Autoimmune Disease Support Group

Our  Mascots are Marlie and Wilson!  

Can I have fun with a Chronic Illness?

When our children gave my husband and I a joint gift combining Mother's Day and Father's Day I was elated!  They had gotten us a night at a casino a bit over an hour from our home.  We have not spent a night away in over two years.  It was a very exciting idea!  But could I really do this trip and manage to keep my illness in check? I knew I would have to do a lot of planning, but felt, if carefully executed, we could have a great time without risking my health. 

First, I picked a date on the calendar that I knew there were two days before and two days after the trip where nothing was planned.  No appointments of any kind; and I blocked off all five days on my calendar.  Two days prior to leaving I got the laundry caught up and had my husband set up the GPS and ready the car for our ride.  Then I made a dinner which I knew would provide left overs so that I didn't have to coOK the night before we left.

The day prior to leaving the only thing I did was packed our suitcase.  It took me two hours to pack an overnight bag!  But once that was done, we ate dinner and then I immediately put on my pajamas to begin readying for my trip!  By 8 o'clock I was vegging in front of the tv and at 9:30 I climbed into bed and read until I was ready to fall asleep. 

The number one factor to how I am going to feel on any given day is how well did I sleep the night before; so enjoying my trip started here.

Once we arrived I was feeling good and ready to win some money!!!  We started at the slots and preceded to hand over about a hundred dollars to the Sands.  Then we took a break for dinner and split the biggest, yummiest burger I had ever tasted! Then we were ready to take on the gaming tables! 

At the Roulette wheel my husband and I become a team of crazies!  His job is to put down the chips while my job is to shout random numbers from the top of my head and then scream like someone ripped my arm off when one of our numbers comes up!  So much fun!  Especially when the chips start to pile up in front of you!

Now here comes that lovely young lady with the tray full of free adult beverages... I'm in a partying mood, it's a partying atmosphere, we've got chips stacking up in front of us.  The first two times she approached us, I did the dutiful thing any mature, health-conscious person with an autoimmune disease would do... I said "I'll have a water please!"... but by her third pass, I caved.  "Oh, you don't have Vodka and Tonic?  But you do have Vodka and Cranberry?  Oh, well then, Cranberry juice is good for your bladder right?  OK then, yes please!"  I'm fairly sure she shared the contents of her tray with us seven, maybe eight times!

And did you know that there are no clocks in a casino?  So I had no clue whatsoever of how late it had gotten!  All I know is that all at once, my body was SCREAMING at me!  All of a sudden, my pain level shot up to a ten on the "crap-o-meter".  Fatigue washed over me like a wave in the ocean, pushing me down, keeping me down.  All of my planning had gone right out the window.  I had really over done it!  It was 4 a.m.!!!!!

I was unable to get up for the 11 a.m. checkout time.  We finally got out of the room by noon.  My husband drove home and I was exhausted but still grinning from my winners' high!  When we got home, I unpacked the suitcase, ate and was in my bed sleeping by 8 o'clock!.

The next day I felt better than I had a right to feel after what I had done to my poor old body!  But I was ok with that.  What I didn't plan on was that I didn't bounce back for almost ten days!  I was run down, sleeping a lot, more achy than usual, unable to take on even the few household tasks I normally am able to get through in a day.  Day after day I waited for my body to recover from the fun I had had.  Every day I told myself to just take it easy and allow my body the time it needs, to just be patient.  That is the hardest thing of all!  To be a "patient" patient! 

So what would I do differently next time?  (Because I know me...  there WILL be a next time!!!)

#1) I will WEAR A WATCH!  So that I can see how late it is getting and make a better choice for myself, and #2) I will TRY to "Just SAY NO" to alcohol!  I know I don't get the chance to have this much fun many times a year, and I SURE HAD A BLAST!!!!  So the burning question remains... "Was it worth it?" ....  um....  HELL YES!!!!