Saturday, November 24, 2012

Grandmother's Adventure

I wanted to come home after three and a half days of being with my daughter, son-in-law, and seven grandchildren and tell you I feel great, that I paced myself so well I got all the rest I needed.  I told my husband that I had always promised to tell you the truth;   and I want to give you a glossy, spiffed up me instead of the truth that I am exhausted.  By the time I got out of the car in our driveway, I could barely walk.    After sitting in the car for two and  one half hours, I could barely move my knees.  It's a good thing I took my cane with me.  I needed it for going up steps and down steps, also for getting out of chairs.

The knee thing is a little more than my regular fibromyalgia.  I sat down in a chair Monday to put on my socks and shoes, and I felt something snap on the outside of my knee.  Of course, because I am favoring my right knee, now my left knee hurts too.  Since I am home now, I can rest and have some quiet, but I still miss the pitter-patter of little feet around me.   So this afternoon, I have watched Christmas movies, tried to write, and also almost fallen asleep several times.  Right now, we are watching The Canadian Tenors on PBS, and I have tears in my eyes.  The emotion that wells up in me as they sing in my super-fatigued state is almost too much, but how can I not listen to the glorious music?

So what can I tell you about balancing your life and pacing yourself?  Do the best you can;  but sometimes, you have to be the yourself and live with the consequences.  When special moments come to spend with children or grandchildren, it is almost impossible to hold back, unless you are already totally exhausted.  I planned as much as I could, giving myself plenty of time to cook my casserole and pies.  I was totally unstressed the day we left.  I do not remember any time in my life I have felt less stressed, than when we left on Wednesday.    However, my body thought differently.
I had decided to work in my art journal, and all of a sudden
I became the center of interest.  It started with our 3 year old
grandson joining me and painting with markers, then switching
to my watercolors.  A couple of the older children wanted a
demonstration of automatic drawing, which was not what I
had planned at all.   You can guess what happened.  Coloring the
automatic drawing became a kind of free for all.  Know what --
it was absolutely wonderful.  We had fun!

Even though my daughter has quiet times for the children everyday and even though I took naps everyday, the seemingly constant motion of family in and out and around tired me out.  I enjoyed all the special times with them.  We read, we walked  outside, we played with the dog, played basketball, and made Christmas decorations. They even helped me paint in my art journal after some of the children did their own pictures.  We did spread these activities out, and my basketball playing was limited to throwing a few baskets.

One thing that made me really happy was I could not have done the things we did a year ago.  That seems to be the nature of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia;  therefore, I plan to pace myself in my daily life and enjoy the special moments.  Right now, I am saying it is worth the way I feel now, if my grandchildren have good memories of our times with them.  Also, they know that I put out extra for them, that I cannot do the things I did several years ago.  When knees and other parts of the body do not work right and one is using a cane, it becomes an obvious picture of ill health.  Love covers many of the downsides of too much activity, and this was one of those times.

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It's always lovely hearing from you. xoxo, Deborah