That's right -at the end of my rheumatologist's appointment last week, my doctor declared that my next appointment would be...drum roll please...3 full months away! Yippee! I've been to the doctor as frequently as every 2 weeks (for months at a time) and as infrequently as 8 weeks, but never 3 months. How psyched am I! What am I going to do with all my free time?
Uh oh. I just realized that with that kind of attitude (the Seek and Destroy-Accomplishmania attitude), I'm going to land myself right back into a mini flare...which would, no doubt, result in, you guessed it, more doctor's appointments.
So I suppose my goal should be to stay healthy enough to keep my appointments 3 months apart. Alright - so if that's my goal, what are the three action items I need to do to make that happen?
1) Nap every day - no less than an hour and a half each day. I've just started a new napping strategy, and it seems to be working. Here it is: if I haven't started a nap by 3:00pm, then I'm not allowed to leave the house (to run the countless errands I have on my to-do list). I have to stick around so that I can fit in a full hour and a half nap before my babysitter leaves at 5pm. Last week, I had to totally revamp my plans every single day, (because I ALWAYS try to fit in more than I can accomplish on any given day), but I had my nap. And I felt wonderful.
2) Go to bed each night by 11pm. Oooh - that's a tough one for me. Not impossible, but very difficult. Right around 10:15pm each night, I think of about 29 loose ends that I want to tie up before retiring for bed. I usually end up falling into bed just before midnight. (Note that Deirdre doesn't get up until after 8am most mornings...so I'm still getting 8 hours. But I actually need 9.) Maybe I'll employ a trick I suggest in my book - I won't start by knocking off a full hour of sleep. Rather, I'll just shoot for 11:45pm for 3-5 nights in a row. Then, I'll go for 11:30pm for another 3-5 days. If I continue to shave 15 minutes off of my bedtime each night, within two weeks, I'll have reached my goal. And my loose ends won't have unraveled, I'm sure.
3) Engage in a relaxing activity at least three times a week - that could be taking a walk with Darwin (remember - he's a pug, so there's no sprinting involved), painting my toenails, or asking Johnny to practice the piano while Deirdre and I just sit and listen. Taking time out for myself (and spending quality time with my family) keeps me balanced, happy, and healthy. That should keep me out of the doctor's office, don't you think?
If you have any tips for living well and keeping your doctor's appointments spaced out - let me know. I'd love to hear from you!