Living in a Shell
by Christina Baltais
“This collage is about how small one’s world becomes with chronic illness, and how the majority of it consists of rest,” explains Christina. “It also symbolizes the necessity of retreating to a quiet and safe place to do so.”
Many chronic illnesses including ME, fibromyalgia and Long Covid can cause severe fatigue and sleep issues. In the case of ME and often Long Covid, they also cause Post-Exertional Malaise (PEM): where symptoms worsen after even minor physical or cognitive activity. PEM often occurs on a delay, and it can take days, weeks, or months to recover from a PEM “crash”.
To manage all this, rest and pacing are essential. Christina writes, “Rest is a necessity and a means of investing in the quality of your life for the future. It’s very different from sleep. It’s conscious and variable throughout the day, and from day to day. It’s also very boring. It feels counterintuitive to do nothing to feel your best – but it’s in fact the most productive thing you can do to manage [ME].”
Did you know? You can enter to win a prize pack with artwork by Christina Baltais (Words As Medicine) in our Benefit + Awareness Month prize draw until June 1, 2023!
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