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Jumping Through Hoops for My Friends

Posted Jan 18 2011 11:52am
Image by National Media Museum via Flickr
Yesterday I had plans to spend time with a friend of mine.

She was really eager to see me since we haven't seen each other for months. I was encouraged by her enthusiasm, since getting together means she needs to come to me. She lives well outside my comfortable driving distance, so driving to her, or even meeting her half-way, isn't doable for me.

Now any visit with family or friends is always fraught with uncertainty. After all, even when I am consistently living inside my energy envelope , something like a change in the weather, allergies, a cold, a bad night's sleep or doing too much the day before can mean I have to cancel my plans. For me, making a date is a real exercise in optimism.

Plus for this particular visit, in addition to scheduling extra rest before and after our date, I knew I needed to run an errand to be able to make this happen.

You see, the last time we got together, I was so short on cash my friend had to pay for everything. She paid for brunch, she left the tip and she literally bailed me out of the parking lot. I was so embarrassed. Unfortunately, being short of cash sometimes is what happens when you are disabled and living off Social Security.

So this time, I wanted to pay her back. That meant asking my hubs to help me with a trip to the recycling center to take in the bottles and cans piling up in our backyard. Not a lot of money there, but just enough to pick up the check if we decided to head over to our favorite restaurant.

The trip Saturday to the recycling center wore me out! I crashed when we got back and slept for 3 hours on the couch. Then I worried on Sunday that I might have to cancel when I woke up extra tired and took another 3 hour nap. Remembering my friend's insistence that we make this work and her enthusiasm to see me, I managed to pull myself together Sunday night and made sure extra rest would see me through Monday.

In a surprising twist of fate, it was my friend who canceled at the last minute on Monday. She left me a message that a guy she met at Starbucks around New Year's had called her and asked her out for lunch. She hoped I didn't mind.

It's funny, because I am not quite sure how I feel about this.

I've canceled on her several times because I wasn't up to getting together like we planned, so on the one hand I figured that I shouldn't complain. But on the other hand, I was really looking forward to seeing her and was disappointed.

Plus there was all that preparation on my part just to get ready for our date. It's a lot of work for me to get together with someone, which is something that really hit home with me yesterday. I don't really think she or any other of my "healthy" friends and family truly understands this.

I know this will get worked out and we will reschedule. But in the meantime, I find myself pondering the question, "Should I expect my "healthy" friends be more reliable that I am?' That and I am once again amazed at how many hoops chronic illness makes me jump through just to spend some time with my friends.

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