For the past three weeks, my kids and I have been anxiously counting down the days to attend our first Wizard World Comic Con. Truth be told, I was the one having a difficult time containing my excitement. It might have had to do with the fact I was going to have the opportunity to interview Thomas Ian Nicholas (Rookie of the Year) and Christy Carlson Romano (the voice of Disney's Kim Possible).
For a romance novelist, freelance writer and lifestyle blogger that never thought I'd get to do media coverage on some of today's most popular events with amazingly talented celebrities, this is a huge deal for me! The last thing I want to do is miss out on meeting these two incredibly talented actors. So why am I voluntarily opting out on the chance to speak one-on-one with Thomas and Christy?
My health always comes first.
As someone that was diagnosed with several invisible illnesses (chronic migraine, cluster headaches, rheumatoid, and fibromyalgia) over the past six years I learned that ignoring your body and the symptoms it presents is doing much more harm than good.
I was experiencing excoriating joint pain in both hips, shoulders, and feet. I couldn't even get a good enough grip on my bedroom door to open it. It took a total of 3 minutes before I was able to vacate my sleeping quarters. Not at all how I wanted to start my morning.
Even with attempting a few stretches that I learned during physical therapy to make life more manageable with my rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, it was clear each movement was only making my body hurt worse than when I first crawled out of my bed.
Pushing past your pain is a practice people expect of you. From a mental point, there is only so much a person can withstand before breaking down. From a physical aspect, your body will rebel, and when it does, you will be down for the count for hours or days on end.
Trust me when I say there's nothing worse than feeling you've disappointed yourself along with the others in your life that expect you to keep plans. I am very fortunate that all three of my kids understand there will be times I need to have a half or full day of relaxation. Having compassionate people in your life is truly a blessing. It helps to make each moment you're faced with unexpected health matters a little easier to cope with.
I'm not going to lie. I woke up at 5 A.M only to spend a better part of an hour struggling with my decision to sit out today's festivities in Chicago. I had my teens and my items all packed to head out around 7 A.M. thinking I'll change my mind. I didn't. I won't either.
Instead, I'm going to practice a full day of self-care.
For a person living with one or more chronic illnesses, it is vital to put the importance of your health first. Unfortunately, it is easier said than done. We often feel judged. Not everyone believes our symptoms debilitate us and see a lazy individual.
I am not writing this article to seek out sympathy. I am sharing my own experience with the hope that people will understand that my children deserve a mom who is taking care of her mental, emotional and physical well being. I'm far from being weak. I am a strong-willed, single mom to three great kids who loves going on adventures. Especially when it involves fun-filled family activities.
As for me, tomorrow is another day. My body will have rested up enough to make the journey to Chicago. I can't wait to spend the day with my kids who are thrilled about attending panels with their awesome geek mom, getting autographs from their favorite actors and buying more toys they don't need, but must have.