I struggle with many things that wouldn’t have been on my radar a decade ago. Being healthy can lead to taking things for granted. The world begins to shrink when you gradually lose the ability to do things.
I used to keep a clean home, even when my children were small. I dusted and cleaned the bathrooms weekly and made sure spring and fall cleaning were done. I actually enjoyed cleaning. Now, dusting one room wipes me out for hours. I’m grateful that my husband has taken over all the cleaning. Otherwise, my home would be a disaster.
I am able to do the laundry. Even if I’m too tired to take clothes out of the dryer that day, the next day I feel well enough, I’ll put the dryer on “wrinkle release,” fold the clothes, and then put them away. I mostly wear comfy dresses, so there’s not much folding to do. Whew!
Dressing can be another challenge. When the bursitis in my shoulder flares, my husband must help me because I’m unable to lift one or both arms. It’s especially difficult in the winter when I have to wear a coat. I must be mindful of putting my incapacitated arm into the coat first. At times, I feel like a child that requires someone’s help to get dressed and to tie my shoes.
Walking used to be my favorite exercise, and I took long walks to help me relax and to give me time to think and to pray without distractions. These days, if I walk too much, not only do I tire easily, but also my right arthritic hip begins to hurt. Before I know it, I’m limping.
I’m thankful for my medical devices that enable me to function on incredibly difficult days. Recently, my husband and I went to the store to pick up a few things, when suddenly, I started to feel weak and ill. I told my husband to pay and I’d go out to the car (thank God for handicapped parking). But true to his nature, he found me a nearby bench in the store and had me sit down while he went to find an empty cart to help me walk out of the store. Then, he accompanied me to ensure I arrived safely, and he turned on the air conditioning to keep me comfortable before returning to the store to pay.
Keeping up with the activities of daily living is so hard! Before, I showered, styled my hair, and put on makeup. Now, I’m lucky I feel up to taking a shower once a week, because I know I will have hours of downtime afterward. My husband enjoys washing my hair, which is great because it’s much less tiring that way. I also take sponge baths before I turn in for the night. I keep wipes on hand for when I can’t even manage that.
I used to embrace all the challenges that came my way, thinking up creative solutions. These days, my creativity is sorely challenged by fibromyalgia and it’s comorbidities. Although every day is a struggle, I refuse to give up or give in. I choose to be a warrior!
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