Clean Up on Aisle Four

I went Christmas shopping this past week. That’s not so unusual. But the last two years since my rupture, I’ve done the majority, if not all, my Christmas shopping online as stores just bother me too much.

I decided to take a chance and save on some shipping and time and go to two stores (Target and Barnes & Noble). I took my time and after six hours and THREE stores, I was home. I didn’t even eat lunch (bad Heidi!) I still had some issue with over-stimulation in some aisles, but once I just got into the rhythm of very deliberately looking at one item, registering it in my brain, the moving on, it went very well. I was by myself, so I didn’t feel any pressure to hurry up or move along and that was the key. I could take my sweet old time and go through one aisle as many times as I wanted to.

Going into Michael’s Craft store was a huge hurdle. The first time I went into that store after my rupture, it was awful. The aisles are very narrow and they’re packed floor to ceiling with oodles of items. I’ve been in a couple of times since and this time it wasn’t too bad. I think I went through the store four times, so getting the lay of the land, as it were, helped.

So, for those of you having problems in stores, it will get better. I rested before I went shopping and made sure I ate a good breakfast. If I try to shop after working all day, it’s usually very, very tiring and disruptive on my brain and eyes. Too much stimulation with colors, shapes and text.

I was pleased after visiting three stores and not having any lunch with how I felt when i got home. The lunch thing wasn’t good, but I was on a roll. I was VERY tired the next day, but not in pain…just dopey. I’ve always taken a day off work in December to go Christmas shopping. I actually enjoy it. Listening to carols and looking at all of the pretty decorations and buying things I know will make my family and friends smile. I still enjoy shopping online better (no parking or lousy sales people to deal with) but for Christmas this is an “outing” for me and I was glad I finally was able to get out there and do it again.

I’m reminded of my post from December, 2006 when just wrapping presents exhausted and frustrated me. I’ve come a long way baby! Merry Christmas!