Vacation Flare & Paying The Price…..


Whenever my husband gets a week off from work for vacation, it’s always a fun time, filled with anticipation.  He doesn’t really care what we do, he’s just so happy to be not working.  We both look forward to time spent together.  We don’t take trips, mainly because of the expense and the time constraints.  A week is such a short time, and we don’t want the hustle and bustle of trying to squeeze in so much activity and travel in 7 short days.  So we make it spontaneous, maybe  planning a day trip to an antique shop or mall an hour away, or just hit some of the stores around the area…. or just hang out at home.  It’s pretty laid back and that’s the way we like it.

Always, though….I can count on much more activity than I’m used to.  And that always spells FLARE-UP for me.  Once the vacation begins, I am usually okay…at first.  I take my pain meds as usual, and as long as I wasn’t already in a flare up to begin with, I can usually start the vacation time out able to go and do and see.  But as the week progresses and I have been doing lots of stuff on my feet every day, all day, and sometimes into the night….trouble ensues.  Always.

Today is Thursday, Day 4 of hubby’s vacation.  My feet are screaming and my body feels black, blue and purple, like a giant bruise.  The fatigue is extreme and I find myself wanting to just go into the bedroom and close the door.  Too much sensory input along with too much activity are causing the pain signals to shoot up high into the stratosphere.  I am in trouble.  It’s only Thursday…3 more days to go before hubby returns to work.

I already told him tonight that I think that’s going to be it for me this week.  We had planned to visit the flooring center tomorrow (we are getting ready for some new flooring for our kitchen, bathroom and entry), but I seriously doubt my body will allow me to push the envelope any further.  Although I am a pro at pushing through pain, even I know when I have surpassed the extension of the boundaries and begin entering the Gates of Pain Hell.  It’s a Place to be feared, and I am approaching those Gates right now.

My husband is very understanding and knows that when I say I’ve had enough and can’t go any further, then that’s the way it is.  He knows how hard I push myself, how far beyond my limits I extend myself on a daily basis.  He tries to warn me when I seem to have gotten caught up in a “moment”….he reminds me to slow down, because I am so used to pushing through the pain when I’m absorbed in something that I don’t even realize the danger I’m in.  Over the years I have become so accustomed to excruciating pain that sometimes it doesn’t even faze me.  (people don’t understand that, and I don’t expect them to. It’s really only something that people with many years of pain under their belt can comprehend) So when I eventually get to the point of no return, it means the vacation is over, even if he still isn’t back to work yet.

Thankfully, he doesn’t complain and doesn’t push me.  Like I said, he is happy to just be at home and not having to go in to work…..he enjoys just hanging around the house, watching television, puttering in the yard or reading a book.  He is perfectly happy with whatever the agenda ends up being, and I am lucky for that.

So….as I wind down from the past 4 days, I again contemplate my illness and what it has done to my life.  It has robbed me of a lot of my spontaneity, stolen my freedom, and put me in a sort of prison….only allowing me out on “parole” once in awhile.  The rest of the time I obey the Boss and do what it allows me to do.  I rebel all the time, but the Boss always, always finds me and and tosses me back into jail.  I have learned after all these many years, that there is no use crying or fighting it.  I just have to realize that no matter what, there is always a price to pay.  A price to pay for having fun, for vacations, for life.

Most of the time, now, I am willing to pay the price so I can have a somewhat normal life.  When I say “normal” that means something much different to me than it does to someone without chronic illness.  “Normal life” now means to me, a life where even despite the often excruciating pain, I have a job, I do laundry, I clean the house, I run errands, I go shopping, I care for my cats and my husband and myself.  It’s very different from the “normal life” of someone without chronic illness…. because of that constant companion tagging along 24/7….that aggravating, annoying, irritating, maddening, buzzing, screaming pain…..that I have to struggle to ignore in order to complete my tasks, do what needs to be done, and just live.

I know there is no bartering, no wiggle room, no compromise where this is concerned.  Paying the price is part of the deal.  Either I pay the price or I can’t play the game.  So I pay.

And so I sit here in my chair, typing this out and even though I am now paying the price, and probably will be for at least the next few days, I just want to say…..we had a great four days.   🙂

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About teeks55

I'm a sleep deprived antique dealer with fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, diabetes & more. Love hubby, cats, books & humor! Avid tea drinker. Poker player. Pain fighter.
This entry was posted in Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain, Endometriosis, Fibromyalgia, Flare Up, Health, joyful living, Osteoarthritis, Plantar Fasciitis, Tendinitis. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Vacation Flare & Paying The Price…..

  1. I love your post! It is so beautifully written. I know what you mean. My hubby and I went on vacation to go hiking. They were baby hikes but a bit strenuous because we hiked into a gorge. We hiked one or two hours both days and I was conked out by 8pm both nights and went into a horrible “flare” on our first day back home. But it was totally worth it!

    I am super impressed you manage so much between job and home stuff. I am always struggling to get it all done! I am supposed to work 32 hours a week but I have been missing one day a week for the last three weeks- so I am considering leaving work. Any pointers on getting work and home stuff done?

    • teeks55 says:

      Hi Shaina, and thank you so much for the kind comments! I appreciate you taking the time to read my post.

      Vacations can present a whole crop of problems for people with chronic pain. On one hand, you are excited and anticipate the fun….and on the other hand, in the back of your mind, you know what’s coming. I always have mixed feelings when vacation time rolls around.

      Regarding managing work and home chores…it’s tough. I hate to recommend to anyone to just push through the pain like I do. I don’t listen to my body’s pain signals very well. But if I did, I would never accomplish anything. So I guess each person has to determine in their own mind what their limitations truly are.

      If you have a day when think you can handle finishing all the laundry in one day without ending up in bed for the next two weeks, I say just go ahead and do it. If not, then try to space it out over the week, doing one load a day. (that would be the smartest option) If you have a day when your back is not too stiff and painful, mop the floor THAT day. I guess it’s all a matter of rolling with the ups and downs of where your body is on any particular day, and trying to recognize when you might be able to accomplish something with the least amount of backfire. You have to be realistic and know your body extremely well. Today my body is absolutely killing me after our busy previous four days, so today I will NOT be mopping a floor or doing any laundry. LOL

      Timing is everything. If there is something you have to get done no matter what, then just bite the bullet and get it done. If it is something that is not urgent and can wait a bit, then give yourself a break and try to wait until you feel like you can handle it better. I know we don’t all have the luxury of waiting….life happens when it happens and many of us are stuck in a time frame that does not allow us to put off things for a more convenient or less painful time. But if you can pace yourself, do that. You will pay much less of a price if you are smart enough (unlike me LOL) to cooperate with the Pain Monster rather than fight him every step of the way.

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