What can you do was a question asked on a facebook page the other day. I answered ” I am limited due to health problems and get so hung up on what I can’t do. It’s much better to focus on what I can do and be proud of what I acheieve, but I don’t think many of us are very good at that.”
I am rubbish at taking my own advice and always try to do things that I can’t or to push my limits because I hate the limits. I always focus on the thing I couldn’t get done or had to ask someone else to do, rather than the things I did (no matter how small) that I did manage to do. It’s so easy to dismiss something like reading a book as doing nothing, or putting a load of washing in as as an essential chore and therefore not really counting as doing anything. With ME any task is something and drains our resources. If I do something one day that pushes my limits then I can’t sleep, am in a lot of pain and can’t do anything the next day, it becomes a viscious circle and there are never any reserves for unexpected things.
With ME rest is crucial, but what if you can’t rest? This may sound crazy, but the more I have done, the less able I am to rest and or sleep and just feel awful and never know what to do for the best. There is only so long that you can lay trying to rest or sleep with heart pounding and brain racing. I am currently having problems with bladder spasms when I try to rest, so frequent trips to the toilet don’t help with rest. I am sure it is due to adrenaline, there is no sign of infection. I have a blood test to check it out tomorrow and then in the evening we have Emily’s primary school leaving party, so I have already done too much tomorrow before it has even happened!
How do you work out what you can do, what you want to do, what you need to do and what you should do?
It’s difficult to know what I can do each day and can vary hour by hour, so of course it’s impossible for anyone else to know. Or I might fancy doing something sand then find that I physically can’t or that I can’t forcus on it, by then of course I have done too much and it’s too late!
I like making things a you know, but often by the time I pick something up to do I am already worn out just from the daily activities I have done or I will wear myself out looking for something that I need. I can’t concentrate to do things when other people are around so the time I have is limited. Then take into account the mistakes I make and have to correct it becomes frustrating and tiring. My head is full of ideas, but many of them never make it any further!
I think I need to finish now I have done all I can!
This just landed in my inbox from The Mighty a site for people with disabilities and health problems.
“It’s easier to count up the things you can’t do than the things you can do, isn’t it? But here’s a more important truth: Your illness has also given you some pretty awesome qualities. Who else but a chronic warrior can amuse themselves in waiting rooms for hours? Or truly empathize with another person’s pain? Or give themselves injections and other medical treatments that might make others squeamish, without batting an eye? There may be some things you’re not quite as “good at” anymore, but there are some things you do better than many others around you, thanks to your chronic illness. We asked our Mighty community to share something people with chronic illnesses are awesome at because of their illness. The responses they shared are both funny and heartwarming, and speak to the strength of every single person who lives with chronic illness. You all rock.”