Sunday, 25 May 2014

Live Well: Make It Easy

Life with a chronic illness is hard enough without making it harder than it has to be.

Why struggle when there might be an easier way?  When there are ways to make life easier, less energy is spent on struggle and more energy is available to enjoy the good things in life. 

I could choose to deny my illness and struggle to do everything I used to do in the way I used to do it, but the effort required is enough to push my limits.

If I push myself too hard it will set me back a lot with a reduction of energy and increased fatigue, both of which will reduce my pain threshold. Then I will be less able to cope with the pain triggered by doing too much. Pain itself creates fatigue and so the downward spiral begins.  So why do it?

Overdoing it  for me results in muscle weakness and breathlessness which leaves me unable to move. The recovery time varies from hours to days, but while I am not able to be active, my body is losing fitness. That’s bad news. Find out the importance of maintaining fitness as the first strategy  to ‘live well even if you can’t get well’.

As tempting as it is to stubbornly try and do everything oneself without assistance, it isn’t always the best way to go. 

Sometimes one needs to swallow some pride or get over an unjustified sense of embarrassment and give in to one’s limitations. Further to the previous post about organising support, there comes a time to admit that some help would be good and to seek it out.  

Make daily life easier

  • Find tools and equipment that can make tasks easier.  There are gadgets and widgets to solve all sorts of problems. Occupational therapists and support groups are great sources of information.
  • Install safety and mobility aids such as grab rails, ramps, bed sticks, shower chairs etc.
  • Adjust the environment and surroundings for safety and ease of use. Minimise clutter. Remove safety hazards.
  • Simplify your lifestyle by taking on fewer commitments. It is okay to say ‘no' for the sake of your health.

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