Tuesday, December 1, 2015

It Actually Was Wonderful

Some people really rock Thanksgiving accessories. 

In looking back over the last week's posts, I've realized that the overall tone of my discussions has been rather muted at best and just plain whiney at worst. I've ripped off whatever I had been thinking at the moment and usually wrote those posts at the end of days that had high energy requirements.

Gosh. What a whiney-butt I've been.

What I forgot to include in those posts are the wonderful heart warming times that accompany the holidays at my house. I've shared with y'all before how much I enjoy filling my house to the rafters with people I love and great food. And once again, that's exactly how our Thanksgiving played out this year.

My favorite moment of the entire four day weekend was over dinner; when 24 lovely people sat around festively decorated tables and shared a meal; it's my favorite time not so much due to the food although it was excellent, but rather the wonderful rumble of two dozen voices speaking with some measure of authentic happiness. I slipped away to our foyer just after dinner began, sat on the bottom step of our stairs, and grinned ear to ear as I simply listened with my eyes closed. Happy voices in my home is a wonderful sound. One I hope I never forget to revisit all year round, not just at the holidays.

Second favorite? Watching the group engage in a game. One that everyone regardless of age can take part. This year, Terese had to devise our annual Turkey Trophy game. We laughed as she told us that there would be no pie until AFTER the trophy had been won and awarded.

Third? (It's hard to assign rankings. Actually, they are all my favorite times). There's those inevitable times when I need to excuse myself from the party and grab a quick nap. The need for rest isn't gratifying, but while I'm waiting to fall asleep, hearing how the gathering has a life of it's own and can continue on regardless of where I am is delightful.

Every year, when I read or hear stories of families that can not gather for a holiday without some kind of conflict or nastiness coming to light. I find this so sad.....  I know that the day may come when our family and friends may have difficult relationships of some kind, but at this point our gatherings have been delightful, each in it's own way. I don't know how or why we've managed this, but for whatever cause or reason, I thank God. It's such a blessing to be surrounded by those that we truly love and cherish.

So I have to apologize if I've given anyone the impression that I haven't had a happy Thanksgiving. Yes, I've struggled this year with a bit more pain and fatigue than usual. But a house full of fantastic people goes a long way towards making it all far more bearable.

Thanks, my family and friends.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Healing After the Holiday

My topic for today's post was supposed to be "How to Recover From a Holiday". In preparing to write said article, I attempted to read what others had written about this subject especially from those with a chronic illness's perspective. But either I am searching for this information in all the wrong places, or else there's not a great deal written that offers helpful strategies to recuperate from post holiday crashes, flares, black holes, train wrecks, or........well. If you have a chronic illness, you know exactly what I'm talking about here.

Most information out there related to this topic is directed towards avoiding said post holiday crash, flare, black hole, or train wreck. I would have to concede that avoiding the occurrence of these nasty events would be ideal. But I also think that some of the advice offered in this vein is rather difficult to follow for those of us who are like me: unrealistic, stubborn, and have a tendency to become so engrossed in the events of the day that any strategy or plan is immediately nixed. More specific to my usual mode -- in spite of energy saving plans, unexpected fatigue appears which results in stupidity which leads to stupid activities which compound the fatigue by astronomical multipliers.

Typical strategies for avoiding fatigue disasters usually include sound advice such as the use of pacing one's activities, planning and taking frequent rest periods, eating healthily, avoiding last minute stressful situations, and developing the ability to delegate, to refuse invitations, and to hone the just-say-no skill. All of which I have no capability to do effectively. So after all major holidays of the year, I crash, or flare, or drop into an energy black hole, or drive myself right into a health train wreck.

You'd think after a decade of dealing with this disease I'd know better.

In attempting to recover from the after effects of a holiday, at this point my strategy is simple: I sleep and whine. And, after a period of time which varies from holiday to holiday, I sense that I am finally crawling up out of the wreckage of a crash by assessing the level of my boredom and frustration. Initially in my flare, I don't want or care to do anything but stretch out horizontally in bed for an extended and cranky period of time. Then I progress to stretching out horizontally on my couch with eyelids cracked open just enough to crabbily watch mindless television programs and subsisting on leftover (and of dubious quality) pumpkin or pecan pie. After which I goober pie down my front and realization dawns that I have been wearing the same jammies for an indeterminate amount of time; which may or may not result in a clothing change. It is at that point when boredom and crankiness begin to dramatically increase. Interestingly, the levels of energy returned directly correlate with levels of boredom and crankiness. So that when even I can't stand to be around myself, my crabbiness forces the realization that I can and will do just about anything that gets me out of the house and into any other environment. At that point I usually realize that I'm on the mend. Most often this enlightening moment takes place during a brief shopping outing.

I wouldn't say that this is a particularly effective or enjoyable method of recuperation. There simply has to be a better way.

Do any of you have other strategies for energy renewal after a holiday crash and burn that don't include old pumpkin pie and days of crabbiness? Be a real pal, guys, and share, please? Christmas is coming........

Sunday, November 29, 2015


Every year since my diagnosis, as I'm planning our holiday activities I have found myself thinking Next year I'll feel better and this will be easier. It's a strategy that gets me through those nasty post holiday crash times.

But this year, I have given up on that sentiment. I'm limping around because of killer knee and leg pain and am still struggling to regain my energy levels from a few months ago; which is certainly not better than last year. I require an enormous amount of rest yet still have several the ground just dropped out from beneath my feet fatigue episodes. Gosh. I'd give my eye teeth if I could feel with complete sincerity that in a year's time I would have less pain and more energy.

But after several years during which the holidays have become progressively more difficult for my body to handle, I'm not feeling the optimism and I'm not going to imagine that next year will be any better. To my great surprise this feels kind of.......like relief. It feels rather liberating not to feel as though I am required to meet a very difficult-to-achieve goal that amounts to grinding my disease into submission. To let go of expectations, realistic or otherwise.

Hm. Weird.

I'm not sure if that is a step forward in acceptance of the progressive nature of Sjogren's; or if it represents a serious defeat in my battle with autoimmune disease.

I'm thinking it's a step forward. Next year as I get out the Thanksgiving decorations and start covering every flat surface with turkeys, perhaps I will feel better than this year. Or the same. Or worse. I'll just have to take whatever I'm given. And it will simply have to be OK.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Post Pie Malaise

Sleeping off the pie thing. See ya'll tomorrow.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving. Boom. Done.

Yep.. the turkey has been roasted, the games have been played, the annual trophy awarded, and the PIE has been eaten!

Yes. That's the way to do Thanksgiving. See y'all tomorrow.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Times Have Changed

Hm. How did Thanksgiving change from this.....

......to this?

However you choose to celebrate, have a very happy Thanksgiving! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

There's Star Wars -- And Then There's Star Wars

Are you a Star Wars fan? And are you going to see the newest in their endless parade of films? Here's the trailer of The Force Awakens set to be released in December.

While the above trailer is impressive, actually I like the Navy's spoof version much, much better. Mostly because they use REAL planes. And turn a mop bucket into a droid.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Breathe Easy

I picked up my bi-pap machine today, and I have it all set up and ready to roll. I have to admit that I'm nervous about my first session. But it looks all sleek and high tech and my nose pillows mask has a spiff purple strap. So if I hate it and end up throwing that purple strapped mask across the room in frustration tonight at least it will look good dangling from my dresser mirror.

Grr. Tried to add a pic but something isn't working.

As always, I will keep y'all posted.

Monday, November 23, 2015

One Small Success and One Big Mistake

Guys! Guess what? I was upright and conscious all the way through church today. Yep. I stayed till Magic Fingers Terese finished playing the last chord of the last hymn and slammed the cover down over the keyboard. 

I felt encouraged. And optimistic, even. So much so that I asked John to take me out shopping. 

I will leave the decision to choose the correct label, found in the title of this post, of each of these two actions to you.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Yet Another Sunday Smile

I double dog dare you not to tap your toes as you watch this. My favorite part? Check out Shirley Temple's adorable tiny feet hopping their way up the stairs.