Friday, May 14, 2010

Raining, ranting and more...

Alright, so I gotta warn you, I'm about to whine for just a little bit....

Do you ever find yourself trying to explain what you're feeling and how you compensate and try to avoid flares to family and friends just to have them completely disregard what you are trying to tell them...that you know your body, the reaction that you're experiencing, the progression that is inevitable and the steps you have to make to avoid complete disaster...just to have them shake their heads, give you some "helpful advice" and think they've solved your problem? I know...if you've experienced any type of chronic illness, it happens to you all the time. In fact, it may be so common to you that you just nod, maybe say a less than sincere thank you and move on to something else. I've had that conversation at least four times in the last month or so and have gotten increasingly annoyed at every conversation. It's not that I don't appreciate the fact that they care and want to help--I do! But seriously? I've been living with this for NINE years....I know what I'm feeling, I know what it means, and I know what works. And the advise given is usually something any normal sane person would find a reasonable suggestion, but again...I know what works, and believe me...if simple and reasonable worked, I would so be there. does not. Let me explain...or can decide later. :)

As I've mentioned a couple of times on here, my sister and our friend Elizabeth (my one and only follower! Thanks E!) have been trying to be proactive about getting our exercise lately and have been going down to the peninsula to walk almost every day...if it's not raining (or Wednesday) we try to make it. It's also been raining off and on for the last two months...which has been KILLING me... seriously... its ridiculous... and it needs to end already...but anyway, back to my story... We're walking one day and we get to talking-somehow, I'm not sure how- about my standard Saturday morning routine. I'm a late night person, have been for years, and try as I may, I can not fall asleep before midnight. Can Not. I've tried...believe me, I've tried, I end up laying there for hours just waiting as the time slowly passes and I give up and move on to something else. Unless I'm practically out of my mind in a flare, sleep before midnight does not happen.

I've read many blogs about fellow RA and Lupus sufferers having to take naps during the day, go part time or stop working in order to compensate for the extra stress and fatigue chronic illness brings along as our constant companion. However, as a young professional, with a mountain of school loans, I don't have the luxury of sleeping in on a weekday, or taking daily naps, or even cutting my hours--also, as a single person, I need the full time status to keep and have medical coverage--and we all know how crucial that is... So to compensate for all of that, and because at the end of the busy week I'm usually exhausted, I use Saturday morning to sleep in and "recharge". I make up all the sleep I needed throughout the week and push back the clock on that countdown to flareups that inevitably comes if I overdo it. It may not be normal, but then nothing about my health has been normal in the last nine years. It works for me.

And so I'm trying to explain why I sleep in and why it works, and I get the standard answer--I get it from my mother and sister all the time, and no matter how many times I try to explain it, it still seems to be their miracle answer. "You just need to go to bed earlier..." I know...WHY didn't I ever think of that?? Seriously... And so I explain, again...why that doesn't work. But for some reason, they don't seem to get it. And I don't understand why. It's my body and while they've recently change my diagnosis, I've still been living with the same thing for the last nine years. I know what it feels like when I'm overdoing it, or about to. I know when I'm about to go to far or I need to slow down. I know when I need to take the time to sleep in, to avoid getting sick or completely mess up the way I've been feeling. I know. It may not make sense to anyone else, but it does to me. Because I live with it everyday. And I think that should count for something....don't you?

I'm just sick of having the same conversation, having to defend the fact that I don't usually get up before 10 on a Saturday morning...sometimes later if its really been a bad week, and getting the same old advice about what I'm doing wrong. Again, I know they're trying to help, and I know they want to understand and help me out, and they are some of the most supportive people I have in my life, but sometimes it just gets way too annoying.... And this concludes my ranting of the day... :)

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