Tuesday, December 23, 2014

How Are You Holding Up?

Can you tell I've had this recipe for years? 

With the holidays in full swing, how are you feeling?

I'm finding that my earlier energy boosts have diminished somewhat. I suspect that adrenaline may have been a contributing factor to some of my highs. Have y'all noticed that whenever you get fired up about something for whatever reason, and your adrenaline kicks in, suddenly the fatigue thing goes away? Completely? And very temporarily?

 I've noticed that when this happens, and then whatever triggered that adrenaline rush is over, the crash that follows is epic. With unfortunately far too many epic crashes in my past, I think that I'm finally learning to recognize that artificial burst of energy for what it is: completely biochemically induced and that it's fleeting. So I'm trying to ignore those rushes when they start. An example: We had a Christmas gathering the other night with Greg and Terese and company; and I was excited and happy to host the party.

I have always loved a party.

Instead of rushing around last minute exploiting that adrenaline push to decorate and clean, I started slowly preparing the day or two before by gradually preparing whatever I could ahead of time. Like the fudge. Mmmmmm.....fudge........

(Which ended up creating an epic incident for reasons other than an adrenaline crash considering the amount of milk and butter that populate each piece of delicious, creamy, chocolatey, sweet............uh............what was my point here? Ah. Yes. Dairy induced GI distress.)

The preparing ahead strategy worked pretty well. In my pre coming-to-my-senses-about-my-limitations life, I would have waited until about an hour before go-time to do this stuff. Our plans included going out for dinner, ogling the neighbors' Christmas lights, and then returning to our house to have dessert, exchange gifts and commence the other Merry Christmas type activities. All of which we did and had a grand time. I walked into the house with everyone for dessert, and was thankful that the teensy part of my brain that thought ahead and prodded me to pace myself was successful in making itself heard. Because all I had to do after critiquing the other Christmas light displays was pull a few things out from the refrigerator (like my fudge, which turned out amazingly good this year) and punch the BREW NOW button on the coffeemaker.

Am I tired today? Yes. Am I crashing? No. Do I wish I wouldn't have eaten a zillion pieces of fudge?

Oh. My. Gosh. Yes.

So. How are things going for you? I really want to know. Tips? Survival ideas? Embarrassing stories?

C'mon. Share.

In return, I'll share my fudge recipe:

*Yes. This recipe contains obscene amounts of butter and sugar. Use it all anyway. Doesn't turn out if you skimp.*

Joanne's Fanny Farmer Fudge

Line a 9x13 inch pan with foil or parchment paper.

4 ½ C white sugar
1 pound good quality salted butter
1 - 13oz. can of whole evaporated milk
18 oz. good quality semi sweet chocolate
1 Tablespoon good real vanilla
1 ½ C chopped nuts

In a heavy large saucepan, bring evaporated milk and sugar to a full rolling boil. Cook for a full ten minutes at rolling boil.
Remove from heat.
Add butter and let melt. Stir for two minutes.
Add chocolate and beat with a hand mixer at medium to high speed for ten minutes.
Beat in vanilla; fold in nuts.

Pour into prepared pan and chill to firm up. Using sharp knife, cut into bite sized pieces. Devour.


Christine said...

Thanks for writing about this. The adrenaline thing happens to me frequently with special events. I am grateful for it because it gets me through and I enjoy the event more, but then people think that it means I have control over it all the time, which couldn't be further from the truth. And like you said, then there is the crash..

mcspires said...

Thanks for writing this. It was one of those "Aha!" moments for me. I had not adrenaline being what is getting me through on occasion. I also agree with Christine above, when one of these episodes happens, I think people think I am faking the Sjogren's. How can I expect others to understand when I am still learning myself. I usually do the pacing thing, but this year my son had surgery Dec. 11th, and it put me behind. I am just doing one day at a time, and taking breaks.

stephanie said...

Thanks for asking, Julia. I am doing great right now, after 6 months of struggling with various joint pains, eye problems and fatigue coming and going every week. But it has nothing to do with planning or pacing myself (which I am good at these days). December has just suddenly become a "good season" (as my husband says) for me physically, and I am grateful for every moment of it. And pain or no pain, every moment is precious! It's a good day to be alive! Best wishes for you and yours on Christmas and for the new year!

Shara from Seattle said...

Happy Holidays Julia. After having my toe nails and carpal tunnel surgery, astounding my doctors and myself with super healing scars, I'm pooped. Then my thumb knuckle has been seizing and will need a steroid shot. Can't see the doctor till the 9th of Jan so am wearing a splint. The very worst has been the fight I am having trying to get my Rxs filled. I think my Pharmacist has a mental problem. He shorted me half of my mexaltrexate, said that he had been giving me too much and that he won't give it to me. I am having to send Russell down to demonstrate the dose and prove that I only get two shots out of one vial. He can't understand the instructions on the vial! He was yelling at me as if I had screwed up a shot I have been taking for 4 years. That has wore me out. Then Molina my insurance company has been threatening me with letters asking what accident I was in. Come to find out after a few stray f bombs that they send all of our insurance information for a bunch of lawyers to riff through looking for symptoms that might possibly be related to an accident and they send you a form demanding this information in a threatening way if you ignore such rubbish that I have already filled out through the years for DHS. My moods are swinging around because I had to start using my prednizone. To top it all off, I had to travel to Everett to see a pain doctor to get my zanaflex and hydrocodone. She gave me a script for 2 more grams to my medication. when I sent Sam to pick it up, it was $500.00. Have you tried to call your doctor today? I was leaving messages all over and waiting until the phone line cut me off after ten minutes. I'm glad I have other drugs to rely on in that department but I won't be thrilled if another script isn't waiting for me. Hey, other than that....

Nancy Joyce said...

2012 Christmas-totally overdid it. My response? Family cruise Christmas 2013. Wonderful! Since we can't afford to do this annually (6 adults! Mucho $$!) I am working hard to keep it "simpler". A slow recovery from pneumonia has forced me to say no to several things, and I am doing what is very hard for me....asking for help! Even though it's more work to stay home, it does feel most Christmasy to be home. I'm looking forward to the next 48 hours of busy family life and plan to crash on Saturday ! Merry Christmas!!