How I Spend My Birthday With AS

Another year has flown by, bringing me to the month of June, when I had my 35th birthday. I took the day off of work. I decided this year to take the day off, since my birthday fell on a Friday. I have so many things I wanted to do that weekend. But I knew I had to pick and choose.

I've been trying this year to add more self care into my life. I been trying to focus more on what will make me happy. Living with AS can be very unpredictable about what every second will bring. I've been trying to put myself first and what makes me happy. What better day to do that than on my birthday.

I first started off the day with my every day morning routine

I took my warm shower. I took my Tramacet (pain medication) because without it makes it hard to function and it helps keep my pains at a comfortable level. I already felt unwell, but I really wanted to make this day feel special. It's not your birthday every day.

My husband took the day off which made it extra special. We were able to spend some time together, with the kids being at school. I love my kids, but it felt good to have that break and spend some quality time together with my husband.

A week before, I had made plans for this day

I wanted to go for breakfast followed with mani/pedi and then go shopping to the mall and just shop like crazy. But as the day came, it ended up a little different.

I really wanted to go for breakfast, but I had to choose what I really wanted to do today. I knew I wouldn't able to sit for long if we went for breakfast. I forgot to mention, I've been having problems with my right ear. I am not sure how to explain it. The feeling is like when your ear gets blocked on an airplane. I've been having ringing in the ears that's been driving me nuts. I am not sure if it's a side effect from my biologics. I will have to discuss with my rheumatologist on my next appointment. I have also been sick for a couple days now with a flare. That's a whole other story. Back to how the day went.

Instead of going for breakfast, we decided to make a quick stop at Starbucks drive thru. Whoever doesn't know, Starbucks gives you a free drink or food of your choice on your birthday. It makes you feel a little special on your day. Guess where we first headed off too? Starbucks!!! I got myself my favorite drink "Dolce Cinnamon Latte" to enjoy with whip cream.

Then I really wanted to go do some shopping together. I knew I couldn't walk long, if I went to the mall. Instead, we went to Winners. This way everything was in one store, instead of walking store to store. I still wanted to keep energy to be able to spend sometime with the kids later on the day.

When you are having a good time, you can forget to stop and take a break

Which is much needed when you have a chronic illness and a day with not much energy to spend. My husband and I decided to go back home and rest. Taking breaks and resting can help, even though I miss just being able to do everything I want without breaks and rest and not worrying how I will feel every second.

The kids came home and we took a drive to pick a cake from the bakery. I picked birthday cake. I love anything birthday cake flavor.  Even though it felt like I didn't do much, it was too much already for me. Even though I rested before, I started not to feel well. I felt weak with a severe migraine that came along with increased pains throughout my body.

The kids and hubby wanted to go sit down at a restaurant and eat, but I knew I wasn't able too. Instead, we picked up Greek food and headed home. The drive back was awful. I started flaring up like crazy. The migraine got so intense, I wasn't able to think or speak much. I became nauseous. I wasn't able to keep my eyes open, in the car. My pains all over my chest and back made me cry. I hate feeling this way.

We headed home. I changed into comfortable clothes and we had a quiet and relaxing time, all together. We enjoyed some food and cut the cake. We then ended the night with playing some trivia on the TV.

Hubby suggested to take the next day to rest and to go watch a movie "Top Gun" on Sunday. I was so happy because that's what we did. I rested Saturday and Sunday morning, which helped me be able to do that.

Since I've been chronically ill and diagnosed, plans always change

I have come to accept it. But it can be hard for family and friends to understand. I am lucky in that aspect with my husband and kids. It is me that has a hard time accepting these situations, as the guilt eats me up. A lot of the times, I start to feel bad and want to try harder and push myself to do things I am not able too. I usually do push more than usual, but I was proud how I handled it this time.

It is hard when you are in a body that can't do much. Once you do a little extra, you know you will risk going into a flare or feeling unwell. I am thankful I have my family. I am thankful for being able to even do what I did. Hopefully next year, I will be able to do a little more. But I am still thankful of having a beautiful birthday weekend. For some it might not be much, but for me it was, as last year I wasn't able to do all this that I did.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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