Thursday, December 28, 2006

And then the crash

Although I tried not to overdo for the holidays, I apparently miscalculated.  I woke up this morning and it was a good thing that I'd fallen asleep on the couch last night, because I needed to use the back of the couch to pull myself to a sitting position.  Not sure how I would've gotten up if I'd made it to the bed last night.

Getting to the kitchen for breakfast was a long, slow, shuffling ordeal.  My leg muscles were working no better than my trunk muscles.

Tried to read, but my eye muscles weren't working well enough to focus on the page and I had to give up.

On days like this, I'd love to have a muscle biopsy to prove there's something seriously wrong, but since I get no government assistance of any kind, I'm not sure how I'd pay for it.

I did manage to limp back to the kitchen to heat a can of soup for lunch, but I'm not sure I'll make it a third time for dinner.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Post-Christmas Shopping

When the rest of the county went to the mall looking for bargains and returning gifts, we went for groceries.  Smart & Final was pretty well deserted, which is why I figured it was safe to venture in there.

Got a package of hamburger, so I can make some casseroles, some chips and sparkling apple juice for New Year's, and did get some half-price Christmas candy.  :)

Our New Year's party tends to begin early -- when it's midnight in London.  Every hour on the hour, we toast again as CNN celebrates in another time zone.  More often than not, we celebrate with my parents in NY (which is 9 PM here) and call it a day.

Having been out for a short time this afternoon, I came home and collapsed on the couch, then fell asleep.  Woke up in such horrendous pain that I nearly passed out from it.  Hours later, I'm still considering whether I have it in me to get up and reheat some leftovers for dinner, or if "dinner" is going to be a package of peanut butter crackers that I keep near the couch for the nights that I can't make it as far as the kitchen. 

That's the reality of going shopping with CFS -- it takes a lot out of you and leaves you basically useless the rest of the day.


Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas with CFS

Merry Christmas to all my readers!
Christmas with CFS means something very different from what most people experience.
With the immune dysfunction, I avoid crowds so I won't be sick for the holiday -- it's not uncommon for a simple case of flu to stick around for 3 weeks.  So, all the Christmas shopping has to be done early -- before the stores get crowded, and before flu season starts.  For the same reason, I can't go to church on Christmas -- other people will force themselves from their sickbed "because it's Christmas", and I wind up paying the price for their decision.
With the orthostatic intolerance, I can't be on my feet for hours baking cookies.  The only thing I bake is German Stollen.  It's a yeast dough, so you mix it up, and go lie down for 20 minutes while it rises.  You pay attention to it for a few minutes, and go lie down for 30 minutes while it rises again.  Although the process takes a total of 3 hours from start to finish, I'm only actually working on it for about 15 minutes.
I also can't spend a lot of time upright decorating the tree, or stand on a chair to put the tree topper on.  I'm down from a 7.5 foot tree to a four-footer.  This year, it has a whopping 12 ornaments on it, and someone else put the lights on.  In previous years, I've put the tree away fully-decorated, so that the following year it takes me all of 3 minutes to pull it out of the box and set it up.
I also don't have it in me to put together a big holiday dinner.  For many years already, a friend and I have gone out for Chinese food the night before, and I bring home a variety of appetizers to reheat throughout the day on Christmas.  That's the big celebratory dinner these days.  I don't even cook for myself on Christmas Day, much less for family and friends any more.
I have to skip neighborhood holiday parties because by 7 PM when the parties start, I'm horizontal and too exhausted to get myself there.
Yes, it's Christmas at my house, just like it is at yours, but my Christmas isn't just like yours.  My Christmas is spent mostly lying on the couch listening to music on the radio -- not cooking or socializing or travelling to visit relatives.