A bird flying away from a birdcage, cage, freedom, tear, relief.

Pivoting With AxSpa

I think one of the biggest misconceptions I had about my AxSpa journey was that when I found the right medications, diet, and exercise routine to manage my disease, I would no longer have to pivot my life around my disease, and I would finally have freedom over my life. I thought that pivoting altogether wouldn’t be necessary.

It's here that I began to learn a beautiful lesson

I have recently found some success in managing my AxSpa symptoms yet I find myself still pivoting in life to maintain where I’m at with my physical health, and sometimes this has felt unfair, and frankly, I think we can all agree--a lot of work.

Sometimes this looked like not wanting to push myself physically during a workout, sometimes cutting a walk or run shorter than needed. Heck, sometimes I avoid a workout altogether because of the fear that something new will become an issue or that maybe a few extra minutes will be the difference between a flare and a regular workout.

Food flexibility

Lately, I’ve been able to have some more flexibility with the foods I consume. It’s something I’m very cognitive about, and I realize I’m currently able to pivot in this way (because of all previous pivoting), but if a flare creeps in again I will have to once again have to find that balance and a new way of being.

Physical adjustments

And then of course there are the physical adjustments. Even on my very best days, sitting for a long period of time is just something I cannot do. I’m constantly having to get up and adjust my legs or sitting position. Constantly pivoting. Even in my physical body.

Pivoting to feed my wellness

And then it came to me. I don’t have to frame this in the way of pivoting around my illness, but I’m pivoting to feed my wellness! I guess I had assumed a type of remission would mean freedom, but what does that look like for each of us? I think maybe for me, that’s feeling in control of my AxSpa, having a say in my treatments, and having the tools and resources at hand when I need them.

Maybe pivoting is one of the lessons we naturally learn to manage chronic disease, sometimes literally requiring me to get up and physically move my body. It's a way we cope and learn to still see the beauty in all of its lessons.

What does freedom look like for you?

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