A few nights ago, I hosted my book club (a group of 6-7 ladies) for our monthly meeting. I hadn't hosted since last September, and what a difference seven months makes!
The last time I hosted, I was a lupus mess. I had been in a flare for several weeks, had upped all of my medications, and was struggling to make it through each day. The joint pain and fatigue had reached an all-time high, so I knew I had to alter my lifestyle if I was going to make it through. That included keeping social engagements and dinner parties to a minimum...but I was determined to make my book club meeting an exception. Back in the fall, it was really important to my own emotional health and wellness that I be able to make it work, so I made some major adjustments so that I could do it: I ordered take out instead of making a slew of homemade goodies; I let the house look a little less than perfect without fretting about it, and I hired a babysitter to help right up until my guests arrived to make things as simple as possible. I even let my sister (and later, Johnny) do most of the clean up, because I simply didn't have the energy to make it happen. I had to take a few extra days to put the house back together, but I truly didn't mind taking it slow and steady. I felt no worse off than I normally would...so it was a success in my book. I was just so happy to host!
Fast forward to this past week, and I was a hostess dynamo! Being flare-free, a lack of energy and increased fatigue weren't concerns at all. I was able to make everything from scratch - something that I love to do - and was able to experiment with new recipes that I'd been dying to try. I even threw in a last minute dessert because I was feeling so great and spontaneous (something I would NEVER feel mid-flare!) Of course, I made sure I had help cleaning the house the day of (thank you, cleaners), got in a solid afternoon nap, and prepped the night before and the day of to make sure that I didn't overdo it the night of the event.
But before, during, and after the meeting, I felt absolutely fabulous. I was even able to tackle the dishes after everyone left, still getting in bed before my 10:30pm curfew. The most important thing? I woke up the next morning feeling just as great as I have been. And to top it off, I had just finished a 2.5 mg prednisone taper a few days before. Such a relief to feel so good!
Making a direct comparison from one hosting event to another made two things quite clear: first, last fall, I was pretty sick, and second, I've made some serious progress. Here's hoping I can stay on the straight and narrow to be able to host again, under the same great health conditions!