chicken wings, fries, and salad
  • Snacks: None



At least one thing that I’m grateful for today:

  • My psychotherapist



I’ve fought for a long time not to use my steroidal inhaler, which I’m supposed to use to combat the inflammation in my lungs. In my breathing practice today, I realized how much I need to use it. My sensitive lungs and painful pleural sac are contributing to my shallow breathing. I discovered my body was compensating to deal with the pain of deep breathing. With the steroid, the inflammation will decrease and that, hopefully, will decrease the pain. Why I’m so hard-headed about following the doctor’s orders, I’ll never know….


**(This post is based on the format of the Lupus Diary that I developed for keeping track of how Lupus affects my body, mind, and spirit, I check-in here once a week to let you know about the more interesting days of my Lupus journey. To learn more about the Lupus Diary, how I developed it, and why I use it, click here.)

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