For those of us who are always sick, every day there are challenges and decisions. We have to decide what things need to get done and how to preserve our energy. We need to remember to take our medications and we also need to vigilant on what time we take them and whether we need to take with food or on an empty stomach. For example, certain medications make us sleepy so we would not take them in the morning before we need to drive to work. We would take them in the evening or if they only make us a bit drowsy, maybe we would take them once we get into the office after our first cup of coffee. Sometimes, a certain medication may make us nauseous so it helps to keep some crackers or dry toast on hand.
Being chronically ill means we have decisions to make daily. Sometimes, those decisions are small such as when and how to take our medications and sometimes they are big, such as whether we should head to the ER when we have high copay or whether we can wait to see our family doctor the following day. Daily, our quality of life is affected and the choices we make alter our lives for the better or worse.
It has been a long rough week but I am still moving forward. I have been dealing with pain, moments of sadness and depressed moods, and daily stresses of balancing my home life and work life. But I have turned my focus in a different direction so that this week doesn’t take its toll on me. I am focusing on what is right in my life right now. Doing that helps me to move forward no matter how crazy my body is acting and how stressful things are right now.
There is never enough time in my day simply because of the lack of energy. I come home tired from work and I start to think about feeding two very hungry boys. I don’t cook like I used it and sometimes, I miss that. It is hard to do when I come home exhausted in the evening. Then there are things to do such as cleaning up and then before I know it, bedtime is near and I am focusing on getting a four year old ready for bed and convincing a teen to get ready for bed. By the time my head hits the pillow; I don’t know where my day has gone. Even my weekends are busy, between keeping my home nice and tidy, running errands and helping my mom, my weekend is gone before I have even had a chance to enjoy it.
The only moments of solace I get in the evening and on the weekend are when I sit down and turn on the TV. I try to stay away from the news because of the emotional effect it has on me. I will try to watch an hour of TV in the evening and a couple hours on the weekend because it is the time where I actually get to sit down. It is also the only time where I can allow my mind to shut down and not think about the pressures that life throws at me. A simple moment but enough time to allow my mind to relax.
Between work, family, my health and thinking about bills and money, it is hard to keep the big picture in perspective. Sometimes, it is hard to know what that is or to even focus on that but it helps to notice and observe my feelings. It helps me to allow the unpleasant feelings to pass through if I make a choice to recognize them rather than to react to them. The more I practice allowing the negative stuff to pass, the more my ability to see the positive increases. Day by day, I am learning that there really isn’t a specific big picture. If I can focus on what is good in my life right now – my family, my career, my friends, and even the fact I am coping with my health challenges – the more confident I become to handling life’s challenges. My ultimate goal is feel a deeper sense of peace. I am not there yet but I am working my way towards that.