Friday, October 7, 2016

Multiple hit Hypothesis

When I was studying genetics in school, we learned about a hypothesis about the role of mutations in DNA in cancer.  Knudson proposed that it took at least two hits, or two insults to the DNA in order for certain cancers to develop.  

This idea never really left me, both when analyzing chromosomes and in life.  Because I saw some truth to what these researchers were discussing.  The truth I saw was that there is always context to each patient, each situation.  It always served as a good reminder that even though I was looking at the genetic make-up of a person there was always something else that I would not be able to see.  There are so many factors that make up one's health and well-being.

Right now I feel completely exhausted and overwhelmed.  As I was working on the grocery list and planning out my day this "two-hit" idea came into my head.  My illness is an evolving learning process and it is a hit right now to my nervous system and life.  (It doesn't mean that I am not living a full life or happy life, it just means that I am still adjusting to same major life changes.).  Then I received a second hit, Sterling passing away and some other major life decisions.  Understandably I felt like my health took a couple of steps back and honestly my focus shifted to some more pressing matters.

Adam took me for a walk to get me back to focusing on my health.  Here I was walking around the neighborhood in my pajamas and slippers and Adam just kept telling me what I needed to focus on.  That pesky foundation: eating, drinking, sleeping, resting, relaxing and playing.  While we walked around the neighborhood, he asked how he could help with food.  This is a really scary idea for me and so I put my armor on and said I would continue to handle it, that it is hard to trust someone else.  

I wasn't seeing the larger picture, I was so focused on one of the hits that I was missing all the other hits that were contributing to my latest flare.  Adam in his wisdom decided not to press me, instead he used helpful experiences that I have had.  He has noticed who I trust with food preparation and who I am comfortable around.  He didn't argue with me that I must trust those people, he simply started to make arrangements for me to have food made by those people.  

He has paid attention and knows how difficult it is for me to accept help.  (I am stubborn which is one hit, the second hit is food is honestly terrifying right now.  I have had so many reactions to food, that I am extremely cautious about trying something new.)  He has made time to drive me to acupuncture appointments, to help me with laundry and to lend a hand in ways that don't make me feel sick.  He has helped enourmously the past couple of weeks to help me put on some weight and double the amount of sleep I tend to get.  

It is an interesting experience though, right now my body feels more tired and my mind less sharp despite getting four hours of sleep and eating more.  It is relaxing a little bit into this experience of being care for, and letting go of some of the tension I didn't even know I was holding.  I told Adam I wanted to just stay in bed for a while, so we are working on getting food and stuff in place so that I can spend the weekend resting.   Maybe that will help lessen the blow of some of the hits to my health, and even if it doesn't I get a weekend of food, blanket forts and cuddling.  Sounds like a win to me.

Question of the day:  What are your plans for the weekend?

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