The Gift Of Relaxation

Sometimes there is no explain or accounting for what someone wants as a gift.  Beloved asked for a nice loofah for his birthday.  And a natural sponge, and some mud from the DeadSea region.  Listen Beloved is into this whole spa thing, more than a lot of people I know.

He is very specific, is Beloved, about the type of sponge, loofah and suchlike.  Specific and particular.  I may have mentioned before, Beloved takes bath time seriously.  Well serious as far as relaxing and washing away the tension of the day. 😊  He had the whole thing setup for his relaxation, from candles to pillows and soft music.  He also isn’t against refilling the bathtub once the water cools too much.  Yes, when it comes to bathtime, Beloved doesn’t worry about excess.😊

Now he didn’t tell me about these bath items for his birthday.  You see we have this odd habit of getting each other books.  Sometimes they are classics from our childhoods and other times special editions of much-loved  books.  So no, I didn’t get him the bath items.  But his dear friends had asked, and so he had told them.  No shame, no silly blushing.  Not for my man. Not when it comes to bathtime.  Thankfully here are friends he has had for years and years.  Some of them even share his passion when it comes to bubble baths.  I’ve seen the group make their way happily into one of those bath stores.  The ones that sell various scented  soaps and lotions, for men, women and gender neutral.

For Christmas he may get lucky! 😉  Yep a nice, thick, plush bathrobe like you get at the spas!  What?  You were thinking of something else?  Dare I even ask?!

 

Of White Coats And Treasures

When I was young, a visit to the doctor guaranteed a treasure at the end of then visit.  Colored diamond rings, lollipops, fancy erasers, sparkling pencils just to name a few.  now least you get the wrong idea, one colored diamond rings were clearly not diamonds, but to my childhood eyes they were amazing things!

These days I’ve yet to find a doctor who supplies any type of treasure after as visit.  Instead I walk out with papers, sure they are colored, but not a sparkle to be found.  And what of theses papers you ask?  They have prescriptions or tests to deal with.  Somehow this doesn’t seem fair.

My specialists don’t seem to embrace the idea of rewards for patients after a visit.  But I figure I will be seeing them enough that maybe I will be able wear them down.  There is an upside to having lupus in a flare! 😉

now if they aren’t into giving out colored sparkly diamond rings, that’s okay too.  The ideal is to provide a bit of reward, a little reprieve from being sick and serious.  Frankly being sick shouldn’t equate to serious all the time, it it die  seem to be the way of things most often.

Sometimes a bit of whimsical goes a long way, especially with serious chronic illnesses such as lupus.  Since my doctors seem to be a bit behind on this, I’ve had to taken measures into my own hands.  So cue the funny glasses, the squirting flowers and such as part my general attire when I visit them.  So far I’ve received one raised eyebrow,  a just the slightest hint of a smile from the ever serious rheumatologist.  But its early days, so I do carry hope that they will understand whimsy, humour, and silliness play an important part in the care and treatment of the chronically ill.  For those moments when it isn’t all serious, not grim eyes or sober expressions, are pure magic and healing in a mystical way takes place even if only briefly.  And those moments are truly priceless.

A Trip To The Market Wrapped Up

We walked around the market, not because we needed anything, but because it was time together. And for me a chance to enjoy what he has known for years.

I love winding my way through the various stalls and areas, stopping where it catches my fancy. (Does it ever catch anyone’s plain?😉 )

He followed along, a mild look of a,use,emt playing just sround his eyes and the corners of his mouth. I’m sure my flitting to and fro with no plan was part of the reason why. Not that I minded in the least as there have been plenty of times when this has all been reversed.

I couldn’t make up my mind about s few items. I just wasnt sure if it was the perfect thing for this person, or that person. I didnt want to feel rushed to buy anything just to have that off my plate and at the same time I didnt want to miss the perfect item either!

Adding to the fun of it all, the sun had been out ensuring everything was warm and dry. Perhaps because of this I couldn’t resist the brightly colored scarf. The perfect gift for an overly serious man, I decided as I paid for it.

When Beloved asked me who I bought it for, I simply smiled and draped it around his neck. It waved like a brilliant flag in the breeze, standing out against the dark jacket he was wearing.

Love is like that, sometimes you just need to break a bit out of the usual for yourself and your partner. Not because anything is wrong, it’s just because sometimes those little gestures make it all the better.

When It Is Lupus

A television show made my chronic illness a name/word that people recognized. That same television show had a running joke of my illness. It’s all fun and games until…well, until it is Lupus. Then the fun stops, the laughter kind of ends and the getting serious gets serious.

The reality of Lupus is similar to a civil war. My body is attacking itself. The good guys can’t seem to wait for the bad guys to show up, instead they are itching for a fight and choose an organ or such to attack. And the thing is, since it’s really me attacking myself, the only damage is to me.

The thing about a civil war is that by the end of it, you really know the land, the layout that you’ve been fighting on and for. And that’s one of the things Lupus has done for me, made me very aware and familiar with, well, me.

The problem with war, any type of war, is that a “win” comes at a huge price. A price that people sometimes are forced to pay; a price people don’t ever expect to really have to pay.

To be honest here, I’m not exactly sure what a “win” is when you live with Lupus. I think it’s more a compromise with some things sacrificed.

Lupus isn’t “trendy” or “sexy”. The people who have Lupus, those remarkable folks, can make it seem that way sometimes. But it isn’t all horrors and nightmares either.

It’s just another challenge, a constant companion in my journey of life. That doesn’t time an I downplay it, well okay since we are being frank, I do tend to downplay it for friends, family, loved ones. To spare them, to spare myself too because I’m not just Lupus. I happen to be a girl, who happens to have Lupus.

Shelving Books

Years ago my bookshelves, the ones that visitors would see, had titles of books to impress. Some of them were books I struggled to read, others were books that weren’t hard to read, but weren’t hard to forget either.

Books I didn’t display for others to see were things like Dr. Seuss, The Pokey Puppy, James and the Giant Peach, Curious George, The Tale of Peter Rabbit and such. These were books much-loved from childhood that, at the time, I didn’t feel should be just out there although Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn could easily sit anywhere.

When you share your life with others you have yo make the decision to let them in and to what degree. When you live with others, the question of what goes on which bookshelf is sure to come up.

Did I want Beloved to know I still revisit James and the Giant Peach, or that a Pokey Puppy can still capture my attention even though the book takes less than five minutes to read?

The thing is, the bookshelf is as much who I am as anything and this isn’t Facebook where you display books that make you look a certain way. This is real life, where yes you may read Shakespeare because you enjoy it, but you also might need a dose of Eeyore and Pooh Bear too.

So childhood treasures, stories that carry much more than just the story being told are placed next to heavier volumes, volumes of more serious nature. It doesn’t matter, the book shoves are as eclectic or eccentric as my mind.

Glancing at his bookshelf, I see he’s done pretty much the same and somehow that makes it all the more special. Special because I can grab one of his childhood favorites and curl up with it and him and read it and get to catch a glimpse of his childhood. I get to understand that six-year-old boy I never knew and why this book was so appealing to him. And for a brief moment, almost as if we have a time machine I can see the wonder and joy on that freckled six-year-old face.

Who knew that wee boy with the gap in his teeth and a love for Seamus Heaney’s poems or an action adventure story would end up enjoying reading biographies when he got older? I’m pretty sure he was surprised to find the woman who pours over stuff like the Dead Sea Scrolls, could enjoy Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.

We didn’t grow up together, not in the same country or continent. Our experiences and childhoods were vastly different and yet with these books, the ones we cherished from way back we have a chance to share that childhood with one another. We have a chance to know who were as kids and strip away all the serious and mundane stuff of daily adult living. We have an opportunity, even if just briefly, to escape with each other down the tunnel,of childhood hopes and dreams as well as pure joy. And that, my friends, is pure magic. Magic so pure it must be displayed on the bookshelves for all to see!