Monday, November 18, 2013

Holidays and Autoimmune Arthritic Illnesses

After bringing up the subject of "holidays and Christmas" when I posted about sending card to the troops, it also again this year made me stop and try to figure out how we "do" the holidays this year. It seems to of course be an annual question now. Used to we always did the exact same thing. My husband and I cooked the entire gamut of a holiday meal. From sweet potatoes, to turkey with home made cornbread stuffing, we did it all "A to Z". So, our first several years together, even though it was just the two of us, our one pup back then Tazzy, and our two cats (who have now passed away, D-Link and Lightening) it was a spread of food, fit for any King! :)

As we moved to California, the day before Thanksgiving there, I had an accidental run in with one of our cats - Lightening. Actually not a "bad" something he did, but our landlady had some guys working on the windows. We were in a upstairs, 2nd story tiny apartment. My husband had just left for work and I heard one of the cats "crying". So, I went to see what was wrong and he was barely hanging on outside the bedroom window. He had gotten on the ledge and it had the screen off of it, so he slipped. Well of course instinct to me said help him, but what did not dawn on me, as that he was totally flipped out. So, as soon as I went to grab him, he bit down into my hand so hard that it pierced all the way through the skin under my thumb. I had several very deep wounds. He had seen it was me and he let go. Bless his heart he was scared about almost falling, and he realized he had hurt me. I was screaming to the top of my lungs, and crying, and calling his name…. so of course he knew I was hurt also. Blood was going everywhere. I grabbed a small towel and wrapped it around my hand. Then called my husband, who of course had a brand new job, that he had just began only about 3 weeks before that… it was a nightmare. He did turn around and come back home. We did not even know where the nearest hospital was there in San Pedro. We have just not been there long enough to know where anything was other than the market, and a few stores on the main road. I knew I needed a tetanus shot, and possibly antibiotics, plus the pain was so intense, I cannot explain how badly it hurt. Any kind of animal bite is extremely painful and since these were very deep gashes it was a nightmare.
Anyway, we already had most of what we needed to cook with and our neighbors had gotten to know us a bit. They were not going anywhere and we had asked them to come over, but since that happened we went to tell them it was off.  So, they came over and helped my husband cook!! It was so nice!!

Now just a few years later, neither of us "feel" physically like cooking that huge of meal in the about past three years. After promising not to succumb to "old" age, or getting "too lazy" to cook for the holidays. But, I guess I have had to "admit" to myself and to everyone there is just no way I can take all of that on… We have to freeze most of it, which is fine depending on what it is, or make my Mom keep some, or give it to the neighbors.

These illnesses change each of our lives in so many ways, in each and every day. Even the smallest of tasks that we used to be able to do without blinking an eye, now become some kind of monumental feat… including dinner for a large family. Just another one of the many, many ways Autoimmune Arthritis "hits" us in the gut with a hard punch at times. It was a horrid reminder over the weekend before when  i took Mom to the Casino. I never gave a 2nd thought to wearing my black patent platform pumps with this very long skirt (maxi-skirt) as I guess they still call them. Yet, as the day wore on, I knew that would be my last time wearing those heels for any length of time. Just to go to church, or something for an hour or so, or if I am going to be sitting down a lot, will be only time I'm ever able to walk in them. Those hours and hours and hours…. and probably about 8 to 10 MILES by the time you walk from one side around to the other and then back and forth again… you definitely get a work-out!

Even that…I was able before to have no problem getting to be checked in, bags to the room, parked and all done. Not anymore, just doing the Huge Hotel walk in itself, and getting around to the elevators that are several turns around from the check in/reservation desk. Then I was the one that did all of the parking, and walking, and then walking and picking Mom up at the door… I am now trying to resolve myself to the fact that some things I will still be able to do, but I must make a very "detailed"plan so I will not wear myself out before I can even have fun.

So, with every turn, around every corner… from the mountain top you trip and side down, only to crawl back up scraping your knees… still to shout Victory when again you reach the top… to when the oceans tides seem to want to blow you into the vastness or when the soft sands of hope caress your feet…. all can just "never" be… So, Accept and Rejoice in what you CAN do, and allow those things you CANNOT do, to be swept into the oceans of where you never have to worry over them again….

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