Even though I was diagnosed with endometriosis in 2014, I have to say this Christmas will really be my first as a true spoonie. (Not sure what I mean when I say spoonie? Check it out here to learn about the Spoon Theory.) 2016 added a whole mountain range of problems to my health history, all of which I’ve had to climb to overcome. (And considering the Grand Canyon fiasco from 2013, I don’t have the greatest climbing skills…but that’s another blog post someday.)
Even just preparing for Christmas as a spoonie is a huge challenge.
Let me just say that without Amazon or Etsy, nobody in my life would be getting presents this year. It costs me too many spoons to leave the house and go walking around a mall, looking for gifts I probably won’t even find there anyway. Plus I’d have to interact with people, and I don’t know how to people very well anymore. And then the gifts have to be wrapped. I usually love wrapping things. This year, I am dreading it because I know it’s going to completely drain whatever energy I have and cost me a lot of spoons. So it’ll probably take me a few days, especially with the cats “helping.”
Then come the decorations. And if you’re someone like me who loves Christmas, you have a lot of decorations. I believe I have ten large plastic containers in the basement that contain Christmas decorations, with another three full of ornaments. And we have three trees, ranging from our big 7 1/2′ tree in the front window, the 4′ fiber optic tree in the loft, and the 2′ fiber optic tree that used to belong to my Grandma before she passed.
And then there’s what I like to call the greenery. This was something I started doing our first Christmas in this house in 2011. Because we have an open foyer, stairway, and vaulted ceilings, my mind went immediately to images of pine boughs and red ribbons and I went on a shopping spree at Lowe’s to get what I needed. Usually I put it all up the same day I do the rest of the decorations. However, the rest of my Christmas decorations went up the weekend after Halloween #sorrynotsorry. All that was left was the greenery. I’ve been putting it off for weeks because it’s not hard, but it’s a pain in the butt and trying on the patience. Add in seven curious kitties who like to chase said greenery as I’m trying to put it up and you have yourself an adventure.
Well, for whatever reason, I was sitting on the couch as usual at 9 pm this evening when I felt the tiniest spark of motivation to put up the greenery. So I immediately jumped on it, thinking it may never happen again. Plus, David was home to help me to make sure I got the draping equal and all that jazz.
I started out with the right banister post, since that’s a piece of cake. Start in back, wrap three times counterclockwise. (I have sticky note directions in each bag so I remember how to do it every year…) Easy, done. Then the posts and archway going into the living room. Start in back, wrap five times counterclockwise, around to the hook on the sixth wrap, then drape over to middle hook, then right hook, get the drapes even, then wrap five times down the other post. Insert big red bow on middle hook. After that, I was sweating and breathing heavily. But I needed to get it done. Left banister, which I loathe entirely: start in back, wrap three times counterclockwise, drape up with bows on spindles 7, 13, and 19, finish in whatever funky way works. By this point I felt on the verge of an asthma attack. But moving on to the loft railing: Wrap around spindle 1, bow at spindle 11, finish in whatever funky way works. One more to go! The dining room post: easiest ever. Start at top, keep wrapping down until you’re done. Unfortunately that strand gets shorter every year because our black cat Luna likes to eat the stuff and then barf. Sigh.
By the time I finished (and it only took 45 minutes), I was sweating, short of breath, thirsty, and felt like I had just run a mile around the block. And here’s the thing: putting that stuff up is not hard. You have to get on and off a chair a few times and go up and down the stairs a few times, but over a span of time. But all I feel is bone-crushing fatigue. I know I won’t be able to do anything productive for at least two days. And I hate it.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my greenery and I’m very glad I got it all up. But I feel so pathetic that it took so much energy out of me. Yes, I’m out of shape, but this is completely different. The last time I exerted myself like this (when I put out the rest of the Christmas decorations in November), it was bad, but not this bad. And I’m so frustrated that I feel so helpless. I can’t do anything. It’s very disheartening; I feel like I should be better by now, but nothing has changed in the past three months since my brain surgery. My get-up-and-go got up and went for a walk and never came back.
Will I ever be normal again?