Boundaries, challenges, and well-meaning friends


I am in the middle of applying for disability because exhaustion has got me down for the count.  Exhaustion and the various meds they have me trying, which are causing more problems than they are resolving.

I can tell you that I’m NOT depressed, and that I don’t think I’m living in denial.

I have plans for whatever time I have left.  I have goals.  I enjoy myself most days because I plan ahead to embrace all that life has to offer, despite being so tired all the time.

Because I’m into self-care and self-honesty, though, people are driving me crazy with cossetting.  Wednesday was a great example where it became all about me vs. being a normal day.  For Friday, I planned ahead to avoid the scenario repeating itself.

At this moment in time, I have a co-worker who thinks I’m now “delicate” because I’m trying to have my status certified and move on to the next stage of life.  So, I’m having to control myself daily from snapping at her as she’s hovering.  It’s maddening, so I have to control my impulse to scream because I caused this problem by opening up my big mouth and declaring that I’d had enough.  Enough of whatever is involved in remaining in the rat race vs. throwing in the towel and trying to use whatever amount of life remains available to me for my best benefit.

So, since I’d already been driven crazy on Wednesday, I had a new plan of attack to avoid cossetting on Friday.

Because we’re shutting down our old department as part of a business transformation due to being acquired, I was at the office early (before this co-worker would be on site to hover).  I had 2 dozen donuts to keep the neighboring teams happy (screw the diabetes issue – I needed energy!), and I prepared to pack up a few file cabinets.

I was supposed to be working on a couple of deals (computer use and legal writing), but I couldn’t see clearly (vision is still causing me fits today), so rather than go to bed to rest my eyes, I worked.  Physically.  All dang day.  Yay for me !  It was a good day, and my energy lasted (even if my eyes never cleared).

I had 2 donuts for breakfast with my meds, and packed boxes.  I took breaks and eased my swollen feet (a possible indicator of pending heart failure), and I got a total of 10 boxes (4 lateral file drawers) packed, labeled, stacked.  I know my limits, and the way to avoiding triggers with this disease is pacing and lots of breaks.  Think of me like a turtle.  Slow and steady.  You never see me actually moving, but I accomplish the goals I have set for myself.  I had 2 donuts and more water for lunch, and kept on going until 4pm, at which point I left to drive to a rock concert at a local outdoor theatre.

Should I have been on the road with blurry vision?  No, probably not.

Did everyone survive?  Yes.

I hit the house to drop off my computer ( never give thieves an excuse to break into your car ), had some beef jerky for energy, and continued driving south until I hit the meeting point.  I could have used a nap, but I was determined to not miss out on a busy day.  Yes, I’m bull-headed.

My wonderful friend, M, was there with 1,000 questions – the key one being – where’s your “handicapped” placard (I don’t have one.  I’m not that bad.  Yet.).

Should I drop you at the front door and then park?  (No, the walking is good for me.  I’ll slow down if I can’t breathe).  Cossetting of a different sort than that of my co-worker, and I did ok because M and I  compromised on where the boundaries were for not being a pain in my butt.

I had a BLAST !  Despite the inflamed toes (diabetes is a joy for causing ingrown toenails).  Despite the swollen feet.  Despite the peri-menopausal hot flashes on a warm Summer evening.  Despite the lights being too much, so I mostly sat in my chair (to give my feet and eyes a break as I hid behind the people standing up in front of my chair, dancing the night away), I revelled in a good day, a physical day, and a long evening spent trying to stay awake without an afternoon nap.

I am sitting here the next morning with a sore butt, with pain in my right side, and still with blurry eyes.  It was worth every minute of effort.  Trying is what life is about.

I’m now lusting after a butterscotch or chocolate parfait.

To get the treat, one must first suck it up and do the work.  So, YMCA today for swim class.  The same one that really rang my bells last Saturday.  Terilynn is an amazing coach.  Then, Icing on the Cake in the hope that I can stay awake today (my reward), and then back to home to either nap or work on my beading, since we have a show at the end of the month.  If I’m really disciplined, I may even turn on the vacuum.  Virtue *IS* its own reward, LOL.

Still don’t know if I gave the “right” answers last night to address my friend’s worries, however, today’s a good day, despite the blurry vision, so I’m off to make the most of it while I can.  Enjoy !

EPILOG – 8 hours later in the day, about 2pm:

Still can’t see clearly, impacting my ability to follow the conversations and instructions at swim class as it’s all just so much noise going over my head.  Swimming in an exercise class without clear eyesight to give me facial cues as I’m wearing ear plugs to prevent additional damage from two busted ear drums is quite the adventure.  But, I sucked it up, dealt with my social anxiety by only being the last to class vs. skipping class, and it was GOOD.

After exercising, it was off to the San Mateo Expo center (since, thanks to another friend, I remembered the international gem and jewelry show is this weekend),  and where I spent way too much on jewelry supplies.

While I feel badly that this is the second time shopping (the first was 2 weeks ago, for shoes) where I realize that I can’t see well enough to be certain of the values of my items as – with or without my glasses – it’s all a blurry nightmare to try and locate what I’m trying to find – I’m pleased that I didn’t give up and simply come home.  I made it until the cash ran out.  GOAL !

Also got over to Icing on the Cake to steal their last 6 butterscotch puddings.  Frustrated myself at getting the math wrong – $56 is NEVER $40 – and 6 butterscotch parfaits at $6.50 each will never equal $24 – regardless of how my mind plays tricks with my ability to count (and remember !) the correct figures for basic mental calculations.  Stupid errors like that serve to remind me that I’m just not as sharp as I should be, and hopefully it’s not a sign of additional challenges to come.  But, mission accomplished, and my debit card hid the oversight.

So, having exhasted all my current energy, it’s time for a nap.

Cleaning and organizing and jewelry making are on hold until I get my energy back up…  Maybe by 6pm, when all good nightwalkers begin to rise, LOL.

2 thoughts on “Boundaries, challenges, and well-meaning friends

  1. Go see an opthalmologist. Not trying to mind your business, nor tell you it, but that bit about the eyes is really raising red flags (to me). You know yourself best and you deal so well it’s easy to see that you’re going to be one of the people who labelled “disabled” or not will continue to do things in your own way!! Good for you for providing an example to those of us who are really thinking about giving up.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, I’ve been going. Got more new glasses in May, as diabetic retinopathy and cateracts are just two of the lovely things I have to look forward to in this battle. Every 3 months while on this current regime of medicines.

    If it’s not better by Wednesday (Tuesday is payday), I’ll be there with bells on.

    For now, I can work on the iPad, but the laptop is really frustrating. Trying to clean and putter today, and I’m monitoring things.


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