July 22, 2020

Long (But Productive) Day With Chronic Illnesses

So, my daughter did get that job at the plastic factory with my son (who just started last Friday). On one hand, I'm proud she's taking the initiative to earn more money to support her son. On the other hand, this is going to be a huge change for everyone.

Today she had to go over there to fill out some paperwork and do the drug test and stuff. Technically, it's within walking distance (a few miles and probably closer than her other job which is about four miles away), but my son and his friend picked her up to show her where the office is because her phone stopped working suddenly so no GPS or Google Maps. And then she had to go to her other job right after.

I've been up since 8:30 and pretty much on the go since 9am. She brought the baby down a little before 10am and had to leave right away so I had to get him breakfast. I opted for the Eggo waffles she had in the freezer (mostly because we're out of eggs for an easy meal) and frozen sausage patties. By the time they came down, I had already unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher after collecting dishes from around the house, and cleaned the sink. Our garbage disposal broke last year so when the dishwasher drains, it backs that side of the sink up and gets gross. I tossed a bunch of baking soda and vinegar down it. Seems to be draining a little better now. Felt good about that one.

I also wiped down the counters and swept the kitchen. All before lunch while watching a one-year-old who likes to climb the stairs (he mostly stayed off of them but would go down the hall to the front door to look out the screen so I was constantly checking on him. I did have the help of Jack (the 10yo). Normally, one of my other daughters would be home if I had to babysit because I never know how my chronic fatigue will be. Unfortunately, both girls are gone. Thankfully, it didn't seem to matter today--I was tired but managed. I'll probably be feeling it tomorrow, though. But it's Thursday so the baby will be heading to his dad's for the weekend (although I still have to get up early and take the trash and recycling out because the 10yo didn't do it and my husband won't do it when he leaves for work).

Besides all of that other stuff and babysitting, I cleaned out the space under the stairs that we affectionately call the "Harry Potter Cubby Hole." My son used to store his toys in there and sometimes the kids would play in there, but it was just full of trash and junk the kids didn't feel like putting away. With Jack's help (because I can't fit through the door which is about 24" high and 18" wide), we pulled everything out and sorted it. Found an old toy box for the baby's stuff and all of the kids' old play food which the baby loves. Tossed the trash and put the toys being stored back in neatly.

I had been wanting to tackle that for a while to see if there was anything in there the baby could play with. It felt really good.

My husband got home around 3pm and took over the babysitting so I could rest. I worked on a knitting project that I can only really do during the day when there's lots of light in the room. I tried working on it last night but my overhead light was too dim to see the pattern I was working on AND THEN my light broke. So now the only light in my room is coming from my bathroom. Not enough to knit by. Well, I think I could work on my little blanket because it's mostly just knit stitches. Between the bathroom and my laptop screen, I think I could do it.

So today was a good day. I don't feel super tired yet. Not like normal. I'm just worn out from doing a lot (for me--I really didn't do much compared to ten years ago when I had an infant and 4 other kids under 11 to take care of). I kind of wish I'd tried to clear out the closet in the living room as well. People just keep tossing stuff in there when they don't want to put it away so you can't even open one side of it.

Most likely tomorrow I'll be too exhausted to do much, but my husband said we can go to Walmart when he gets home from work to see if I can find yarn and some other stuff I need. He wanted to take me yesterday but I was babysitting. Then was going to take me today and also get lunch but forgot I said I had to babysit all day today. I'm not sure we'll actually go, though. It depends on how I feel and if someone is home to hang with Jack. He's 10 and perfectly cable of staying home alone, but the trip will probably be a couple hours and we don't have a house phone or extra cell phone. He would have no way to contact anyone in case of an emergency which worries me. I guess I'll wait and see. I have no idea if the oldest is working or if one of the other girls will come home. And as much as he needs to get out, I worry about bringing him into a busy store.

This is when my illness really starts to suck because it messes up simple tasks like this. I should be able to just drive over to the store, get what I need and come home without involving the rest of the family. But I can't drive anymore. And I'm too weak and easily confused to shop alone which means my husband comes with me (or does it all himself). But then the 10yo gets left home alone for long spans of time or has to come with but can't go in the stores because of COVID restrictions (like Costco only allows 2 people per membership). So what do we do? Leave him home alone? Leave him in the car? Let him come in the store and maybe get infected? The baby makes it harder. Pre-COVID, we would have just taken him with us and done the shopping yesterday or today, but he can't go anywhere. Everything is so complicated with this fatigue. I also always have to consider how I might be feeling just ten minutes from now when I plan anything.

The drive over to the store might be exhausting. I have no idea if I'll even make it through the entire store without feeling like I'll fall over at any moment. I just never know.

I hope I feel okay in the morning because I really want more yarn. I've decided I'll settle for anything they have. In fact, I'm kind of hoping they're out of almost everything (like normal) so I'm forced to buy some colors I normally wouldn't. But also, I need brown to finish the sweater I'm working on.

So recap: today was a "good" day and I got a lot done while babysitting. Almost felt like my old self, but I know it's probably a fluke. Tomorrow, I'll most likely be exhausted all day and I won't have another productive day for weeks. Sigh.

Written by justanotherjen

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