There is definitely an MCAD lifestyle that comes with the territory, I’ve learned.
This disease definitely changes everything about you, too. It forces you to slow down and listen to your body, first of all, which isn’t always easy when the din of life tends to drown out everything else if you let it.
It’s easy to ignore symptoms when they take a backseat to kids, careers and responsibilities, until you wake up one day and can’t ignore them anymore because they are screaming angrily in your face. Maybe even itching like mad!! Grrrr.
Even when you do FINALLY (thank the Lord!) know what’s wrong with you and you realize that no, you’re not crazy, then what? Bills, kids, family, friends, life — those just can’t wait for hyperactive mast cells to calm the hell down.
Life goes on, whether we are sick or not!!
Yeah. Not really.
I’ve learned in the last year that this disease really does call all the shots and trying to convince myself otherwise is futile. I pay for it every single time I try to take full control so I give up.
I am thankful that I was pretty much always a home maker so we’ve always lived comfortably on one income for most of our 27 years together. Being an at-home-person, I can work my day around my hair-trigger mast cells and their whims and I’ll be honest, it reduces the stress by a million times I’m sure. I’m also an empty nester and at the stage in life where I’m ready to slow down anyway now that my kids are all grown and flown, which is a good thing because my faulty mast cells nearly had me bedridden a little over a year ago.
I wasn’t ready for that, of course, so I came back fighting and finally got my diagnosis and the right (hallelujah!) medicines.
Gone are the days, though, of hiking the back country up here in Yellowstone, our beautiful “backyard”. No more racing our Porsche around the curvy mountain roads to Jackson Hole and back just for fun (shh!). Bye-bye hours soaking in the soothing, addictive hot springs just a few miles down the way. No more soaking up the sun for hours on end on the boat or playing on the jet skis.
No more fun in the pool.
Heck, no pools at all, what with all that chlorine they use!
Nope, it’s all about watching Sunrise Earth, listening to Jack Johnson and doing non-triggering yoga workouts in my living room these days. If I’m lucky I can take a relatively warm bath with the door open so the cold air evens things out and keeps me “granulated”.
I barely go online anymore, which is weird, and when I do I avoid the news and pretty much every other website except my blogs and Pinterest. It’s the closest thing to social media I do nowadays, unless you count reading and leaving snarky comments now and then on The Daily Mail (I can’t help it, they are SO ridiculous there lol).
I don’t even do Facebook at all. Honestly, the DM is one thing, but Facebook? As if my mast cells could tolerate that level of drama!
So it’s an alternative lifestyle I live now, really. And I have grown to accept that there is an entire MCAD lifestyle for the hubby and me being formed around this guy now instead of around the children we raised up together, but it’s not all bad.
I mean, it certainly could be worse and not involve me boycotting Facebook or listening to Jack Johnson on repeat all day or me having all of my delicious safe, organic foods delivered fresh to me twice each week from my local grocer.
Meaning I never have to go to the grocery store ever again if I don’t want to. Ever!
Woo and hoo!!
I always hated grocery shopping. Now it takes a few clicks and it’s done. Boom. No guilt, either! No longer am I the pampered housewife who doesn’t have to lift a finger for herself, I have a valid medical excuse. I could even get a doctor’s note if I had to!
We are also soon doubling the size our our modest little kitchen since I spend so much time in there cooking everything from scratch now, and will be for the foreseeable future, which the hubby not-so-secretly loves and I openly adore the idea of because I love cooking and now I get my dream (practical!) baker’s kitchen. It has to wait for spring though, like almost all of the DIY we’re doing on the house, because I can’t be closed in with dust or chemicals or strong odors and we’re painting most everything.
Outside we’re anxious to finish our raised garden beds and chicken coop combo so we can get laying hens for fresh eggs (and they can eat the bugs and we’ll use their fresh manure for fertilizer):
We got a good start on it before the snow flew and will get right back to it this spring.
We’re adding a kitchen herb garden right up on the back deck so I can grow as many of my safe herbs and spices as possible without having to go more than a few steps from the kitchen to tend to them.
Again, this spring.
This spring (or summer) I’ll be learning how to properly store my safe ingredients all year long, too, so I can have them off season without being triggered. Meaning I’ll probably be jarring and freezing a lot of stuff, so we’ll be using the freezer in the garage again. The one that used to be stocked with pizza rolls when the kids were teens.
No more pizza rolls for me, for sure! I don’t even miss them, really. Cough.
So it really is the homesteader lifestyle I always sort of secretly wanted us to live, albeit a heavily modified one. I definitely would not be able to manage much more than a one-acre homestead with my mast cell disease but with careful planning I believe I can make this new MCAD lifestyle work for us.
I hope so. I don’t have too much of a choice but to embrace it, really. It’s that or go completely mad.
So hurry, spring!!
Wait, did I just say that?! 🙂
xo Michelle Dellene