Way’s of coping with a chronic illness
Living with a chronic illness can make life very difficult indeed, as those living with one will understand. Yes I have a chronic illness but I am also a mum and wife still wishing to live my life and not let my health get the better of me.
I suffer with Endometriosis and have been living with the condition now for 16 years, resulting in surgeries. I also suffer with Fibromyalgia and depression – both of which recently diagnosed. A cocktail of medication is taken daily for various of reasons. I don’t like taking them but know they are for my own good.
Due to my health deteriorating I am having to sadly reduce my working hours and step down in my position at work. This is reluctantly being done as I love my job and I wish to continue working for as long as I can. I work as a support worker out in the community – currently on light duties and only working three day’s a week.
Daily chores are apart of everyday life and if not managed they soon begin to pile up…..If only the cleaning fairy was real.
The chronic pain really does make my life difficult, but things are still needing to be done at some point. At the moment I am currently under the care of consultants and attending pain management in London. I am trying to live life as comfortable and to the full the best I can, following specialist advice.
Hopefully soon I am due to start a specialist treatment plan but this sadly doesn’t start until October as these plans only run a few times a year and I have been booked on the next plan. In the meantime I am going to do all I can to manage my chronic pain better and make life easier for myself and my family.
Below is a list of my way’s of coping to still feel like a mum and wife whilst suffering a chronic condition. I may suffer a chronic condition but I am still a mum and wife with bills to pay and a house that needs cleaning.
Here are a few of my self-help tips
- Make a list of jobs – Making a list of jobs that I know I can do and making up a weekly jobs planner to help me keep on top of things so they don’t pile up.
- Post-it-notes – It is probably medication related (well I hope it is) but my memory is awful at the moment and I am easily forgetting things. Leaving myself little notes/reminders are currently helping massively.
- A little bit each day – I have made a point to try and do a small amount each day. Long gone are the days of rushing around and trying to blitz the house in a day or two. I now have to go day-by-day doing what I can depending on how I am feeling.
- Make chores more manageable – By using light-weight cleaning tools/aids it helps a great deal. No more big heavy hoovers, mops and buckets. My stomach muscles are not what they used to be due to my Endometriosis and surgeries.
- Medication reminders – I am always asking myself “have I had my medication” – I purchased a dosset box. This gets filled up on a weekly basis and all I have to do is check the box. If my medication is still there for that day and times of day then it helps to remind myself.
- Online shop – Online shopping is a godsend. No more having to struggle with heavy bags/trolleys. Ordering online makes my life so much more easier. I order our weekly shop online and pretty much everything else needed to be honest. I am even going to try online healthcare at some point.
- Ask for help – I have always been a very independent person and to be honest asking for help is something I struggle with and absolutely HATE doing – but is something I have to start learning to now do. Ian is always telling me off where I overdo things and end up in pain.
Working from home will make life so much easier for me
- Work from home – It goes without saying, reducing my working hours with my employer is having a knock-on-effect with our monthly income. I am currently trying to work more from home so I can be resting but also be working and helping pay the bills.
- Plan ahead – On what I call “a good day” I like to plan ahead, by organising myself more. This can be anything from preparing for any upcoming family events, paying bills, meal prep/batch cook and reply to missed emails from a “bad day” as when I am in pain I tend to let things slip. Things are then easily missed or forgotten so I try my best to catch up with things and try and plan ahead the best I can.
- Talk – I can sit and talk for hours about a load of gibberish but I must also learn to talk about my feelings more. Recently at one of my hospital appointments I was asked “how I was feeling” – this was done over a few questions in different ways. I ended up breaking down because to be honest I just feel useless now. A few years back I used to be able to do so much, be so organised and I look at myself now and how little I manage to do, I just feel like a complete failure. I have recently joined support groups to try and help me open up about how I am feeling and not hold it all in.
- Rest/relaxation – Learn to rest would be a huge help to myself. I am always looking round and seeing things that are needing to be done, I just need to learn that it will still be there later/tomorrow and not everything can be done in a day. Or learn to ask for help and see if someone wouldn’t mind helping me. We are currently trying to form a family daily cleaning jobs list. If it works the way we hope then we will all have 1-2 jobs a day each and things shouldn’t get that bad.
- Not stay indoors – Getting out for some fresh air is important. Staying shut away indoors isn’t good and it is good to get out even if just for a little while. I do enjoy walks with Coco, someone always comes with me just in case It gets a bit much. I do have to rest along the way but I do enjoy the fresh air and the walk. It helps to clear my head.
- Weight loss – Trying to shift some weight is something I would love to do. I managed 3 stone loss a few years back and I would love to do it again plus more. Weight loss will also help my health. I am currently trying to do light exercise at home alongside trying to eat more healthy.
- Sleep – I seem to have forgotten what sleep is lately. It has been ages since I have had a good full nights sleep. Some day’s I wake feeling more tired than when I had gotten into bed. I am constantly exhausted from the pain but just can’t sleep. I must look into way’s of helping to get a good nights sleep. A good nights sleep makes a huge difference when suffering chronic pain.
Do you suffer with a horrid chronic condition?