So I had a little Thanksgiving shindig at my house. I spent the week before shopping for the fixings, hunting for the turkey (a locally produced farm bird), repainting the guest bathroom, cleaning the house, shampooing carpets, and of course preparing the feast for 12.
The day before the big dinner, four of my guests cancelled. No big deal. More left overs for me!
But the day of, when I was finished with the cooking, I barely had the energy to eat. I ended up spending 2 hours of the post-meal entertaining time curled up in bed with a pillow. My hubby (gently) prodded me until I got out of bed to spend a little time with our family/guests, and after they left, I fell asleep in the bathtub.
The next day wasn’t so bad, even if I did sleep a lot. I mean, a lot. 16 hours or so, actually. The whole weekend after the big day, I didn’t do a whole lot to be honest. Just sat around and worked on writing and consumed the left overs.
Saturday I wasn’t feeling great, though. Still tired. Still having a hard time forcing myself to focus.
Sunday was a little worse. I realized my heart rate was up a little and that I hadn’t really eaten much in the way of salty foods. One of the ways I manage my broken-heart-thing is by consuming more salt than a typical diet, despite the fact that I don’t really like salty foods. I had always followed a relatively low sodium diet prior to the heart-thing, because of my family history of heart disease and high blood pressure. Figures I’d get stuck with the one condition that requires a high-salt diet, eh?
Monday rolled around, and I didn’t sleep well at night. Really broken up sleep. When I got up and tried to start my day, my resting heart rate was 140, just sitting in a chair. After an hour of reclined rest, it was down to a whopping 130. (For the record, the normal rate is 60-80 when resting upright) I had enough extra beats for a second heart.
The gig was up. No more denying it. My long lost and most unwelcome heart-thing had returned to plague me again.
It’s so easy to forget, when you are dealing with a chronic condition and feeling relatively well, that you can’t go back to the usual patterns. That over-doing it for a couple of days to get the job done can sap you for days or weeks or (hopefully not this time) months.
A friend of mine linked me to a story over at butyoudontlooksick.com today. The author explained what it’s like, living with lupus to a friend using a handful of spoons. I think her analogy works for me except for one factor – I never know how many spoons I have. I never know if pushing myself just a little harder will result in more stamina tomorrow or no spoons at all in reserve, and misjudging where those lines are can be crippling.
As I am planning to head back out into the job market soon, this was a reminder I didn’t want, but perhaps needed – that while my heart-thing may be lying dormant these days, it is certainly not gone.