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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Me Time

My husband gave me a gift certificate on Mother's Day for an
 one hour massage. Well, being the kind of person that I am, I was saving it for a rainy day.  I have never been one to dive in and use something up, I like to savor things!

I can remember, as a child, I would have a whole jack o lantern (plastic of course) full of Halloween candy. By Christmas time, I would still have pieces of candy...even the "good stuff" leftover.

Right now, if you were to look in my pantry, you would see my stash of chocolate that I bought a few weeks ago. Lately I have been keeping some chocolate on hand, but I only eat a few pieces at a time.  Not only because I have Interstitial Cystitis and chocolate is a known bladder irritant, but because I tend to hoard things.

Since a few months had gone by, I decided to book my appointment for my massage and just enjoy it! My energy level has been a little higher lately...Thank you Lord, so I thought it would be a good time to relish in the luxury. I will be glad and exult in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High ... Psalm 9:2.

As I made my way to the spa, I was feeling anxious. It was the unknown, that was overwhelming my rational thoughts.  I was actually a bundle of nerves. But the atmosphere of the spa was so calming.  It was dimly light, only by candles and small lamps. There was soft, serene music playing in the background and the aroma was pleasing and not too over powering.

The massage therapist sat down with me before the massage and talked with me about all of my medical conditions.  She said she remembered when my husband came in.  She said he was so thoughtful and wanted to make sure that I enjoyed my massage.  Almost implying to her to be extra gentle with me.

My instructions to her were that my pelvic area was tender, but I seemed to have more pain relief from a more powerful therapy everywhere else in my body.

As she began to massage my shoulders, I felt a sense of relaxation in those poor, achy muscles. As she continued the massage, I began talking to her about my IC and how it has changed my life.  Explaining that the struggles of IC have brought me closer in my walk with God.

As it turned out, she is a Christian too, so we connected on a personal level.  We talked about many things, but the one thing that stood out in my mind was when she said "God is sovereign and everything happens for a reason."  These are words I definitely believe, but it was such a great reminder that I truly needed to hear.

Continuing through the massage, when she started rubbing my head, I thought I had died on gone to heaven.  It felt so great, that I didn't want it to end.  I closed my eyes and wanted to appreciate the whole experience to the fullest extent!  I was so relaxed at this point, that I believe I was merely minutes away from falling asleep!

Then she said "Ok Barbara, I'm finished now." No! No! Just a few more minutes. I had flashbacks to Jr. High school when my Mom woke me up for school.  You know that feeling of, "No, no this can't be over!!"  

I felt so wonderful afterwards and it was such a great feeling to meet a sister in Christ.  The whole experience was lovely and I can't wait until I am able to go back for another one!!

As someone who experiences chronic pain, I know that it can take a toll on your body AND mind.  The whole massage process, for me, was "just what the doctor ordered."  If you are dealing with chronic pain, stress or other issues in your life, take the time to pamper yourself.  Take some "me time" and indulge yourself because YOU deserve it!

Granted I won't be able to go for a massage every week or every month for that matter, but I can do other things for some "me time."  I enjoy long, hot baths, writing, reading, walking and listening to music.  You may like drawing, painting or cooking.  You know what you enjoy, so take the time to do it.  We all need that "me time!"

Below I have compiled a short list of suggested "Me Time" things to do on a budget:
  • 1. Rent a movie.  Put on some comfy clothes, pop some popcorn, grab a bottle of water and enjoy!
  • 2. Give yourself a manicure or a pedicure. Take that old polish off.  Soak your feet in a bucket or bowl of warm, soapy water.  Relax a few minutes. Next soak your hands for a while. Paint your nails with a great new color. Sit back and relax some more while they dry.  
  • 3. Go for a short drive.  Turn on some of your favorite music.  Drive down a country road.  Enjoy the music and the scenery.
I'm sure you can think of some other great ideas. If you want to share them, comment below and we all can see them!
September is IC Awareness month!
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