Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The lupus nap: early and often

What a busy month! I didn't even have a chance to plug Lupus Awareness Month (which was the month of May, by the way). My travels took me away from the homestead (and my computer) for several weeks out of the month, so I wasn't able to blog as much as I'd hoped. However, I'm back now, and we don't have much significant travel planned for a month or so. Ideally, my posts will be back in action.

But don't think I haven't been thinking of you - I may have been doing the whole planes, trains and automobiles thing, but I was actually just gathering fodder for the blog. I'm all stocked up on how to travel with lupus, how to deal with the sun and lupus, and how to potty train with lupus (yes, we've officially started.) I'm full of editorials...so be sure to check back early and often.

Speaking of...I had the opportunity to put my Travel 101 tips to use recently, which includes (if not centers around) the theory of napping early and often. Try that, and these others on for size:

1) When making my travel arrangements, I opted to fly during the girls' naps, not mine. I had the choice of flying in the middle of Bernie's morning nap, flying during the end of Deirdre's nap, or flying during my nap. I decided to choose the first option, which basically meant Bernie drew the shortest straw. But she adjusted great, and fell asleep on both our outbound and return flights. Coming back was definitely better than going...I think both mom and baby figured out the whole flight/bottle/air pressure/entertainment/sleep thing at the same time. She's officially a good flyer...which makes our flight plans to London this summer look all the more enticing.

2) I banked on the fact that I would be exhausted the day after I arrived on vacation, so I asked my dad to schedule our plans accordingly. The original plan was to hop in the car and drive 2 hours to go visit family the day after we arrived, but I just knew it would have been a little too much to handle. As it turned out, I made that day after a two-napper day (see #5), so traveling anywhere to do much of anything really would have crimped my style (and left me feeling crummy.) Three cheers for good decision-making and planning! (I also ended up skipping a rendezvous with a friend that I was attempting to fit in the actual day I arrived...what had I been thinking!)

3) I scheduled our plans so that the day before I left to come home, we didn't travel anywhere or do much of anything. Once again, I knew that I needed to rest up the day before we flew, so the midday plans I'd originally made for that day with my girlfriend and her family had to fall by the wayside. It worked out well in the end (see #4), but I had to make the difficult, upfront decision to just say no.

4) I took my family and friends up on their offer to come visit. It was phenomenal!

5) Lastly, but most importantly, I napped...early and often. That is, when I felt tired (particularly the day after I flew), I didn't wait for the clock to determine when I needed a nap. I just stopped what I was doing, told Paola or my mom or dad that I needed to nap, and then did just that. I NEVER usually do that...I always wait until my pre-determined afternoon nap time, and then I just make it a really good one. But not this time. I didn't want to get behind, so I napped EARLY. On top of that, I didn't assume that the early nap should take the place of my normal nap.  In fact, I didn't just nap once, but twice that day after flying, napping both EARLY and OFTEN. I kept up the practice for the week...resting when and if I needed to. I listened to what my body was telling me, rather than what my mind wanted to do. And it worked.

Of course, I'd had a bit of a symptom scare the week before I left, which I'll tell you about in an upcoming post, so I had my reasons for taking extra good care of myself. You know how that goes...all we need is a little disease activity to keep us on the straight and narrow!

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