Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A Look Back and A Look Forward

The holidays have come and gone, with that comes
 reminiscing about the past, and planning for the
future. 2016 brought us a lot of happiness:  our son moved back to town after being half a country away at grad school for three years, our youngest daughter and her husband bought a home five minutes from us, and our first grandchild was born! Oh, our oldest daughter has been dating a very nice young man who seems to make her very happy. Sadly, we lost my husband's sister to the cancer that she'd fought for so long. Tim, was down (or as down as he could be) with pneumonia the last few months of the year. And, while, he wasn't hospitalized, he was pretty sick. Thankfully, he's mostly recovered now. For me, things have been up and down. I'm pretty stable at the moment, but I have periods where I slowly progress. My shoulders have definitely given me more trouble lately, and I spend quite a bit of time putting pain relieving ointment on and taping them. My autonomic nervous system seems to be more messed up than ever. Also, my fatigue is out of this world. I'm always exhausted, and I never seem to get enough sleep. I slept until 10 o'clock this morning, which is unheard of for me.

Medically, I don't know what 2017 will hold for me. I had started occupational therapy at the end of the year but had to give it up when I discovered the place I'd been going isn't covered under our new insurance. I know I need to get in with another therapist, but, right now, I'm in hibernation mode. It's cold, damp and I just want to stay home. We also have new prescription coverage which requires us to go to a particular pharmacy. We had to get 90-day prescriptions filled for all of our maintenance meds, which is, basically, all that my husband and I take. After several phone calls, I finally got all of our doctors to get the 90-day prescriptions sent to the pharmacy. I think I need an assistant! 

Speaking of assistants, I hired our youngest daughter to come clean for us. They could use the money, and I could use the help. She sweeps, dusts, vacuums, and mops (I'm sure I'll find more for her to do). It's such a help; physically, it was just getting to be too much for me. Plus, I had no energy left for anything else. Just because I'm chronically ill doesn't mean I don't deserve to have a beautiful, full-filling life.  It's a great way to start a new year! Now, I'm writing more (The Mighty recently published two of my blog posts that I'd submitted!) and devoting more time to other things I enjoy and/or need to be doing such as reading, baking, cooking, genealogy and organizing. I've joined a Reading the Bible in a Year Facebook group our church is doing and started attending a weekly women's Bible study fellowship group at our church. These are things I probably wouldn't have even tried to do in the past, but with the help of my daughter, I'm able to accomplish so much more. I've also been better about resting, and not feeling guilty about it, when I need it, knowing the housework is going to get done. I know not everyone can afford to hire help, but if you find yourself in my position, overwhelmed by chores that have to be done, don't hesitate to ask for help from family, friends or your church family, if you have one.

I have decided to follow through on getting in to see an autonomic nervous system specialist. From what I've read, this could take a year or two to accomplish.  Since I've had a progression in the dysautonomia this past year, I don't know where I'll be with it in a year or two, but I'm concerned. I have a good idea about who I want to see, but I'll need to do a bit of research to make sure he's definitely the right one for me. I also need to get serious about eating better, taking my vitamins and finding some kind of exercise I can tolerate.

What kind of changes are you planning on making in the new year? Don't forget to take the time to nurture your mind and spirit. It's so important for everyone, but even more important for those of us with a chronic illness. When you're making those resolutions and plans for the new year, make yourself a priority. Remember and repeat to yourself often:  

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