Made it to the New Year!

The holidays went well and I’ve been in a cocoon ever since.  I made it to all three days of Christmas activities.  The first night, Christmas Eve, was also the first night of Hanukah so we got to light the menorah with my aunt and uncle.  It was pretty special! Christmas day was a marathon of present opening at my parent’s place.  My nephew got so much stuff and watching him enjoy Christmas brought me enough smiles to last me a long time.  It really is such a wondrous time watching him go from baby to toddler and I am cherishing these moments.  My in-laws were very understanding about my low energy and we were able to celebrate with them the day after Christmas and have a lovely meal.  I totally made Christmas happen, but I also needed to just rest afterwards.  Weather has been fluctuating and I have been having some pretty hard to function days in the aftermath, but this is is not a surprise this time of year.

Handling socializing three days in a row meant that I got symptomatic at each event and had to figure out how to handle it.  It’s the time just after eating that always knocks me out- all my blood seems to vacate my brain to go work on digesting food in my abdomen.  At my aunt and uncle’s, I laid down in their family room while everyone else chatted at the dining table.  It was nice to have a quiet place to regroup.  At my parent’s house, I just sort of curled up in a ball on the couch while they continued with activity around me.  I feel that takes a certain comfort level for me that can be rare.  At my mother-in-laws, it was such a small gathering and I wasn’t sure what to do when I started fading out.  Everyone kept asking how I was and what I needed, and we tried propping up my feet at first.  Eventually, we ended up going home.  I think I was especially wiped out on day three there.  I’m glad I am finding more ways to be able to socialize and that I am getting a little more comfortable with family, particularly extended family, seeing me symptomatic.  Hiding my symptoms isn’t really possible anymore without just hiding at home.  It’s harder sometimes to get rest when not in my own home, but it’s something that I can sometimes do in the right setting and under the right circumstances.

In other news, we signed the lease and made our payments for leasing the one-story home we found.  We move in February and I am so excited.  It is so helpful to have this to look forward to as I try to make it through some of these more challenging days.  Every time I take the dreaded stairs here, I get to think about how that won’t be a trouble for me soon!  Also, I haven’t felt well enough to do a lot of my favorite things, even some of the easier stuff- I’ve pretty much been hanging out resting.  So, I have been keeping myself quite entertained by looking at furniture and decor pictures online as I brainstorm about how to decorate the new place.  Did I mention how much I adore home decorating?!?  It’s just really helping me to keep those creative juices flowing and that positive thinking going, even when I’ve been having some knock-out fatigue and high pain days back to back.  Once I get some measurements and access to the home, maybe I will include some of my home decorating journey here.  I’m thinking of using my wedding as design inspiration for the living room- the options abound!  One of the things I’m really pleased about is all the new square footage- which is great since I am home most of the time.  This will allow me to have comfy places to hang out in multiple places in the home.  Right now, I pretty much have one spot I sit in and I get a bit of cabin fever with that.  Soon I can have a change of scenery by going to another room.

My medical journey is on a little bit of an accidental hold at the moment.  We switched insurance and the new insurance kicked in on the first.  I’m supposed to be setting up on my new insurance, but I already lost my insurance card.  Hubby will request a new on for me on Monday.  I was able to finish up some things with the old insurance before the switch.  During my woman wellness exam, the doctor found a lump in my breast that she wanted checked out.  I wasn’t too worried because I had a CT or PET scan this summer for monitoring for my Castleman’s Disease (yay, no recurrence of tumor!) and nothing showed up then.  Still, I wanted to do the follow up tests before the insurance switch.  I was able to get in.  I had my first breast ultrasound and my first mammogram.  Everything came back normal and it looks like I have a regular breast cyst with no need for follow up.  So glad to not have to worry about that!

Despite holding off on my own medical stuff, I can anticipate some stressful times coming up.  For example, my mother-in-law will be having her open heart surgery scheduled sometime soon and this wild card already has me terrified.  I really want to stay positive and be ready to provide support to her, my husband, and the family.  I can already imagine how hard it may be for my husband to worry about me and my health.  The worries of a parent undergoing surgery can be very overwhelming, this I know firsthand.  And the family has already undergone so much stress and loss recently.  The timing of our move could overlap with the surgery, which could be problematic.  And I have no idea what her recovery will look like.  My brother-in-law will be in a support roll when she goes home, so I feel some relief about that.  And she has such a good attitude about it and seems really confident.  I can see she’s trying to set a good tone and I think that’s very thoughtful of her.  I just want to find that good balance where I do my best to be supportive and helpful to all involved and do my best not to add stress or worries.

We do have some fun stuff coming up soon.  We have a lot of January birthdays in my family.  Festivities have yet to be planned, but I look forward to whatever the birthday folks decide.  My sister and mother share a birthday.  They’re putting together some plans for themselves.  My dad and I will babysit my nephew while the birthday girls are out.  I’m still not babysitting by myself, but my dad and I make a pretty good team together.  I do the stuff low to the ground and he does the walking around stuff- we make it work!

Despite that fact that we’re in a new year, I’m still approaching life the same as before.   I’m not one for new year resolutions.  I want to be intentional about caring about my life and my decisions every day.  I’m doing better about pacing, but not finding that it’s helping me to see more energy or better health days.  I find that I have very little control of my actual physical health, but will work hard towards better health despite that.  I will work even harder on my mental health since that is where I have the most control.  My efforts to be thankful continue to help me to feel that appreciation for all that good stuff I have going.  Gratitude has been the most powerful tool I have found, and for that, I am truly thankful. 😉

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