During our recent travels - there was one day when I just couldn't get in a nap at my regular nap time. Due to travel constraints/train schedules/etc., we simply couldn't prevent being on the road (or make that, the tracks) during my nap time. Good thing was that we knew it was going to happen, so we prepared for it as best we could. I slept in that morning, and planned on turning in early that night - but if you're like me, it doesn' t matter how much sleep you get the night before...when your body needs a nap, it needs to nap.
Once things settled down on the train, I was able to tear away from Johnny and Deirdre for a 30min late afternoon nap, and once we arrived at our destination, I took another 30min early evening nap. But I'm telling you - once you get behind on sleep, it's very, very, very hard to catch up. In fact, I don't think it would have mattered how many mini naps I'd taken that day - once I let the fatigue set in, it was hard to fight off. It always is.
Don't get me wrong, (and Mom, don't worry) - I didn't get sick, or feel crummy, or, as mentioned in an earlier post, have any swellings, joint pain or lupus symptoms at all due to that the lack of this one nap. But just like I've done in the past, I had to make absolutely sure that the next day, I made time for a nap. It's kind of like my friend told me one time, as mentioned in my book - you can indulge yourself by "cheating" a little bit with lupus now and again, but you must do it wisely. Or else.
So, that's just what I did. Johnny made sure I got my proper rest the next day (and then some) and my body didn't skip a beat. What's crazy to me is that every day for the past 6 years, I've taken a nap, and not really thought about the fact that I even have fatigue - because the nap ... drumroll, please ... PREEMPTS the fatigue. Of course, this incident reminds me just how much easier prevention really makes things. PREEMPTING that fatigue is simple; FIGHTING it off is a whole different animal.
I particularly like the sense of control I feel when I PREEMPTIVELY and strategically strike up against lupus. Making a move before things get out of hand is just so...gratifying. Here are just a few examples of the PREEMPTIVE moves I've made this week in order to stay one step ahead of that nasty little thing called lupus:
--Skipped the last two errands on my list, because I knew the extra 30 minutes would push me over the edge, past my nap time and into zombie land.
--Bowed out of a social engagement, because I could just feel my body beginning to fade. And if I was fading before the party even began, think of the condition I'd be in an hour from then!
--Asked my husband to take out the dog/do the dishes/put Deirdre to bed, etc. because I was just too tired at the end of the day. It doesn't happen very often, but sometimes, you just need a pass, you know?
--Declined a future book signing because it would have been too taxing to handle with my previously scheduled engagements.
And, of course, proactively scheduling my nap every afternoon in order to ward off lupus fatigue has been the best, preemptive move yet. For I never, if ever (or at least, very rarely) experience even a twinge of fatigue. That's what it's like to feel normal. And what lupite doesn't want to feel normal!
Think you may want to make "PREEMPT" one of your favorite words?