The time between Christmas Day and New Years Eve always has a strange feel about it. There is a huge mix of people who are determined to celebrate non-stop all week, people who overdid it on Christmas Day and Stephen’s Day and are trying to sneak a few days rest before the 31st, the shift workers searching for five minutes to celebrate despite their rosters, not to mention the conscientious worker who squeezes in a few days work in order to save a day or two of leave for the summer holidays.
What have I done this last few days you ask? Well fibrofella had a brilliant Christmas Day with his immediate family, Stephen’s Day with my Dad’s family and my cousins and the 27th turned out to be a lovely impromptu evening with my old next-door neighbour and his fiancée. Needless to say after those three days I was spent. I packed my bags, left my parents house, picked up some provisions in the shop and then battened down the hatches. And I’m still here this Sunday afternoon.
All the pain, fatigue and other fibro symptoms are crying out for attention. I, meanwhile, am simply crying. I’m done. I’m toast, as I said in a previous post I’m fried. Unfortunately these symptoms were pretty predictable but it was Christmas and ‘sure everyone lets their hair down at Christmas.’ So I ate like a glutton, enjoying every morsel of the beautiful food, both sweet and savoury, that was available each day and at any time. So the roast beef on Christmas Day, the turkey and ham on the 26th and the leftover meat sandwiches on the 27th all went down well. As did the tempura prawns, the sausage rolls the ‘pigs in blankets’, the crisps, the nuts and that is just the savoury. Each day there was pavlova, cheesecake, christmas cake, mince pies, pudding, chocolate, sweets, selection boxes on offer. I even had bottles of beer, some tasty red wines and even 3 pints of porter on Thursday in my old local pub. My stomach, my IBD and my other IBD didn’t know what had hit them compared to my normally strict diet when I’m at home. The reason I’m telling you all this is because I see it as an achievement that I made it through all that. I may have left the parties long before anyone else and slept later than them too, but I had 3 days of saying ‘yes you can’ rather than, ‘no you shouldn’t.’
The reason I made it through the days is thanks to a small word called pacing. I did nothing last weekend as I was already exhausted and sleeping pretty much solidly. I missed everything that weekend (sorry C.Mc) and I’m doing exactly the same this weekend. I haven’t left home in nearly 3 days now and I can’t see that changing before New Years Day at the earliest. So I had 4 crappy days followed by 3 good days and now I’m in the middle of what feels like a 5 or 6 day flare. Yet psychologically I’m doing well considering. Physically is a different and much, much worse story but I can see a tiny light way off at the end of my tunnel.
The reason being is that this actually represents an improvement on last year. I was in bed at 7 on Christmas Day 2011 and stayed there for a week. I missed everything and didn’t really enjoy fully the few hours I was up for on Christmas Day. I didn’t have my CPAP machine for my sleep apnoea then, so even though I was in bed for a week, I wasn’t recuperating very well.
So Christmas 2012 was a success. I enjoyed three days of celebration and even though I’m paying for it now, it was worth it. This is a horrible weekend but I’ve learnt from last year and I’ll get through it. With the help of experience, understanding my fibro and its symptoms and the CPAP machine, this will hopefully be a five-day, rather than 7 day, flare. That may seem like a very small difference but by God I’m going to celebrate it. Just maybe not for a couple of weeks!