Friday, January 10, 2014

Momentum lost, but health preserved. Listening to my lupus body!

Every Thursday at noon, I drop my girls off at their aunt's house for an afternoon of fun with their cousins. It's a glorious arrangement we have, my sister and I. She drops her kid(s) off at my house on Tuesday afternoons, and my kids go to her house on Thursday afternoons. Because my girls are in school on Thursday mornings from 9-12pm, I basically have an entire day to myself. I'm able to get so much accomplished - free of interruption - and have a great time doing it. And I know the girls are having just as much fun.

Yesterday was one of those fabulous days. It was a bit different, because in the morning, I chaperoned Bernie's field trip to a nearby high school for a little kid's concert. (I love when we have the opportunity to do that!) But come 12pm, it was off to Aunt Katie's for an afternoon of fun. As we were driving over to my sister's house, I was already imagining the handful of work calls I was going to make once I'd dropped the girls off. In my head, I'd prioritized the emails I was going to respond to, and had already mapped out the retailers I was going to follow up with, now that their holiday Pillbag inventory had been (hopefully) diminished. I had it all planned out - every minute of the afternoon, up until my nap, with big plans to maximize the hour or two after I woke up. I tell you - it was going to be a productive day, if ever there was one. 

But then, lupus happened. 

As I was driving home, with wonderful thoughts of to-do's being checked off in my head, I started to yawn. Not once, but several times. And then I started to feel a little fatigued. And I got a little blurry eyed. And then I realized I was ready for my nap. 

Ugh! And on the cusp of an explosive two hours of accomplishment-mania! Of course, I was probably a little hungry, too, since I hadn't eaten lunch yet, but really, this was just my normal afternoon fatigue setting in. I think my body just allowed it to creep in earlier, simply because it could.

So as this was all taking place on the 10-minute drive home, I had a choice to make: give in to the fatigue by taking an immediate nap, or push through the exhaustion to get a few things done. And you know how tempting the latter can be! 

In the first three minutes of the drive, I relented to strike the calls from my to-do list, but still vowed to tend to the emails and retailers. During the next three minutes, I deduced that the retailers, too, could wait, but that the emails would be easy enough to knock out before taking a nap. But during those last three minutes of the ride, I wised up and decided to truly listen to what my body was telling me. 

It was tired. It wanted to rest. It didn't want to struggle through those emails. It didn't want to squint to see the computer screen through tired eyes. It didn't want to sluggishly type responses that may or may not have made sense. It wanted to go to bed. And I had an entire afternoon of peace and quiet, the perfect setting for an early and successful nap. Was I really going to deny myself the nap of all naps? 

(Oh man. What if I'd actually said "yes" to that question? I think I'd have to fire myself from this blog!) 

Thankfully, I chose wisely. I agreed not to deny my body of the thing it so desperately needed right then. I arrived home, content with my decision to make a quick sandwich and then go right up to bed. Darwin was waiting for me when I got there - ready and willing to put his busy work day on hold to help me nap. 

More than two hours later, I woke up - completely refreshed, feeling proud and, if you can believe it, productive. I had truly "accomplished" what I needed to that day: taking care of myself, despite lupus. The real task on every lupite's agenda!  

6 comments:

Katie Rice said...

I'm glad you didn't have to fire yourself. That would've been awkward.

Keep up the great job of managing lupus!

Sara Gorman said...

Indeed. HR would have gotten involved, and that's always messy. :)

simplegal said...

Hi Sarah,

I'm a lupus patient too from the Philippines. Just diagnosed last Aug 2013. Found your blog when searching about plaquenil. I hope I can blog also about my disease. I love the blog domain despite lupus. Thanks for the inspiration. Keep posting! Cheers!

Hazel

Sara Gorman said...

Good to hear from you, Hazel! I know you can blog, too - once you're ready, let me know and I'll be sure to follow along. There can never be enough folks out there talking about lupus! Take care - SG

Danielle Quested said...

Sara I just want to thank you so much for your blogs. Like you I first became unwell after my wedding and was eventually diagnosed with Lupus three months ago. Life has turned upside down and I began to resent myself whenever I felt completely exhausted but your words put everything into perspective and whenever im afraid of the future your blogs are my light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you again!

Sara Gorman said...

Danielle - Thanks so much for you nice comments! So glad you're able to keep reading - those first few months can be so tricky to work through everything. Let me know if you have any other questions. I'm happy to help along the way!