That doesn't mean that I don't want to see you.
I'm a planner and an overachiever, even at maintaining friendships, so it pains me to decline or to change plans at the last minute.
You deserve an explanation.
If I had cancer or a heart attack, you'd probably understand.
But I have a disease that people deal with every day - asthma. No big deal, right?
Well, I'm been to the ER with chest pains three times now. They think it is asthma-related.
My allergies sometimes keep me home.
I cannot go in a home with a cat or ride in a car with a person recently around a cat without a serious allergy and asthma attack. Dust often sets off my asthma, too. And don't not try cleaning right before I visit! That stirs up the dust.
I get side effects that make me sick from the very medicines that make me well.
After an asthma attack, I am homebound for a couple of days, worn out and with other unmentionable side effects.
If I take steroids (the normal treatment for inflammation), I get extremely high blood pressure and TIA strokes. I also don't sleep for a week or two.
Caring for a chronic illness is a time suck.
I have constant appointments to keep me healthy.
In the last week, I had a nuclear stress test (which takes all morning and leaves you very worn out), an allergist visit along with a lab visit for a blood draw, an extra dental visit (required because the inflammation that comes with asthma flares and the extra bleeding from aspirin to prevent strokes means an extra teeth cleaning each year), and a visit with the ENT (due to nose bleeds from the meds I take for my allergies).
I had to go to the pharmacy three times.
I had to call my doctors twice and my insurance three times.
I had to check my lung capacity (pictured above as noted in my planner) twice daily, take meds three times daily (one a half hour before food, three with food, and seven at night), use nose spray and eye drops and apply cream to my septum.
I have to work out daily. With strokes, skipping movement is simply not an option.
I have to cook my meals. Weight loss is important to symptom control.
I still have a job, kids to care for, and a child who is homeschooled with a chronic illness (epilepsy).
So, friends, I sometimes don't have time for you.
It's not personal. I love seeing you, but I need some grace if I have an attack or run out of time.
I hope you understand.
Please share this with your friends if you have a chronic illness. They need to know you love them, even if you have to miss out on friend time occasionally.
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