Friday, July 8, 2011

My Big, Fat, Spoonie Holiday!

Much like your family, we prepare for the holidays like an Olympic event- we come together, laugh a lot, and eat way too much!

Since I've been ill, time with family and friends had been limited; I opted out of Thanksgiving and Christmas last year because I was just too tired to venture out and I was still in the early stages of learning about autoimmune diseases so I really didn't know how to bring up my dysfunctional immune system in casual conversation.
Saturday,with some convincing, I made it to my hometown for the 4th of July holiday.

This was the first time some people saw "the new me" with my wig, hat and "fall like clothing" (in the summertime.) Since this has been part if my routine for a while, I was used to it...explaining it to my extended family is something totally different. I had to be quick on my feet:

Family member: "Aren't you hot with that jacket on?! Me: "I'm too cool to be hot!" (Thanks, unregulated body temperature!)

This weekend did give me a small opening to talk about RA to some of my family.
Some of the things I heard:
"So, what's wrong with you?"
"You're too young to have so many issues!"
"There's a pill you can take for that, right?"
"You had such pretty hair..." and
"I hope you feel better soon."

I know this was said with love, so I wasn't overly offended or saddened by these remarks. I didn't go into extreme detail (no need killing the party...but that trip to the ER did throw a curve in Sunday's plans!)
I did my best trying to explain how my body works now, without sounding like a human medical dictionary. As I talked to my family, I noticed that I wasn't as uncomfortable talking about RA as I used to be...I'm starting to "find my voice" (yay, me!)

Despite all that madness, I enjoyed myself...good laughs, too much food and unconditional love.

Up next: Labor Day...

(This lesson is dedicated to the new "spoonies" out there...talking about chronic illness is HARD, but it gets easier.)

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