Those of us with auto-immune diseases with all their various symptoms find that going out gets harder and harder, sometimes making it impossible to even try to keep up with social obligations.

sandiinviteThere are invites to weddings, showers, birthday parties and family events, not to mention all the holiday events that are creeping up on us even now.

While we still feel okay, those RSVPs were generally answered with a “Yes.” We go and enjoy ourselves.

Then symptoms start to manifest and we start to say “No.”

When our symptoms start to show up around the edges of our lives, we cancel the unimportant ones – employee parties, happy hours, those sort of things. Hey, that time off gives us time to catch up on our DVR queues.

When things start escalating, Saturday nights out get cut down to maybe a drink and home, the concerts to the ones on your bucket list and an occasional friend’s party.

You know things getting bad when the RSVPs are now answered with a “No.”

You’ve hit rock bottom when family events are now “iffy” and your presence during the holidays have you huddled up on a couch covered with a blanket, wondering when you can leave and get back to bed.

It’s an awful thing not knowing if you’ll be well enough to do anything when some family members just do not understand.

In my book, nothing is worse than when a well-meaning aunt/uncle/cousin comes to get you and will not take no for an answer. You can show them your stash of prescriptions, bring out your best explanations or finally pull out all the stops and cry, and those tears roll off them like water off a duck. You find yourself bundled up and on the couch one more time.

The hardest part is explaining to children why you don’t feel well. Mostly they experience with sickness is a temperature and mama making it better.

If only mama could.

My family finally understands I will be doing my best to be at get-togethers, but if I wake up that morning and can see I’m not getting much farther than my bed, they understand.

The strangest thing to me is Facebook understands. When an event is planned on their site, in addition to the usual “Attending” and “Not Going” is the wonderful word “Maybe.” It’s the one I always check.

I’ve been trying to show up at a few more things lately, but the payback required by my body the few days afterward are making me rethink “Maybe.”

Maybe there should be one more choice added: “No win.”