Ya know when you're on Facebook and you get those really annoying messages from your "friends" or you're walking down the street and you get that comment from the family member or you overhear that snickering behind your back from the acquaintance? Well, I've been getting a lot of those lately and I just want to clear the air on two particular areas of interest in my life right now: dressing up and having fun.
Apparently, if I do either of those things, stop the presses, my sickness is gone and over with, done, that's all folks. Apparently, I'm not allowed to maintain the simple pleasures and dignities of being a young adult female without having my chronic illness status questioned. Heck just in between these two sentences I fell asleep accidentally complete with drooling on myself and everything for about 30 minutes, uncontrollably. I'm sick, in fact, very sick today. Fever, aches, sore throat, chills, on and on. Today on top of my chronic illnesses I also have what I call "real people sick" but ya know what I still got told by some visitors to my house that I look good and look better than I have in a long time. Then one quickly corrected herself and said, "I don't know if you actually feel good, but you look like you feel good."
But let me tell ya why I like to look good even if inside my body is going crazy and feels like I'm dying. Because there is a quote out there that says, "if you look good, you feel good, and if you feel good, you do good things," and I always like to do good things and looking good really does help you feel better if not physically, but at least about yourself. Now I'm not saying I'm dressed to the nine's every day, far from it in fact, but I do enjoy having at least matching sweats on and making sure my hair is brushed and my tubie topper is changed. If I'm doing anything beyond getting coffee with my dog that day, I will do my best to put on nice clothes and do my hair in natural curls and maybe even put on some make up if it's a real special occasion like a mall outing or something like that. I also enjoy having my nails painted random colors all the time to brighten up my day. Honestly putting on some nice clothes every day before I go somewhere, even if it's somewhere small, or just making sure my lounge clothes match is almost like dress up. Like who do I get to be today? Where can I transport myself besides someone who is achey, chilled, tachycardic, blacking out, etc.? I love the thought that people can look at me and not realize, if they don't know me, how sick I actually am, because it's just no fun being the sick girl all the time. Trust me it's not as glamorous as it seems. Sometimes it's just good to put on a front and go with the flow, because man it feels good to be normal.
I've also been getting lots of comments lately about how much stuff I do despite being so sick. Well, first off, I'd just like to say these comments are obviously coming from people who have never met me pre-sick or are making assumptions about what I'm doing, or just have no idea about what someone who is sick is supposed to be doing or not doing. Because compared to 5-10 years ago, heck compared to 3 months ago, I'm doing NOTHING with my life right now I feel like. But I am doing some things. Ya know why? Because just because I have chronic illnesses doesn't mean the house cleans itself, or the dog feeds herself, or my car drives itself to all my appointments and my body spontaneously absorbs all the information without me being there, or that I stop living at the age of 28 and don't get to enjoy anything ever again because some doctors told me I'm kind of sick. So there.
I rarely do much. Honestly. Every morning I drive my dog to a local coffee shop to get coffee, some days that is the only time we get out of the house all day. It's our tradition, our routine, our sanity, and I'm saying our because my poor puppy needs an outlet too. And just sayin' we haven't been to get coffee in 2 days because I've been in bed to sick to go anywhere. So no leaving the house in 2 days. On other days I leave the house to go to doctor's offices and therapies. I have lots of those, so it probably does seem like I *do* a lot...because I'm always driving 2 hours to this doctor or that doctor or 3 hours for this infusion, or 4 hours for that infusion. But I'm not doing anything fun for those outings, and quite frankly they all zap the energy out of me and make me have to take naps as soon as I get home no matter what. I have made 2 good friends in Indy and I do fit in visits with them whenever possible when I have appointments up there so that I don't drive 2 hours each way for a 5 minute doctor's appointment and turn around and come back, but usually we just grab a coffee or go to a house and sit and talk, nothing high stress or energy, and it increases my nap time when I return home.
I do cook quite a bit, but I do it all sitting down at the kitchen table, I've even thought about starting a second blog called the sitting down chef about how I adapt all my cooking techniques for people who can't stand while cooking since I enjoy cooking so much while "differently abled". I cannot do most chores as they completely put me in bed for both pain and fatigue. I did go to the movies for the first time in a year the other day and saw "Catching Fire", it was awesome and amazing and I had a blast, but I almost ended up in the ER that night from the biggest crash there ever was because it was right after Thanksgiving and then seeing the movie and the two combined led to extreme symptoms. You see I post all the stuff I *do* on Facebook because "friends" get mad that I'm negative and don't do things, but then when I do things they don't see the outcome of me doing them and also send me messages that I'm doing too much. There is no happy medium. There is no magic bullet. But I know that I'm working on balancing good days and bad days in my life and not overdoing and over stressing my body. I know that I'm working on finding out what's good for me. And I know that I'm working on not worrying what other people think about what I'm doing or not doing with my life.
I'm 28 years old, so I should be out doing a whole heck of a lot more than I am right now, that's for sure. So if I want to go to a concert that's 2 hours away with one of my best friends, then I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna pay for it later, but I'm gonna do it (next Friday, in fact). Because going back to looking good leads to feeling good. I think that doing fun things leads to feeling good too. The best piece of advice I ever got was the day that you don't get out of bed is the day you will never get out of bed again. And I truly believe that. It's so hard to force yourself to get out of bed when you feel this bad, but once you're up and moving around at least it gets your mind off of your illness for a little bit because the worst thing is to be thinking about your chronic illness 24/7. You just gotta remember to try to do one thing every day, even if it's just going to get coffee with your dog, because sometimes you need a little something different in your routine, and you've definitely gotta get outta that bed.