Friday, December 31, 2010

Holidays & New Year's Resolutions

If I didn't remember back to my pre-chronic illness days, reading my Facebook page is evidence enough that even the generally healthy overdo things for the holidays and often start the new year feeling exhausted. 

Add small children to the mix, and it seems like everyone is succumbing to various colds and other virus bugs. (I'm pretty sure I had the Cold of the Decade this past week or two. In a 30-hour period, I went through 2.5 of the large boxes of Puffs Plus in addition to spiking a fever and feeling all around miserable.)

I read a fabulous post over at But You Don't Look Sick about the post-holiday crash. Nobody's immune from it, and while it might be too late for the 2010 holiday season, spring is right around the corner with Passover, Easter and, for those with kids, spring break and way too many other school holidays. The essence of the post is a reminder to not use up all your "spoons" celebrating because you'll need some to deal with the after-effects of overdoing things. (And if you haven't read Christine Miserandino's essay "The Spoon Theory" -- go to it now! Then come back. :-)

Actually, while you're browsing over there, you should also check out the post on New Year's Resolutions

I got a head start on my resolutions for 2011: I found a therapist with a medical background (she's a psychiatric nurse practitioner, but she doesn't prescribe meds and just does "regular" therapy), who seems to be able to understand (as well as anyone does) what I'm dealing with medically. I'm not really sure what I'm looking for by starting therapy now, but I figure maybe she can help me figure out what, if anything, I can and should be doing to better cope, and to help my family cope. We're still getting to know each other, but I think it's good to have gotten started. Thanks to my buddy The Queen of Optimism for suggesting I look into any EAP benefits we might have; Scott's employer's program allows up to six visits for free to deal with an issue, and for issues that take longer, it goes into regular mental health coverage. Of course, I kind of kicked myself for not having started it earlier in 2010; I will have to start paying co-pay in mid-January, and of course it went up for 2011. 

I've also vowed to be better at keeping up with our finances. Scott and I are normally a good financial team; he does the complicated math to figure out how much we need to save for all those things we hope to afford (like retirement! and college! private school tuition! maybe even a vacation every 5 years or so!), together we debate and agree upon how much we can afford in every category, and I'm the bookkeeper who tracks the income and outgo as well as paying the bills. The bills have all gotten paid, but I've fallen down on my bookkeeping duties. I'll be catching up over the next few weeks so I can close the 2010 books and have the info we need for our financial aid application for next year. 

But most of all, I'm going to try to avoid my annual spring flare. Going back to when I got sick in 2007, my downward slopes all begin in late winter to early spring. Cross your fingers for me on that one! 

Meanwhile, I'd like to wish each and every one of you a happy, healthy/healthier, and successful new year.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas To Those Who Celebrate It!

We attended the Oregon Ballet Theatre's Nutcracker production on Dec. 23. (And although I knew Ellie's shirt was a little small on her, I think she's pushing out her tummy here because it does not look like that in person! :-)

I'm not sure how it got to be the end of December and I've barely posted. After the pressure of NaBloPoMo, I needed a bit of a break, but I still haven't caught up on things like email or my energy, so I'm not sure I really achieved anything with the break from blogging. 

Meanwhile, I started but failed to finish several blog posts for various editions of Patients For A Moment, but I urge you to go read the blog carnivals anyway. There's a year-in-review edition hosted by Leslie at Getting Closer To Myself, as well as a fabulous edition on must-have items for folks with chronic illnesses hosted by the Queen of Optimism. I have thoughts that even though I missed the deadlines to participate in those editions, I'll consider them good topic ideas and hope to finish my posts anyway. 

I wish all of you a happy holiday season!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Interesting NYT Article on Wii Fit

Happy Chanukah, everyone! 

I came across an article in the NYT about how Wii Fit* isn't such a good workout for young people, but can be good for the elderly who have balance issues and/or other health conditions.

But it made me think: The benefits for the elderly (which, btw, is a term that I was taught by an AP mentor never to use because no one, no matter how old, likes to be called elderly with its implications of frailty, disability and possible senility) of the games being "light-intensity exercise" that may be more than they're getting otherwise, and also the improvement in balance could be equally or more applicable to many people with chronic illnesses.

Plenty of people with various types of illnesses ranging from multiple sclerosis to dysautonomia to Meniere's disease and more have balance issues and/or are considered at serious risk of falling. Many others don't have the endurance or capability to go to a gym and/or do a "normal" workout. Maybe being able to play with a Wii would help people like me avoid further deconditioning as well as improving balance and endurance. 

Now if only I could get my insurance company to cover the expense of buying a Wii ... :-)

(Fyi, you may have to register at the New York Times' website to be able to read the article, but access is free once you register.)

*Disclosure: I'm an Amazon Associate, so any purchase you make after entering Amazon through a link in this post or anywhere on my blog will earn me a tiny commission, which I will be extremely grateful for. Since Amazon protects your privacy and doesn't tell me who makes those purchases, I won't be able to thank you directly, but please know that it's greatly appreciated. Thank you!