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  • Diana Fletcher

Sometimes You Need to Take to Your Bed and Order Pizza

The effects of stress are many and varied. I know that yet still get caught by surprise sometimes. I readily recognize stress symptoms in other people, but that sneaky stress can surprise me in my own life.

Last Thursday started out nicely. I felt very efficient as I sent emails, went to an appointment, did the grocery shopping, and was home by 11:00 am. I had a lot of work to do and after a healthy lunch, sat at my computer.

I must fill in a little background here, to explain what happened Thursday afternoon.

My parents are elderly and my 89 year old mother is insisting that she can take care of my 89 year old father, who suffers from dementia and Parkinson's. My mother doesn't want help, she does want help, he's fine, he is worse, he's ok, she's ok.....you get the picture.

Two of my sisters live in Michigan and are on the front lines of this situation. They are my heroes. My sister who lives in South Carolina and I try to get in as often as possible to help.

The situation is getting worse. Suddenly, last Thursday, we were supposed to jump in and do something. Note: We have been asking my Mom to get help for a couple of years now and I cannot begin to describe all the nonsensical fiascoes we have experienced.  Plus, you would think I was making stuff up. In between my regular work, I was reading and answering emails from my sisters. The emails were flying and I could feel myself getting frustrated and worried that I wasn't there. As I tried to rearrange my schedule for the upcoming week, and realized that it would be impossible for me to get to Michigan, my stomach started getting upset.

I rarely get sick, and not connecting what was going on with the nausea, I thought I may actually be getting the flu. I was surprised, and a little worried.

I had had high hopes in the morning as far as dinner. I was planning a really good meal. Suddenly, I thought, "I can't make dinner!" I felt bad and my oldest daughter said, "We can just get pizza." I was disappointed, but realized that everyone else was too busy to make dinner, and pizza it may have to be.

I took to my bed. I curled up and read and played scrabble on my iPhone. Now, mind you, I had a ton to do. But I felt SICK!

I spoke to one of my sisters and told her that I had taken to my bed and I felt guilty about pizza. She paused and then said some very wise words. "Sometimes you just need to take to your bed and order pizza."

Suddenly I felt better and realized what had happened. Stress. It was like a light bulb going on, and then I knew what to do. Breathe, rest, relax. Even Stress Reducing Experts need the reminders.

We ordered pizza but I was able to get up and make a really good salad to accompany it. Win, win.


Clara Hinton said "Diana, I love this post for a number of reasons, most importantly that you realized it was time for a “time out” for yourself. Often, as caregivers to others (and being a stress coach, daughter, mom, and all the other roles you take on means you are a multiple caregiver), we get to a point of burnout without realizing it. “Taking to bed with pizza” is a GREAT “time out for replenishment” remedy…. minus any guilt! We are one person, often trying to do the job of many persons, and an occasional “pizza and bed break” is just what the doctor (or stress coach) ordered!

I hope you’re enjoying a wonderful day today! As for me, my pizza day was yesterday! Clara"

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