Thursday, April 28, 2016
Living with a Chronic Illness...Crash Day
I recently wrote a post on living with a chronic illness and I was overwhelmed with the support that I found among so many of you that have contacted me both privately and in your responses here at my blog. SJ asked me if I could do a blog post on what supplements I am taking that help me and that is in the works for next week. ;)
This week I have been pushing myself to get everything done for my parents visit tomorrow. They are coming for a long weekend and we will be having the entire family out here for several meals and some fun family time. That, along with the normal craziness of throwing all the extra time and energy that have to be put into the yard and garden (the weeds are taking over here fast), have worn me out. I overdid it and am now paying for it big time. I "crashed" today. I thought I would share with you what a crash day is like when you still have to get things done.
Last night I fell asleep quickly (which is not like me at all and should have been my first clue that today was going to be the big crash). I slept for 7 hours, which again is not like me since I usually average about 5 hours a night. For me, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, combined with menopause, makes sleeping very difficult, even when I am exhausted. This complicates things and makes it even worse since your body needs lots of rest with this particular illness. I woke up at 9 this morning and felt like I had been hit by a truck...a very large truck. :P
After I got some coffee, I emailed my mother to see if they were indeed going to be coming over. Yesterday I got an email from my mother telling me that she had been sick with a bad cold and if she was still feeling the same or worse, they would be cancelling their trip over here and we would reschedule it for a different time. She had given us the option of cancelling them coming over also. We emailed back and forth because my hubby and I still wanted them to come (she is past the contagious stage) if she felt up to it but we would understand if they had to cancel. I explained to her that I was having a crash day, but that I should be better tomorrow if I rested today. Bless my wonderful mother's heart, she told me they were coming and that I was to take it easy today and not worry about getting the house all cleaned because they just wanted to come and see us. We are what is important, not how the house looks. ;) She is so amazingly supportive of me and knows how this illness takes it's toll.
Anyway, I still knew that there were some things that had to be done today to make things easier for everyone this weekend. So I got my very achy and tired self up off the couch and got two large pots of water boiling. Into one of the pots went the rest of the deli chicken to make homemade chicken soup and into the other went 2 boxes of penne pasta. While those boiled, I cut up the veggies that were to go into the soup and dug out 2 bags of pasta that just had a bit left in them. By then I felt like I needed a nap but I powered through and grated up a pound of Mozzarella cheese for the pasta dish. My hands ached while I grated the cheese, but it needed to be done. I got the chicken out of the pot so it could cool and threw the veggies into it. By this time the larger pot with the penne pasta was ready to be drained so I got that lifted up (it was heavy) and put the noodles into the colander to drain and then put the pot back on the stove and got 2 packages of Italian sausage browning in it. I used my potato masher to break up the sausage and by this time my back and arms were hurting so badly that I wanted to cry. I added some minced garlic to the sausage and let that go for awhile. While that was cooking away, I added the other noodles to the soup pot and got busy picking and shredding the chicken meat and throwing that back in the soup. My son Jaysn called while I was doing all of this and although I would have loved to have a long chat with him, it was taking everything I had to concentrate on cooking so I had to end our phone call before I would have liked to. :( Finally the sausage was cooked so I added 2 large cans of spaghetti sauce to it and let that simmer while I wrestled the largest baking pan I had out of the cupboard. I'm afraid I woke my hubby up with all the noise I was making and felt like I had been beat up while maneuvering it out from the top shelf way in the back. I finally got it out, sprayed it with some cooking oil and then added the grated cheese to the pasta and sauce mixture and then put all that into the large baking pan. By then I was done...totally spent...collapsed on the couch.
My sweet hubby got up shortly after all this (he sleeps during the day since he works the graveyard shift) and kindly cleared out space in the refrigerator for me to get the big container of soup and the huge tray of pasta into the fridge. I then told him about my parents coming over and that I had told them not to call Friday morning before they headed out since he would be sleeping and I would be running over to get his paycheck and then taking it to the bank. Jeff gently told me that I would not have to run his check over to the bank and that we had already had a conversation about how he would just get it Friday night and we could deposit it on Saturday morning since we would be in town. At this point I was a bit confused and then remembered the conversation and again wanted to cry out of frustration because of this darned "brain fog" that is again part of this illness. He could see that I was about to lose it and listened to me as I expressed how frustrating this illness is to live with. I told him what the rest of my "to do" list was like baking banana bread and that I would do that tomorrow and a few things left to do today. He again gently reminded me that I had some banana bread in the freezer and told me that he would take care of the other things on the list for me. I honestly would be lost without this man.
So here it is about 2 this afternoon and that wonderful man of mine is in the kitchen cleaning it up while I am curled up on the couch with heavy eyes, an aching back and neck, arms and legs that feel like lead weights and am fighting back tears of frustration. My brain is in fog mode and I just want to feel normal and be able to think clearly. Days like these are horribly frustrating and depressing. I am very thankful that I am usually a pretty upbeat and positive person because if I were not, I could see how this could lead to terrible depression. I have to remind myself that this too will pass or I would go into a horrible downward spiral emotionally.
I think I am going to end this post here and go curl up in bed for awhile. The tears are welling up again (out of frustration and pain) and I'm in serious need of a nap. Tomorrow should be a better day so I am holding onto that. Such is life with this illness of mine.