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I'm a mom, a wife, a best friend. Sick with CFIDS/ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia since 1975 as a result of a nasty flu while still in grad school, it wasn't until the late '80's that I received a diagnosis. Until that flu I'd never really been ill before. With each year I get progressively worse and add to the bucket load of symptoms I'm living with. I've been blessed with an incredible family and best friend who've stayed with me through my struggles as we continue to find a way out of this monstrous illness and its complications. We've tried seemingly every approach to find my way back to health. Often I think our best weapon in this undesirable and unasked-for adventure has been laughter.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Years & Goals/Resolutions

It's been a tough year, to put it mildly.  Furthermore, it's been only one of a very few years in a row of incredibly horrid and nightmare-quality happenings in our family - awful stuff which reads much more like fiction rather than like fact.  The sad truth is that if we had ever even considered putting our collective heads together, we couldn't have possibly come up with some of the things which have happened to us in the past few years.  We're all used to my CFIDS/ME/CFS and fibromyalgia and the surprises that these core illnesses bring with them.  What we'd not been prepared for these last few years is the really hardcore health problems which every member in our family has had to undergo, everyone of us in completely different areas of medicine and surgery, but with huge medical problems.  Unbelievable.

However, I am NOT going to be defeated, and I'm certainly NOT going to allow anyone in our family to be defeated!   We have a lot of obstacles to overcome, but overcome them we will.... Even if it kills me, which it might! ;)

I've been on my family like corned beef on rye about the fact that we appear (really, "appear"?) to be spiraling downward and the cheerleader/Pollyanna in me finds this completely and totally unacceptable.  "We're made of stronger stuff," I try to tell them.  It's one of the reasons that Christmas Eve and then Russian Christmas Eve - in January - as well as Eastern Orthodox Easter, are so important to me.  It gives me the opportunity to remind my kids, as well as hubby, what and where we come from, the incredible character and strength of our ancestors.

I've talked and talked to my family - until I often feel as if I'm blue in the face - about how important it is that we now do a monumental feat and start turning things around so that we will now find ourselves in an "upward spiral."  This won't be easy.  We are totally exhausted, though not YET completely defeated.  However, I want us all to find the strength to start putting huge smiles on our faces, no matter what.  Boy!  How my kids hate hearing this  "Up! Up! Up!" message from me.  Oh, don't get me wrong: they STILL love to laugh.  I  pray that we never lose that gift of laughter.  But I want smiles in there too!  Which leads me to...

I normally make up unofficial resolutions for the year.  "Unofficial"?  You wonder what this is and why?  Well, there are several reasons.  I realize that achieving and accomplishing any hard and fast resolution is an iffy proposition, at best.  Last winter, I thought that I'd hit rock bottom with my almost-fatal incident with the compartment syndrome surgeries and all the complications that followed.  However, little did I realize that I was in for a few other dishy surprises and that there were yet other health "problems" to be discovered and dealt with.  (Ha! Understatement of the year, indeed decade?)  

On the other hand, I also had two incredible things happen that I'd never have been able to dream up: starting a blog and flying - literally - halfway around the world, unexpectedly, in order to be at my son's wedding.  (Talk about shocking my kids!  There's little I LOVE more than to shake them up a bit occasionally!)  Of course, I paid a huge price for the trip, health-wise, and most days I feel that this blog will actually kill me.  But these are, all told, GOOD stresses!

And so, this year, with my health more precarious than ever, I want to be realistic, yet I want to push myself a bit.  How to find that happy medium?

For example, I've gained a bit of weight (?!?), thanks to the combination of the newly-diagnosed hypothyroidism and the emergency gallbladder surgery (with pneumonia thrown in for laughs) but I will TRY to lose the added weight, without beating myself up if I can't lose poundage for a legitimate reason.  For me, losing weight is definitely an "upward spiral."  When I can see and record a new lower number seen on my bathroom scales, the number (often, and, unfortunately) dictates my mood for the rest of the day.  If the number was higher or on a plateau, I'm in a foul mood, yet if the number was lower, I'm almost giddy!  (Yes, yes, yes...I'm totally superficial!  Tell me something I don't already know!  Again, semi-joking!)  I want to be VERY happy in the coming year, EXTREMELY happy, so I need to come up with strategies that will help me achieve this goal, given the newest complications.  New plans and approaches are definitely needed here now. Furthermore, I need an "out" in case other stuff hits the proverbial fan and I'm unable to realize this weight goal.  In fact, I need to realize - really and truly realize - that things can really go awry, and more weight can be added, depending on what state my health is in.

So, with all these caveats in mind, I will indeed make up an unofficial/official list of sorts.  I'll give myself the couple of days still ahead in order to figure out what it is that I can realistically hope to achieve to be happier in life, thus, hopefully, making me a better wife, mom, BFF, friend and person in general.  I'll need to think hard about how I'll go about making these changes, without inadvertently destroying myself.

At this point, I do know that a life with better health and thus, fewer ER visits, as well as hospitalizations, needs to be considered as goals.  We also need some time away from our too many stresses, which are literally close to killing us all.  A vacation with just workaholic hubs and myself would do both of us a world of good, I hope.  (Long story there, so don't ask!)  BTW: hubs objects and says he's "dedicated," not a "workaholic"!  Harrumph. I say, "Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto."

So, I need to put on my thinking cap.  I'll let you know what realistic things I come up with.  Until then, do you have a few realistic goals/resolutions you wouldn't mind sharing with us?

And finally, I hope everyone is doing their best, only better.  Pollyanna here wishes all of you a wonderful new year, full of blessings.  Ciao and paka.

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