Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Traveling and getting back to normal.

It has been a really rough few weeks but I am finally back and returning to my old routine.  If you haven't traveled with a chronic illness, it can really take a toll on you.

We had to make a return trip to New England.  We lost my father-in-law at the end of January.  It was emotional on so many levels and not without a large amount of stress. It's been a roller coaster ride since Christmas to say the least.  While we were very sad to lose him, especially so soon after we found out that his cancer had not only returned but spread to his stomach, spleen and liver, we were thankful that, if he had to die, he actually passed because his kidneys could not handle the stress the cancer put on his body and shut down.  It's a very gentle way to go.  While we were sad that he had to move to a nursing home a few weeks ago, we were so glad that my husband could be there to help him make that transition and to say goodbye.  While we were very sad to lose him, we are so thankful that my husband had 47 good years with him and I had him for 30 years-and we are glad that he is back with Mom.  He missed her so very much when she passed.  Most of all, while everyone was sad to lose Dad~ this trip brought a huge amount of healing between the siblings from wounds that occurred when my Mother-in-Law passed.  For that I will be eternally grateful.

On the other side, we drove the 17 hour drive back.  When we drive we have the bad habit of making the trip straight through which is pretty rough on my old bones and joints.  We got there and there was a HUGE fiasco with the hotel that we booked and we had to book a new hotel.  We finally get settled there and flip on the television to find out that the lovely blizzard that they named Nemo was heading our way and is expected to hit right in the middle of the wake.  Stress level rising. All in all, we worked through it as a group, the wake was lovely and we made the best of being socked into a hotel.  On the bright side, I got to spend a good amount of time with Josh and his girlfriend and we met her adorable children.  One night they had us over for dinner and when they lifted the driving ban (smartest move the governor has ever made) we had dinner together out at a restaurant.  After the funeral, Jim and I were both itching to get out of New England and back home so we left a little early and headed back.  Back to home, back to my puppies, back to "normal".

It took a solid five days each way to be able to walk without my cane but it was worth it.  Even as I deal with the residual effects of a flare I can look back on this trip as a good one.   That said- I am glad to be getting back to a routine.  Routine can be a godsend when you have a chronic illness.  Just knowing what comes next can help you prepare mentally and physically for the challenges.  I am also incredibly fortunate that I have the time and flexibility to ease back into work without putting too much more stress on my body- even though we are heading into budgeting which is stressful in and of itself. :-)

I hope you have a great day!