Lupus and Fatigue: Finding the silver lining.
Some days, I hate my nap.
I haven’t thought that for a long time, mind you. I have seen such positive results from taking my daily nap, I rarely resent the time it takes away from doing other things.
But today, my kids went to the mall with my husband while I napped.
And I am sad about it.
Here’s how it unfolded:
We had an early basketball game and then a birthday party first thing this morning. We were up early, running from one to the other, juggling kids and cars. I fit in a trip to the grocery store and even returned some work emails. It had been a productive day already – so I couldn’t complain. Around 2pm, my kids reminded me that it was time for me to go up and take a nap. We were in the midst of fun, Saturday afternoon conversations – discussing a 3 min exercise to slim your calves that had us all laughing. I was reluctant to leave the great dynamic that so rarely happens with a teen and tween in the family. But when one of my daughters said I looked pale and my eyes were red, and the other gave me a hug, and I promptly rested my head on her shoulder, I knew it was time. So up I went.
At the same time I was coming up the stairs, my husband was coming down to say that he would gladly take the kids to the mall while I slept. He needed to have some pants hemmed that he’d received from Christmas; he’d love the company, and I’d love the silence. The kids were game, so off they went.
And he was right. The silence was heavenly!
I woke up almost two hours later, rested and refreshed. Best nap I’ve had in a week.
I joyously texted my husband to let him know how successful my end of the deal had been, and asked how things were going on his end.
Splendidly, he said. The alterations were a breeze, and the kids were having a blast. They were finding all kinds of stuff – but he was lamenting the fact that they hadn’t taken the kids’ Christmas gift cards with them. He mentioned a few stores they were going in and out of…and that’s when it happened.
I started to get jealous. And sad. And resentful.
Not toward my family. But toward my nap.
Why did I have to miss the fun? Why did I need to rest every day? Why couldn’t I just stay awake for a whole afternoon for once?
Why does lupus, even after 21 years, have to spoil yet another afternoon?
And it gets worse. Shortly before I texted my husband, I had decided the peace and quiet would be a good time to refill my monthly pillfolds. So not only am I not at the mall having fun with my fam, I am home, staring at pill bottles, refilling my daily lupus medications into Pillfolds.
Talk about lupus rubbing salt in the wound!
But if I focus on what I can’t do, I won’t be able to pay attention to all the things I can.
So let’s turn it around:
Right now, I am home alone, which never happens. It’s quiet. If I wanted to play music, I would get to pick the station, without anyone saying, “Alexa, skip this song.” I have complete control over what I do next. No one’s asking me to do a thing. That never happens, either.
In addition, I had such a good nap today, that I’m going to be able to make it to both of my daughters’ games tomorrow. There had been a question as to how I was going to fit in a nap with an afternoon of basketball, but now I have my solution. Because I fully gassed up today, I won’t be as reliant on a full nap tomorrow. I can cheat a little – taking a short, early nap, so that we can all drive together to attend the back to back games, as well as fit in shuttling one of my girls to a softball winter workout session after.
Wow. This afternoon of quiet, rest, and relaxation isn’t looking too shabby now.
Not to mention that my girls got to spend Daddy-daughter time together - at the mall, no less.
Don’t worry. You’re not going to get me to say that lupus is a blessing.
But when you break it down, life with lupus isn’t all that bad. It’s definitely manageable, especially when you have a supportive family around you, ushering you to rest, and prioritizing your health.
I am one lucky lady.