Or, as an alternate title for this post: Signs That I'm Having a Bad Week:
---My "normal" interval between showers stretches beyond three days. (Before Illness, I showered and washed my hair daily, even when I had a newborn. These days, I'm doing well when I manage the every-three-days shower.)
---It hurts too much to hold a book, which pretty much kills my favorite pain distraction. It's just not the same for me to listen to an audiobook or podcast or watch TV.
---I find myself canceling and/or rescheduling doctor appointment because I'm "too sick" to get dressed and get myself to the doctor's office.
---I find myself having to pause on the stairs, and the more times I have to pause, the worse I am. When I can't go more than three stairs without stopping, it's a really, really bad day.
---I find it challenging to be awake for more than three hours at a time. When I have a flare, it feels like my brain just shuts off and I have no choice but to sleep.
---Gravity intensifies (or seems to) and moving takes more effort than it should. Sometimes, even just holding my head up or my eyes open feels like a huge effort.
---I can't focus on anything, whether it's following a convoluted description by Ellie of her day or watching my favorite TV shows.
It's been a rough week at the end of a rough month. Thanks to Jewish holidays, there were way too many long weekends during September, and even though Scott is the one who deals with the lion's share of supervising Ellie and keeping her busy and entertained, it all just took its toll on me.
That was topped by overbooking (by my abilities) the four day weekend Sept. 30-Oct. 3. Scott's parents came to visit for the first two days, and I fear they feel like they barely saw me because of my sleeping through lunch both days. But I've learned that while I'm capable of waking up before noon, it generally means I have to shut down and sleep the afternoon away. And if I get up when normal people eat breakfast, I'm turning into a zombie and having to head to bed well before lunch. :-(
On Saturday, I'd scheduled a swim playdate with one of Ellie's classmates, and although I didn't really feel up to it, I went along to sit on the sidelines and watch. I wasn't sure if the moms would be comfortable if I sent Ellie and Scott on their own, plus I like them and wanted to get to know them better. If it had stayed a normal playdate, which usually doesn't last longer than a couple hours, I probably would have done fine. But the girls were having fun and wanted to watch the new Tinkerbell movie, so we ended up going over to their house after the swimming and ended up ordering pizza in for dinner and staying until we had to get Ellie home for bedtime.
The next day, Ellie had a swim birthday party to attend for a different classmate, and luckily Scott was happy to take her without me. But some good friends were having an apple harvest party later in the day that I felt like I couldn't resist going even though I knew I'd end up paying for it in the end.
The apple harvest party was fabulous (just like the hosts :-), and I took one of what I like to call my "peppy pills" (Adderall, an amphetamine-based stimulant usually used to treat attention deficit disorder but in my case prescribed for fatigue.) The thing about the peppy pills is that while they help provide the energy I need in the present, they also allow/encourage me to ignore my limits. And that always comes with a penalty to pay in the days that follow.
And I spent this week paying that penalty, with pain levels through the roof and sleeping closer to 18 hours a day instead of my "usual" 12. And it's Friday as I write this, with another weekend beginning, and I'm still working on an energy deficit that feels like it's the size of a planet.
Sometimes I feel a little like Alice in Wonderland -- I take a pill to make me peppy, and then I'm too wired to sleep properly that night so I take another pill to help me sleep. My pain levels are high, so I take a pill for the pain, which helps me feel well enough that I do too much and then when the first pill wears off, I'm in a worse place than I started. I make jokes on Facebook about better living through chemistry (pharmacology, at least), but is it really better?
Sorry -- this turned into more of a vent than I intended. I apologize if I'm sounding whiny; I do know that I have it much better than many other people out there. It's just ... hard, sometimes.
I think bed is where I need to be, so I'll wish you all a good weekend, and thanks for letting me vent (and hopefully not attacking me for doing so! :-).
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