When you have lupus, every single day brings on more stress. There are endless doctor visits and blood tests. You have to deal with brain fog. You have to remember to take your medicine at the right time. Plus, everyday tasks like getting out of bed and taking a shower use up most of your energy.
Everything takes more energy than normal
Most people don’t know what it’s like to have to sit down and rest after you take a shower, but when you have lupus, that’s the way it is. You get up two hours before you need to be somewhere because that’s how long it will take to get ready to leave the house.
Cooking a meal is another energy zapper. It is so frustrating and stressful to be unable to remember all the ingredients for recipes you’ve made dozens of times. Plus, you can’t stand up to prepare those ingredients for more than a couple of minutes at a time. Things you used to do on autopilot now take your full concentration. Sometimes you need a timeout to rest before you can finish.
The stress of living with lupus adds up
When you live like this every day, the stress keeps adding up. It seems like it never goes away. I can sleep for 10 hours and still not feel refreshed when I wake up. I never get caught up on the paperwork from our business. My to-do list is endless.
Outside chores, like weeding the flower beds, rarely get done. It makes me feel guilty every time I walk past them. I used to be the type of person who always got things done, so it drives me crazy when I don’t have the energy to do it all now.
I wanted to run away
A few years ago, my husband inherited a farm that had been in his family for over a hundred years. Now we have 70 acres and about 50 head of cattle. We recently put a camper in the barn so he could spend the night there during calving season.
It was supposed to be a place he could get warm and sleep a few hours in between going out to check on the girls having babies. But my nesting instinct kicked in, and now it is “glamping” at its finest.
I created a place where the stress melts away
The space now has a covered front porch, an outdoor kitchen, a TV, and high-speed internet — all the comforts of home. I won’t say that there’s no stress, but it’s different. Meals are simple, consisting either of sandwiches or something from the grill. It’s quiet and peaceful. There’s not much traffic, no sirens, and no airplanes flying overhead.
The neighbors, who are either family or longtime friends, are great. They drop by to visit, and it’s fun to sit and talk with no pressure to entertain. One brought a basket of fresh-picked squash and cucumbers from the garden, while another brought fresh eggs. Everyone is happy to share their bounty.
A break from the everyday routine
I’ve been here four days now, and it’s time to go home. But this break has been good for me. I love sitting on the porch and drinking my green tea in the morning while watching the cows munching on grass and the hummingbirds fighting over the feeder, surrounded by nature.
Now that I have everything I need to camp out in comfort, you can be sure that I’m going to run away more often. My doctor told me I needed to find a way to reduce my stress level. I think I’ve finally found it.
Note: Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lupus News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lupus.