Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Pacing Update and an Aha Moment

So, I'm reporting back with the results from my experiment. I did have one full day where I did nothing. But, as I suspected, it was followed by three very busy days. On Saturday, we had two weddings and a funeral (Yeah, I know, it sounds like a movie.) Sunday, I spent the day doing laundry. Plus, we had the kids over for a cookout. By two o'clock I was in so much pain and utterly exhausted, that I took a pain pill and went to bed. I slept off and on the rest of the day.

We've had a very cool, rainy spring thus far, and my joints and muscles do not care for it much. The mornings are the worst. I usually have a lower pain level mid-morning, but by late afternoon, it picks up again. I'm sure that's due to all of the activity of the day. I've realized, I need to take the weather and its affect on my body into account when planning my day. I don't know why it's taken me so long to realize this. I've known that weather affects me, but planning around it never occurred to me. I'm even a weather buff and trained spotter. I guess it's because I can't control the weather, but I can work around it in some ways. Realizing this was an "Aha moment."

I thought of a few other ways of handling my activities of daily living. These are just for those days where I'm able to be up and about. Maybe you will find some of these ideas helpful.

1. Plan one, or maybe two physical activity per day- When looking at my planner, I noticed I had days where I'd both vacuumed and mopped floors. That's just too much for me; it might not be for another chronically ill person, though. Also, if I'm going to shop or do another outside the home errand, I shouldn't schedule any taxing housework for the day.

2. Keep a running to-do list of sedentary chores I can do, such as writing emails, paying bills, sorting through paperwork, making phone calls, etc. There will be times where even these light activities will be too much for me.

3. Let it go:  Most things aren't so important that they can't be put off for another day. Well, almost everything. We have to eat, as does the dog and the laundry needs to be kept up, but other than that, we'd survive. Things might get a bit messy after a while, but with some family and friends helping, we'd get back to normal again pretty fast.

In my last post, I mentioned figuring out what activities I need to push through and which ones I should skip. Well, I thought I had it figured out that attending a wedding was a for sure thing, but, for me, at least where I'm at now, it doesn't seem to be. We had two weddings on Saturday. One was the wedding of a close friend of our sons, and he was a groomsman. The other was the daughter of a friend of my husband's. That is one we probably didn't have to attend. Or, we could have just gone to the reception. I always hate doing that though as I feel like it's saying that you think the wedding isn't important enough to attend, but you'll be happy to eat a meal and some of that good wedding cake.
I'm sure they wouldn't feel that way, especially knowing my health issues. As it was, we went to the first wedding which started at 2:30, then went to the second one which began at 4:30. After the second ceremony, we went to the reception for the first wedding. Are you following me? By going to the second wedding only, allowing for travel time, we would have saved over two hours! We also could have left the reception earlier than what we did, but my husband was reliving his glory days with his childhood friends, and I really didn't want to be the bad guy and pull him away too early. I could have possibly left early and had someone bring him home, which is something I hadn't thought of until now. I realize there may come a time where I won't be unable to attend any wedding or activity outside of my home, but while I'm still able, I do need to pick and choose what matters most. At this time in our lives, we are having close friends of our children get married and some family members. I want to go to as many of those weddings as I can. But, again, I need to make adjustments in our schedule, so I'm not away from home for too long. I've figured out that being away from home for anything longer than three hours is too much for me.

During my short, self-imposed grounding, I also thought about other outings. For example, doctor appointments are a necessity. Going to the grocery is not. Someone else can do that for me. I can and have done other kinds of shopping online. It's not always as much fun, and it can be more difficult in some cases, but it's an option. Going to church is important to me, but I'm lucky enough to belong to a church that broadcasts its services online. I'd rather attend in person, of course. We didn't go this past Sunday because I was too worn out and sick from Saturday's activities. I want to go out with my friends a few times a month. For about three weeks in a row, I saw my friends. Honestly, that was probably too much for me. If I could go out twice a month that would be great! Unless you have a chronic illness, it's hard to understand all of these restrictions. In fact, I'm sure many people would consider them copping out, or using an excuse not to do things; that couldn't be further from the truth. By choosing my activities, I'm more likely to have enough energy and feel well enough to attend what's most important to me.

I've also figured out that I need to look at my whole week and pace myself within the week. For
example, it would be a bad idea to go shopping for furniture a few days after attending two weddings and a funeral. Yes, I did that. I could have waited until late this week or even next. If you're a regular reader of my blog, you may think this is a topic I write about too often, but I write about things that I'm working through, not just for my benefit, but because I know I can't be the only one who feels this way.

May is Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Awareness month, and I still plan on posting about EDS. Also, I'm working on adding pages to my blog that have links to information on a particular subject. The first one I'm doing is an EDS page.

Have you ever had an aha moment? A moment when you realized you could do things differently and it would make things easier on yourself? Please feel free to share. Also, I always welcome private messages.

Have a great rest of the week!

No comments:

Post a Comment