I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent today trying to recover from the last few days. Christmas Eve and Christmas day were completely full of work. I feel exhausted and in pain from being on my feet for two days. Helping with the cooking and cleaning up afterwards has worn me out from head to toe.
Almost every inch of my body is in pain and my neuropathy is in a flare. My arthritis is flaring and my EDS is showing itself. Christmas is like an extreme sport. There are so many people and so much to do. There is physical, mental, and emotional work going on. After this marathon my chronically ill body needs a ton of rest.
Although I did pace myself pretty well, the vast amount of time involved in Christmas comes with very little time for breaks. So, I’ll just be resting after the big day. I’ve been watching the tv and propping my feet up. I’ve started eating my normal diet, because two days of Christmas food is all my body can take.
My dog is also glad that Christmas is over, because he likes me to sit in my recliner so that he can rest beside me. There were plenty of naps taken today, but I’m saving all my sleep for bedtime. I’m always afraid that a nap will take time away my ability to sleep well at night.
This week I’ll be planning for my child’s baby shower. This will happen next Sunday afternoon, so I’ll be trying to plan all of the menu, games, and decorations. It will be a small family shower, but I still want it to be memorable for her.
This is the time of year when many people begin to reminisce about the past year. I don’t usually spend too much time doing that, but I will a little. 2021 went by so quickly that it just seems like a blur. 2020 was awful and I thought that 2021 would be the opposite and that I would feel more secure in my health and that the world would be safer.
2021 didn’t end up much different than the previous year, because with my compromised immune system, I still didn’t feel safe out in the public. I’ve kept myself protected as much as I can and just pray daily that I will be spared covid. I will continue to pray that I can get better treatments for my many illnesses.
When I’ve tried to discontinue medications, my pain will always flare. This shows me that the medication is helping, even though it doesn’t begin to completely stop the pain. But, it’s doing enough to help that I’ll continue dealing with the bad side effects. I would love to get rid of the sleepiness, brain fog, weight gain, and fatigue. I know that I had many of these things before I started taking medications.
It’s awful that medications to treat fatigue and pain can give so many of these side effects. It’s a crazy balance that we try to find. There is a balance, but it’s not like balance that healthy people aim for. It’s nothing like that.
I remember when I was mostly healthy and I tried to have balance in my life. That was really a luxury. People who are striving for balance in their busy lives usually have time for work, family, exercise, extra-curricular activities, and more. When you have chronic illness you don’t think of balance in the same way. You are surviving.
You are taking each day one day at a time, hoping that you won’t completely collapse. If I have a day where I can almost function like other people, I’m content. That doesn’t mean that I can go out and have a nice day with shopping or meeting friends. That doesn’t mean that I can clean my house in one day (or even clean one room).
As I’ve said many times, my normal isn’t really normal at all. But, I still aim for my normal, because that’s all I can do. And, I feel good about things when I can do that. So, when I look back at 2021, I don’t get upset if I didn’t improve or accomplish something big. I’m thankful to be alive. I’m thankful that my pre-cancer didn’t become cancer.
I’m glad that I didn’t get any new diagnoses this year. I’m glad that I didn’t gain any weight this year. Watching my weight kept me from gaining, even though I need to lose 45 pounds. Maybe 2022 will be a year for improved health and weight loss, and maybe not. I’ll trust God to watch over me and love me.
@2021, copyright Lisa Ehrman
Disclaimer: I’m not a medical expert. This post contains my opinions and experiences and is not meant to be taken as medical advice. If you have a medical concern, please consult your personal physician.