One Patient's Positive Perspectives

Posts tagged ‘Holidays’

Lupus and the slow way to unpack after travel

The aftermath of travel

After a trip, there are two ways of unpacking.  If I get home early and am not exhausted, my suitcases nearly unpack themselves. Clothes nearly fold themselves and fall neatly into my drawers, others seemingly hang themselves up, and the soiled ones crawl over and jump obediently into my open hamper. The whole routine has been known to take as few as 30 minutes, start to finish.

However, the opposite approach can happen, especially when my lupus fatigues me after traveling, or if I get home late in the evening.  Then, the suitcase is likely to get sparing intermittent attention, and the piecemeal unpacking approach spans several days.  The latter was what took place last week.

Valentine's card and gift from my suitcase

My plane arrived home at 6:30 p.m. on Valentine’s Day.  My husband picked me up at the airport, and we headed off to a nice dinner at our favorite sea food restaurant. After a great meal of grilled salmon, we stopped for Starbuck’s coffee and headed home.   I had pulled out a gift and Valentine’s card from my suitcase from the back of our Jeep when we stopped to eat, but zipped my suitcase back up and never opened it again for two more days.

Then, for the following five days, two or three favorite items exited the suitcase that I wanted to wear or use.  First, my hair dryer and air styling brush on day one, along with my makeup.   Next, my favorite new sweater, pajamas and slippers, then the next day it was two pairs of shoes and my favorite slacks.  Each day I mumbled to myself some great intentions to finish emptying the suitcases.

Then, I envisioned that I would surely finish unpacking my luggage on Saturday or Sunday, but there were so many distractions and inclinations to rest and relax.   Perhaps I was unconsciously pacing myself to make sure I was not exhausted from the trip, or in some way trying to prevent a flare of my lupus.  The weekend came and went, and my suitcases were still sitting on the bench in our bedroom with most of their contents still inside, their remaining contents getting messier and more disheveled each day.

Why did it take me so long?

Finally, President’s Day arrived, and I was glad to be home for the holiday!  Unpacking was my priority of determination and personal pride for the day.  How long could I tolerate the unpacking task remaining undone?  Not much longer!  Addressing the now languishing suitcases, I faced the inevitable, and opened the already half-emptied, messy bags and began purging their contents in earnest.

After about an hour, the deed was completed, all the suitcases were nested and zipped inside the set and rolled to the back door to await storage.  I asked myself why it took me so long to finally get around to it.

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