Living with constant chronic pain or chronic illness is no party, but you may have been invited to a few this holiday season. Here are some ideas and tips to help you make it through the festivities as we approach the new year.
1. No Cocktails
I know, I know, at your next party, you may be thinking:
“Ughh, why did I come? How do I even get comfortable in this chair? At least I’m not squished on the couch. Did anyone notice that full body spasm? Oh great. And now my hands are shaking. Better put my drink down before I spill it. At least it isn’t red wine. Of course not, because wine is a trigger food and 8 of 10 of my medications don’t party well with alcohol.”
See, isn’t this fiesta turning out to be fun?! But don’t worry about the NO DRINKING POLICY. Your brain fog keeps you so fuzzy and clumsy on a regular basis that you’ll fit right in with your drunk buddies!
2. Polite Conversation
Look at all of those healthy attractive people around you playing ping pong with their witty dialogue. “Hmmm? What? Oh, no that’s not a fashion statement. That’s called a compression sock. Thank you so much for noticing. Yes, those are my favorite shoes…I guess. I know, I always wear them, don’t I? Ha, ha. You are so observant. You know, you should really go bird watching sometime- I hear that is a great hobby for people who enjoy staring.”
See, you can play this game of witt too. What a wonderful party!
When in doubt, smile.
Always keep them guessing. When your pain is on red alert and your brain is on complete shutdown, SMILE!
It tells people that they can relax and have a great time no matter how sick you are. You can always go to the ER later, tonight is for celebrating!
So flash those pearly whites and watch your friends dance, karaoke, tell work-related stories, and get jiggy. They’ll remember you being a sweet, saint-like creature, and little did they know you were just half-conscious from pain. Talk about a party trick!
Nope, parties just aren’t as fun as they used to be. And please don’t go around asking people what I USED to do at parties… (seriously, don’t). But it’s still great to get out and make memories whenever we are able. And when you are not able, know the party won’t be the same without you.
Merry Christmas, happy holidays!
This is one of my favorite pieces I published in 2014. A snarky spin on the old Emily Post / “Miss Manners” columns from the 1950’s.
It’s “Wordless Wednesday” again, and here I am cheating (how can I resist you, words?).
If you’re confused about the spoon reference, those of us with chronic illness measure our energy with “spoons” ( See more here on: 10,000 Spoons, If Only: Why the chronically ill love Spoons). If life were the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld, this month, he would be yelling out his classic line at me, chronic illness style: “No Spoon for you!”
Not even one??
I hope you’ll have better luck.
I’m not Jeff Foxworthy but some things about being health impaired are so ridiculous, we might as well try to laugh. Here are a few I thought of along with some additions from my Spoonie friends. Please share yours in the comments section for Invisible Illness Awareness Week!
You Know You’re a Spoonie When:
-You have more cute socks and pajamas than sexy lingerie’ and heels.
-You are on a first name basis with all of the local pharmacists.
-Your family uses YOU as their excuse for getting out of things they don’t want to do with other people.
-If a stranger comes to your front door, you just hide until they go away.
-You have more salts in your bathroom than the DMV road crews in the winter.
-Your spouse/partner fills your meds for you as a romantic gesture of his/her affection (goodbye flowers!).
-You have become mysteriously artsy/crafty over time since diagnosis (was increased creativity one of your symptoms?).
-Your doctors and favorite nurses are on your Christmas card list.
-You know where all the elevators are wherever you go, yet somehow they always end up super far away from your actual destination (what is that about anyway??).
-Your pets seem to have a better understanding about how you are feeling than anyone else.
-Your loved ones have a favorite joke about your disability that makes you laugh. When they say it in public, people think your loved ones are horrible.
-You have more hair in your bed, in the drain, and in your brush today than is actually on your head!
-You start to talk to your Spoonie friends online more than you talk to your friends and family.
-You’ve learned so much about medicine that your doctors talk to you like a colleague instead of a patient.
-You’ve developed heightened super-sonic senses. You’re sure you are a super hero and keep looking for a lit up spoon signal outside. (To the sick cave!)
From my Spoonie friends: You know you’re a Spoonie When…
-All the people who work at the drug store and pharmacy know you and your family by name. -Molly Williams
-Whenever you are in public people stare. You are starting to get a complex that you have grown extremely good looking. inspired by –Living Life Beyond Disability
-You joke about going to see your “drug dealer” a.k.a. your pharmacist. -April Hughs
-When I rate my pain 1-10 and 7 means I’m having a GOOD day. -Keely Blackburn
-You know all the different medications and their side effects. -Julie Pierpoint
-You have to bite your tongue when a friend keeps complaining about his/her allergies. inspired by –Sick and Sick of it
-You talk to your doctors, nurses, and pharmacists more than you talk to your own family! -Allisin Wonderland Hatfield
-Your deaf and blind dog thinks your crutches are trying to attack him! -Tegan Bert
-You go to hand your pharmacist the prescription card and she says “Nah, I remember you have one of those.” -Christine Brannon-Miles
-You make fun of the television commercials about medications that “help” symptoms like yours. inspired by –Finding Out Fibro
-When your mum says you will never get a flu because all of your meds will probably knock it out of your system first. -Marika Dolinski
-You use ferocious animals and monsters to represent your illness. –inspired by Elle and the Auto Gnome
-You are so tired of explaining what’s wrong with you that when anyone asks, you distract them by responding: “where did you get your hair cut?” or “do you garden?” -Melanie Barker
What are yours?
If you enjoyed the above poster or want to know what a “Spoonie” is, read the article it was based on: “10,000 Spoons, If Only! Why the Chronically Ill Love Spoons”
This article was featured on InvisibleIllnessWeek.com 2014. Sharing again here in honor of Invisible Illness Week 2015.