Dichotomies: Finding Balance

It occurs to me that in EHE as in life in general, maintaining equilibrium requires that one must choose a path between extremes. These dichotomies appear over and over again throughout the EHE journey and provide useful topics for consideration insofar as considering how to avoid 'banging the rails' can help sustain some semblance of normalcy along the way.

The first dichotomy strikes most of us shortly after hearing the diagnosis: once we're recovered from the shock of the 'C' word and getting over the 'What the Hell is EHE' phase (each a good blog topic in itself), we're faced with the question, 'What do I do now'? People often answer either by hiding or kicking into super-action. I offer that neither is optimally adaptive because this is a long road that requires engagement AND stamina. You have to become involved....but last long enough to make a difference. 

In a 15 round prize fight, the boxers pace themselves and so must we. I think in that first rush, patients and family can go nuts trying to talk to every doctor, read every book, surf every site, find every other patient, consider every treatment option...it's only natural that after a scary diagnosis you want to do everything you can to improve your chances. However, when even the best intentions lead to 'over action' you can end up trying to do too much - this is potentially mal-adaptive if it leads to burn out.

So, take the long view. It's important to commit to the cause but in a reasonable fashion. Inaction isn't really defensible since even when the disease is dormant we have to consider our response if/when it reappears. However, running around trying to accomplish an army's worth of work 24/7 isn't healthy either. Try to pace yourself to stay in the game and active at that.