Tired. So tired. Staggering, dizzy, burning in your stomach tired. Cannot function tired. NEWBORN BABY TIRED. If you are a parent, you know this kind of tired. Well, this is how tired I feel, all the time. I am a person with a chronic illness. I have Lyme Disease, and have for over a decade. It’s messing me up. Now, I am still getting used to the term “chronic” because, before I got sick, I thought this was a BULLSH** term for lazy people. I know some of you, right now, right after reading that maybe said, “uh oh”, or “YES”, or “NO!” It evokes some emotion. A lot of people like to ask questions, skeptical questions. “So, you are just sick, all the time, for no real reason?” “You were sick, but you aren’t now, right? You are cured?” The short answer, no. I will never be alright. I have nerve damage, a bit of brain damage, and lack of muscle control (which, yes, causes daily pain) through my entire left side. This is my short list. But, that’s enough of that; I don’t want to bum people out.
You may be thinking, what kind of work can a person in my condition do? A person like this MUST need to make their health the #1 priority, and have a stress free job. So, the obvious career choice? CHILD CARE. Yes, I figured looking after a wagonload of babies, changing multiple diapers, feedings, outings, being on my feet all day long for less than minimum wage was the answer! Now, daycare babies eat, boy do they eat! If you are thinking of starting a home daycare, save yourself some steps, and just get your pay sent right to the grocery store. FYI, if you aren’t at the park, or wiping a bum, you are buying groceries. Oh, I should also mention, not during the day, like regular folks, but later at night, because, well, you just don’t go with your kiddos. If you’d like to test this theory, get a pack of wild dogs, put them in an oversized wagon, and then ask them to stay in there and not touch anything while you “just grab a couple of things!” If you love to get dirty looks, and have the lady sweats from stress, then by all means, take 5 kids shopping!
One late night, exhausted after a full day of torture fun, I ran out to get some food, and then some groceries. I stopped at a local place to grab hot Portuguese chicken, so I could finally have my dinner at my usual healthy, convenient time, 10pm. I pulled into the store, grabbed my purse, tucked it under my arm, and in I went. I filled up my basket, and headed to the checkout. I dumped my stuff on the conveyor belt, and the cashier rang it through. She stopped, stared at me, and said “the chicken?” Irritated, I said “no, I’m not getting chicken, just groceries.” More staring. “The chicken” she says again. Now I am just mad. “I AM NOT GETTING ANY CHICKEN.” In a zombie-esque fashion, she slowly raises her arm and points to my purse. There, tucked under my arm, was not my clutch, but the tin foil bag holding my hot chicken. It took a minute to process what was going on. Here I was, yelling at a cashier, with a hot chicken, now dripping all down my side, snugly in my armpit, instead of my purse. Now, not only do I look crazy, I can’t pay for my groceries, because my chicken purse doesn’t hold any cash, just juicy goodness. I say I’ll run out and grab it, but now the manager is there, since I look like I am stealing a chicken from the store. After a lot of explanation, and some convincing, they let me and my chicken purse leave the store. Needless to say I was too embarrassed to go back in, so we had “pizza day” at daycare. It was shortly after this I started realizing that daycare wasn’t for me anymore, and I will tell you; it broke my heart a little. I loved my daycare kids, and am so happy I got to spend time with so many amazing little people.
I am now trying harder to budget my time, and not overextend myself. I am getting better at saying no to things. If you are like me, and stretch yourself too thin, next time ask yourself this:
Are you tired, or are you CHICKEN PURSE TIRED? If it’s chicken purse, then just go take a nap!
For more on Lyme Disease, please visit my friends at http://canlyme.com/