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Mixed Feelings about Visit

belize44

Senior Member
Messages
1,701
My favorite niece wants to come for supper and bring her new boyfriend. I have not seen her for years, and time is precious, as we all know. But I have mixed feelings; this house is not exactly spic and span and I would be ashamed for anyone to come into it, let alone dine here. My husband is 68 and still working, so he can't do as much as he did before with household chores. This place could use one good clean. Secondly, exhaustion from just talking on the phone, can't compare to the exhaustion of entertaining one known person and a complete stranger.

She has said that the visit can't happen until December, but this is bringing up a lot of feelings about how much I have changed; I used to like socializing, loved cooking for people and having them over. Now, there are days when I lay around waiting for a spark of energy just to shower and put on a clean pair of pajamas. I can't refuse her; she is very dear to me. And she is excited about her brand new boyfriend and wants to show him off. In some ways I am closer to her than to my own daughter. I am not going to stress about food too much; we can always prepare something simple.

But I would appreciate some pointers with other members here who have had to gather energy for a visit!
 

Tammy

Senior Member
Messages
2,208
Location
New Mexico
Is it possible to get someone in to do some cleaning before the visit? I wish I had some good pointers. As much as I love to see my Daughter and Son n law when they visit, I always get kind of stressed out before hand. They really don't care how spic and span my place is or how inactive I may or may not be. They are there to visit and they know my limitations. My Daughter always tells me not to worry about anything............and I'm getting better about that. I just tell myself................what's the worst that can happen and I just surrender. In the end it always ends up being OK. Try not to worry. Try to pace yourself as much as possible before the visit and just know that it really is going to be OK.
 

belize44

Senior Member
Messages
1,701
Thanks for the thoughtful reply! I used to take such pride in having a clean, ordered house. It is so hard to feel OK about the dust and disorder. Plus there is the added strain of my niece bringing along a perfect stranger. I am sure that she at least understands my limitations and won't expect things to be perfect. I am just hard on myself, perhaps.

I am giving serious thought for having someone come in and do a good clean, though. As much as I dislike having strangers in my personal space, I am willing to put up with it for one day!
 

BrightCandle

Senior Member
Messages
1,176
I think a cleaner is a good idea, consider takeout as well. Anything you can do to minimise your exertions other than meeting the boyfriend. I wouldn't worry too much about it being a perfect meal its about preservation of your capacity and getting the most out of the interaction you can manage and everything else is honestly secondary.

The boyfriend is going to be nervous to meet you, he will have his own worries about this and hopefully is aware of your ME/CFS before turning up so has some expectations set. He will be really worried about getting something wrong and trying to make a good impression.

Then there is Covid and masks. I wouldn't do a meal given how much damage Covid can do to those with ME/CFS and how much it harmed me. I would want everyone masked and HEPA filters and Far UV. I get its not very sociable but I don't trust people to isolate before coming to visit and remains my biggest concern.
 

Hufsamor

Senior Member
Messages
2,793
Location
Norway
Just yesterday I had my first visit for a very very long time.
I had told them on beforehand what my time-limit is.
I had done my shower and hair wash a couple of days before.
I had used the week before to clean and neat the place-(-ish…it’s not neat as it would have been some years ago. I’m kind of shovelling the rubbish into one corner or stabling in on one table, instead of putting it away in a closet and then have to bring it out again later. )
I lay out my outfit + did the table the day before.

(And yet I’m absolutely rubbish today.
It was very very nice, so I tell myself it was so worth it, but I’m not sure if I really mean it. On the other hand, sometimes, if it’s possible in any sort of way, we just have to go through it? And take the punishment? And let it be a long time until next visit.)

By the way…what I hadn’t thought of was to try my outfit before I lay it out, creating a tiny bit of panic the day I put in on. And the result of my outfit-as I run out of time and energy to find something else that looked nice both at my upper body and my lower body AND had a match in between the two- is the only thing I really disliked about the event.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,863
Location
Alberta
I'll bring up "Honesty is the best policy". You are limited in how much energy you can invest in cleaning/tidying, and how long you can socialize. If you had a better-known disease and had to have an oxygen mask and colostomy bag, guests wouldn't expect you to cook a fancy dinner and go for a walk afterwards. Just say "This is the reality of ME."

If you manage to fake being healthier, you might end up with more expectations to socialize.
 

Mary

Moderator Resource
Messages
17,589
Location
Texas Hill Country
@belize44 - I agree with the suggestion to get a cleaner. I've done that before and just feel better with the house clean! And I think the takeout suggestion was a good one too. And of course you know how you'll feel the next day - like crap I'm sure. I often do things with a planned crash built in - I'm fortunate in that my crashes are quite predictable.

This is an insane way to live - it's strange - I've sort of made peace with it after 25 years, and yet lately my crashes are starting to seem surreal to me, something like, what is this now??? This shouldn't be happening, though of course there's no reason why it wouldn't . . . arrgghhh!!!
 

Rufous McKinney

Senior Member
Messages
13,467
if it’s possible in any sort of way, we just have to go through it? And take the punishment?
Im afraid this simply comes with the territory called: a Visit........

I've not figured out how to do any form of visit, without the PEM event. Maybe there is milder PEM and more intense bad PEM. So Mild is better, thank you.

Now I spend far less time by myself; my daughter is around, and the baby and I speak to them. This tends to NOT generate a severe crash, but is probably keeping me in a state of The Rollercoaster Ride is still Up Down up down.
 

Rufous McKinney

Senior Member
Messages
13,467
But I have mixed feelings; this house is not exactly spic and span and I would be ashamed for anyone to come into it, let alone dine here.

I think you need to do it, despite the ensuing low energy that will follow. Because on the other side of Not Doing It, you'll likely feel worse. At least you don't have to go out anywhere.

You've been given some good advice. Maybe it's a good excuse to get somebody to do some basic cleaning, assuming thats not too pricey. You might appreciate it later.
 

belize44

Senior Member
Messages
1,701
Very good points! I will be so happy to have a clean house, I do know that. Right now it's not even a lick and a promise. Gotta love those cat hair tumbleweeds drifting around! ;)

I haven't seen my niece in five years, and that was at her wedding. She had a rough time around then; they hadn't been married even a year and her husband died. Now she is reaching out again and has found a man who seems very decent; so I am honored that she wants me to meet him.

Hubby has agreed to having a cleaner in, closer to the visit of course. I wish I could have one at least once a month, but they are charging more and more nowadays. He is willing to cook though. I am sure my niece will understand a time limit, and might appreciate it since they are driving from NJ to PA to see me.
 
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