Sunday, December 8, 2013

Fatigue, Stress, RA, Lupus, Sjogren's - Holidays and Looking At The New Year!

Surviving Our Own "Impossible" Schedules with Autoimmune Arthritic Illnesses

All of us, and I mean those that are "chronically ill", as well as those "healthy as horses" - tend to try and live up to our own "no way, no how" over the top expectations; especially during this time of year. Annually, when Thanksgiving gets here... We are constantly pressing ourselves to do more, buy more, be more, have bigger, better, larger parties, more guests, a "prettier tree", more goodies, a "luxurious dinner", fit for queens and kings. We want to give our children a "Wow" of a holiday season! We love seeing their eyes sparkle Christmas morning! :) I know I did! I'm sure all of you did and do also!

Yet, what about the "we" in all of this "We Wish You A Merry Xmas"? When I say "we", I mean US, those of us "we's" that are extremely fatigued from autoimmune arthritic illnesses. I just got through sending an email reminding a dear friend of mine to "take care of herself". She suffers from the misery of RA, and a cross of other AAI also. So, I knew she was busy, with home, and with her volunteer work, where she is a "co-founder" and an active volunteer. When you are kind of a "co-chief", cook and bottle washer, no matter what type of "work" it is, it is WORK! Even as a volunteer I can attest that I am "trying" so much more with my volunteer work, than I probably have in many years! As much as I push myself on writing my books, I don't think I do that as much as I am doing in order to try and give a piece of me to help others. When you are involved with a fantastic group of folks, that ultimately share your exact feelings and goals, it does make you want to "be all you can be" and "do all you can do"...  And that is NEVER a "bad thing". 

I am so grateful to have another "pathway" to guide me into the realms of where I can make a difference for others that live with the horrendous illnesses, that seem to creep upon us when we least expect them to.

Yet, we also still in some capacity have our personal "holidays" chores. Whether you are younger, with a job, children, spouse, or even if you are a bit older, kids gone, and just the two of you, or like Mom on her own, there is always something that needs to be done during the holiday season, and for the end of the year. 

I am already feeling the "stress" of my own expectations. I have a "mental" list, and it should be more like a WRITTEN on paper list before I forget half of it, of the "To-Do's" I need "to do". Let's see, my Christmas letter is still not finished, my tree or any decorations are not up. I have another batch of fruitcakes to make; along with cookies and fudge (if I date attempt it again this year). Before the holiday, I have a pain pump that will have to be filled, medications that need to be refilled, my Mom sounds like with her own issues with severe shoulder pain probably needs to get into our orthopedic doctor, and my husband is still waiting on the MRI results from his own severe shoulder pain, that they think maybe his neck. I have to get myself in order for a trip to OK, IF the weather allows and we  decide to spend Xmas day there, rather than at home. I have my blog here to keep up, as well as doing my volunteer work for IFAA and I need to get a blog post written for Systemically Connected, which is IFAA's official blog. 

I need to buy stamps so I can put them on these cards, and actually still have a couple of cards that need addresses. Never fails... either someone moves, or I lose an address... and then I am scrambling to get what I need to send my cards out. 

I did get my cards out to the "Troops" and made the deadline, ahead of time thank goodness. Then of course there are those "errands", if you are buying gifts, that in itself is a headache. We are not really doing that much as far as "gifts" this year. Our finances as they maybe, have taken a "hit" between all of my doctor and dentists bills this year. Plus we still face whatever my co-pay may be on the hernia surgery, and we had to pay some on Jim's MRI, which are not cheap. After my other older I-Mac decided to go "feet up" on us unexpectedly, this new one was not an expense we were expecting. Same with our old vacuum cleaner. Another one of those not anticipated "out of your pocket" expenses. My old one "threw a belt" LOL... but the issue with that was "good luck" finding a belt locally for the stupid thing.  I could have just ordered one, but in all honesty that "purple monster" as we called the old vacuum, was SO HEAVY, I just could NOT push it around anymore. Needless to say, I came in with a MUCH lighter brand new Bissell, that will almost suck the carpets right off the floor! :) In fact, with a couple of my older rugs that are just runners, and I did not pay nearly as much on, are losing their backing... it is just coming off of them because they are just getting old and ready to be replaced. Always something... oil in the car needs to be changed, the house taxes are in, thus a reminder those will come due shortly! 

Then the "Happy New Year 2014" rings in with a new rush of a New Year and all of those "tasks" that also "ring" in annually. Taxes to pay, house insurance and car insurance to probably come time to renew. Taxes, which I do my Mom's Income Tax forms and filing, and all of the other 100 items that come in like a flash of lightening through the black ink darkness of a clear night's sky. 

Alas, it is my time to begin thinking about my own personal "Agenda" for 2014. Call it a "Resolution List" if you wish, but I have one each year with some things that are probably pretty standard for all of us. 

Well since I just posted on FB! I shall add it here to finish this post off and post it for everyone! You shall see what I've been doing since very early this morning ;)

Okay!!! One MORE project out of my hair;)  I should not say that at all. I just finished getting my "annual Christmas letter" finished, printed and put in my Christmas cards! ;) LOL! I always "say" every year, Oh, I am going to "skip it" or make it shorter, and of course, that NEVER happens. It became a tradition many years ago by a cousin of mine in TN. She is older than me, so when I was younger, I remembered Cathryn's letter every year in her Christmas Cards. I loved it so much, that after I got up and was sending my own cards, I began the "tradition". I don't think I've missed any honestly. Not even through out surgeries, illnesses, etc... I've been fortunate enough to be able to get it done. :):) Anyway, I finished it, and I feel awesome to have them ready for stamps, and the post office!!! LOL! Of course, I have NOT put up ONE decoration yet. But, with Jim's shoulder/neck thing, and my stupid "hernia" thing... and now my Mom is having massive pain with her right shoulder - which I think is also her neck. I've got to get her into a doctor. She has an appt with our PCP tomorrow, but I know he won't be able to do anything, but send her to an orthopedic specialist. Then we are going to have to have out if it is her shoulder, or her neck. Mine was both! So, I know that will be a hard row to hoe with her. She is NOT a "hospital person".... I saw that when she was there just overnight with her heart monitor incident. Then with the wrist surgery, I thought I would NEVER get her to get it repaired. It took me months and months to get her to go and have it done. She uses "me" as an excuse... LOL!!! And that has to stop.... just because I have "illness issues" does not mean she can just "wait" and not have it fixed... We just have to work all of us around one another... talk about a mess... my surgery is scheduled for the 30th for the hernia... which means I will probably not be able to do much but be on the computer or sofa for weeks... esp. no carrying or lifting, well heck, how the devil am I supposed to survive if I can't do what I need to do??? ;) We always manage... but with Jim and his own neck..shoulder issues, it won't be as easy as usual... anyway we maybe all looking for "nurses" at our homes.... HAHAHAHA!!! I wish all a good rest of the afternoon... it is still COLD and nasty outside here... so I am headed to get stuff all ground up to make another batch of fruitcakes... well I hope... I am already exhausted. I got up at 3:30 this morning... and have not stopped since.... 

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