So, we had our annual planning/strategy session this weekend. We spend about a day and a half meeting. For me, it means a total upset to my routine. I have to get several hours earlier than I normally would and I have to be ‘on’ the whole time. I take all the notes and participate. We also have our annual conference in November which is the same amount of time only many, many more people with questions and problems. These meetings exhaust me. I start stressing about them weeks in advance and try to figure out how I am going to get through them. Living with chronic autoimmune disease (ulcerative colitis) means that I battle fatigue. Now this is not tiredness or exhaustion this is bone-crushing weariness where you simply feel that you can’t go on. I can’t take pain meds because they have a sedating effect so I am often in pain and then anxious because I am in pain. All of the things that might help one wake up, like caffeine only make my anxiety worse.
Then there’s the eating part. In addition to ulcerative colitis, I also have IBS. Certain things will have me running to the bathroom. I also need to eat slowly so that I don’t overwhelm my body with stuff that’s going to make me sick. Everyone will be done their meal and I will have barely started. I will sometimes continue to eat for a while but people look at you funny when you are still eating your scrambled eggs 90 minutes later. So, I don’t eat much which then makes me more tired. It really is a vicious circle.
This time though, I knew this was my last meeting like this, ever. I was not going to have to put myself through this hell again. And I am grateful. A couple of times I had a few niggles of excitement about some future plans and then sadness realizing that I was no longer going to be there. However, those feelings went away pretty quickly when I felt how bad my body was feeling. I am happy it’s over and the end is in sight. I must take care of myself.