Friday, February 20, 2009

Learning The Laws of Physics

I don't remember who's credited with discovering the law of physics that says that for every action, there will be an equal but opposite reaction.

That's been my learning experience this week.

I guess I've been testing my rheumatologist's advice to "try to push through it" as I found myself over-committed.

I don't remember if I've mentioned that I found reluctantly myself serving on my daughter's preschool auction committee, which has meant weekly evening meetings. Have I mentioned that evenings are not my best time of day?

So I had an auction meeting on Tuesday evening, a MOMS Club board meeting on Wednesday evening (I serve as treasurer) that kept me out until past 10 p.m., and somehow we ended up with Ellie's classroom visit to Catlin Gabel scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Thursday.

How does life get so complicated?

Acupuncture on Wednesday afternoon helped me find a little energy to get through that evening's meeting, but I was definitely beyond exhausted Thursday morning. It was important to me, however, to make it to Catlin with Ellie, partly to minimize how much of the work day Scott would have to be away from the office.

After the classroom visit (which seemed to go well!), I had planned to take Ellie back to preschool for a few hours before I needed to pick her up for ballet class. Thursdays are the one day that I pick Ellie up from school, take her to ballet and then have a little one-on-one time before Scott gets home from work. It's challenging even on a good week, but this week was much harder than normal.

We spent more time at Catlin than I expected, so we needed to get Ellie lunch before I could drop her off at preschool since she missed mealtime there. Scott's office was nearby, so he suggested we eat at the cafeteria there and some of the people who haven't seen Ellie since I got sick would be happy to get to see her. A great idea, but I had forgotten how long a walk it was from the main entrance, where I needed to sign in and get a visitor's badge, to the cafeteria, which is in a different building on the large campus. If I could walk that far without trouble, I probably wouldn't have a handicapped parking pass. And of course, there was the walk back after eating a quick lunch too. By the time we got to the car, I told Scott I didn't know if I could get Ellie to ballet on my own later that afternoon.

By the time I got through traffic and was near Ellie's preschool, I realized that he classmates would already be starting their naps and it would disrupt them if Ellie suddenly showed up. So Ellie agreed that she would quietly watch a movie at home and let me rest until it was time for ballet, and she mostly did.

I called Scott to let him know that I could get Ellie to and from ballet if he could manage to be home when we got back because I was going to be beyond exhausted and done for the day. So I did, and so did he.

By the time I got home at 4:30 p.m., I felt like I was trying to walk through a shoulder-deep swamp wearing a good 40 or 50 pounds of weights. I could only make it up the stairs a couple at a time and then pausing. My muscles weren't working right. Thankfully, Scott had made it home as promised and I went straight to bed. Not that I could sleep, but I couldn't do anything else either.

By 6 p.m. or so, I noticed that my hands were throbbing. I'd already noticed that they were painful and I could hardly grip anything. But this was different. I studied my hands, wondering if I was imagining that the pads between my knuckles were bigger than they had been lately. (I had swelling there early on in my illness, but it's been mostly gone for five or six months.) By 8 p.m., they were swollen and the knuckles on my right hand were red.

Today, the knuckles are still pinker than normal, but not bright red like they were at bedtime last night. The pads are definitely definitely bigger than normal, as are my fingers (which are really not happy with me for making them type ...).

I've got a call into my internist to alert her. But the worst part is that although I don't know how I'm going to get through it, the auction is tomorrow. Scott has already volunteered to take my place at setup at noon, but I'm supposed to report at 4 p.m. to get ready to handle registration for the 5:30 p.m start. If I don't try to stay for the (overpriced) dinner and the auction itself (which is not a big deal since we can't afford anything anyway), I think maybe I can be home by 7 p.m. I'm sure the auction chair won't be thrilled and I won't score points with anyone on the board, but it feels like my only other choice is to bail on them. Scott was already staying home to take care of Ellie, since we couldn't find a babysitter. He offered to go in my place, but not only would that mean teaching him the AuctionPay system, it would leave me trying to get an unhappy 4-year-old to bed when she's going to be upset and wanting her daddy, who normally does the bedtime routine.

I guess I just need to chalk this up to a learning experience about honoring my body's limits and the consequences I'll pay when I ignore them. I thought I'd learned that lesson already, but apparently it hadn't completely sunk in. :(

I feel like a zombie today, and I'm not sure I anticipate being in much better shape tomorrow for the auction, although I suspect I'll get some adreneline once I'm there. But of course, I'll pay for it afterwards, especially if I'm not fully recovered from the rest of the week.


Lisa said...

I'm looking forward to reading your blog! I am a mom of a just-turned-6-year-old very active boy (we adopted at birth) I've had active rheumatoid arthritis since age 24, 15 years now. I had my first hospital stay last Nov. for 1 week with the flesh eating virus in an ankle wound, so have been off RA drugs since Aug. I am working on a Christian mom's book for ill moms. Don't know your faith, but will definately be looking for feedback and contributions. Will keep you posted. I'm also founder of which sponsors (Invisible Illness Week). And I just started podcasts - - hope you can join us!
Hang in there. Can you tell I overcommit too? Sometimes it's a coping strategy, sometimes just a form of rebellion :)


Aviva said...

Hi Lisa! Wow -- I first heard about Invisible Illness Week last year and thought it was great. I think I even posted about it here. :) I'll definitely be checking out your podcasts too, thanks for letting me know about them. And wow -- I can't believe you manage all that AND are mom to a 6-year-old boy. I'm tired just thinking about all that you're doing! Although I'm Jewish, not Christian, I'll be interested in checking out your book too.

Betsy said...

Give yourlself credit for all you've done and let the auction chair think what they will. I have realized with my own illness that you can only do what you can...and finally, at 30, I've also learned not to let what other people think about me bother me. Even if they're wrong in what they think.

Diane J Standiford said...

Hi, I'm new to your blog (must get to know my peeps) and will have to catch up, but so far I haven't seen the word fibromyalgia in your posts...have you been tested for that? Many of your symptoms can be associated with it. So much to suggest, so little time...more later. But know that you are not alone.

Just Jenn said...

Hope the auction went okay and you're just resting now...

herrad said...

Hope you are feeling better.
Take care.