What a great evening last night was!
Cocktail hour began at 5. As a handshake preventative, I carried a small handbag in my left hand and a glass in my right.* This was quite effective in making people realize that it was impossible for me to shake hands. Out of 198 people in attendance, only one person squeezed my fingers. Success!
Most people actually wore their name tags, and I’m finally getting the hang of small talk, so the mingling portion of the evening went well. At one point I was trapped in a conversation with somebody who droned on and on about how awful her fibromyalgia is and how nobody understands what it’s like to be in constant pain (fwiw, this is not an appropriate response to, “I like your dress”). I came away realizing one of the reasons that I dislike revealing personal medical information. Just because I’m in pain doesn’t mean I have to be one.
Door prizes were given away after dinner. The company goes all out; door prizes include things like a ps3, a dvd player, a notebook computer, gift cards to a fancy restaurant, a couple cameras, gift certificates to a local spa… Good prizes. Even better, I got to sit and watch someone else award the door prizes.
In addition to these, the company donated a flat-screen television to be raffled off. Proceeds from the raffle tickets are donated to the local children’s hospital. $1600 was raised, and the company will match that contribution.
Pills. I’d decided to excuse myself and leave the room, however I got the lucky seat at our table and it wasn’t necessary after all. It might have helped that I decided to wear subdued colors instead of my Christmas red dress that seems to attract attention. With my back to most of the room, I wasn’t quite as noticable as sometimes (we sit at the head table, and some years it’s felt like we were under a microscope). We’re in a new location with different setup, so it felt much more comfortable. Most people were focused on the conversations at their own tables, and with my back to the room I could be inconspicuous. It worked pretty well to hold my pill-box in my lap and take one pill at a time.
Thank you again for all the ideas. I was prepared to leave the room, but ended up just taking the pills at our table with only a few people noticing.
Note: The glass was cold. 90 minutes of a cold hand. Brrrr. Next year I’ll wear gloves. However, it’s very nice to be taking a calcium channel blocker to prevent headaches, instead of a beta blocker. Beta blockers can make Raynauds worse, but CCBs can be used to treat Raynauds. It was very nice to keep the blood circulating in my fingers.