For the past month of my FMLA leave, I have been trying to balance living in the moment and doing things with friends and family while also taking care of my health. I’ve begun taking longer walks than I had previously over the past month and even tried some yoga for arthritis. Though it felt helpful at the time, I woke up in a lot of pain the following morning, so I haven’t felt terribly inspired to try it again. I have also started to take baths most nights. The hot water has helped to relieve some of the pain and combined with reading, it helps relax me and allow me to evade the ever persistent painsomnia.
I have also started to work on puzzles more frequently. Whether solo or with Alex, they are also a calming activity to use energy towards that helps me focus – especially in days of intense pain. Since I am not working at the moment, I have been able to put those spoons towards other things – such as visiting with family or doing housework. Chronic illness has really helped to put things into perspective for me. I never thought there was going to be a day where folding laundry or emptying/loading the dishwasher would be exciting, but as a Spoonie, I see it as an achievement.
Sometimes, I am still having trouble balancing the number of spoons I use. It’s not uncommon for me to be in the hospital the week leading up to my infusion. Because I had energy, I pushed myself too hard the week before my infusion, and though I had fun, I definitely paid for it. Dinner with former coworkers, dinner with my brother-in-law, his wonderful girlfriend, and her adorable dog, seeing my grandpa for the first time in over a year, hanging out with one of my best friends, and finishing the week with my Entyvio infusion and MTX shot made for a very lazy weekend. 😊 I worked on cross-stitch and dusted off my drawing skills for something my husband and I are working on. Once I finished the book Big Little Lies, I began the series which is really good so far! After some rest, I started the next week by having my friend and mentor over for dinner before she moves to start her new venture, which made for a really lovely night. Later in the week, Alex and I went on a craft date to Joann Fabrics to get materials for a few different projects – he is seriously the perfect person for me! Since 2+ hours walking around wore me out, I got to start the next day by catching up with one of my other best friends and watching The Bachelorette together over video chat. She is someone who has always been by my side, and I love that we can still connect, even when we’re not as close location-wise as we once were.
Medical updates within the past month haven’t been too vast. I had my first appointment with my new primary doctor – who I learned was originally training to specialize in GI during his residency. I also made an appointment with a new GI in my hospital system who my primary recommended. The only other notable update is that once the insurance company processing my Short-Term Disability claim received my files, they decided to look at my records and evaluate my case for both Short-Term and Long-Term at the same time, because they recognize that my conditions – individually and combined – make for a complex case. I was originally only going to file the LTD paperwork if I need it, but it is nice that I will likely know whether or not that would be approved prior to needing it. They reached out to my employer for additional information and requested my medical records from both my current GI and my rheumatologist. They have all of the information they need, and now I am just waiting to hear their decision!
I hope all my fellow spoonies are doing well!