You Know You Have a Chronic Illness When
When living with a chronic illness, seemingly trivial tasks or things healthy counterparts do can often seem like insurmountable challenges for you. While I was at the beach with my children on a warm summer day, my body started telling me I needed to go lay down. I know when this happens and I am away from home, I need to pack my kids up immediately and get home to rest my body. We had only been at the beach half an hour, so it was no surprise my children were disappointed to leave so soon. I felt like I had let them down, but knew I had done my very best and couldn’t let myself get discouraged. As I was driving home, these thoughts came to my mind. I wrote them as a sort of humorous way to cope with the stresses of chronic illness. I hope you can share in and enjoy the humor that life sometimes throws you.
The kids “quiet time” is actually your nap time so you can rest your body. Unfortunately for my children, there is also more than one quiet time per day.
Planned outings often get cut short leaving your children to ask why others get to stay longer.
Pepsi, combined with ibuprofen, is your daily medicine used to relieve pain, not the enjoyable treat it usually is for others.
Your kids response to “What is your mother’s favorite thing to do” is sleep.
When your friends want to go to St. George and you live in Salt Lake (a 4 1/2 hour drive) , you look at how much flights cost so you can join them.
Reading books and writing articles become your favorite pastime even though you still don’t know what an adjective or verb is.
Your spouse carries heavy bags and does hard chores because he knows how much your body will hurt if he doesn’t. He also knows how proactive you are and is constantly reminding you to pace yourself, which is hard to do.
Your kids friends often see you laying in your bed with your leopard printed blanket resting.
You take more than a couple hot baths a day.
The gym daycare discounts your punch card because they know you only workout for 15-20 minutes instead of the hour they charge.
Going to the doctor scares you and not because of the needles, but because you’re afraid they will find nothing wrong with you.
Your medical vocabulary is quite excellent.
When your spouse doesn’t know where to find you, he knows to look in your bed or the bath first.
Walking to your mailbox while pushing a stroller and then back up the big hill is quite a feat!
Heated car seats are a huge blessing!
Your kids are dang good at cleaning up and taking care of themselves.
You eat healthy foods your grandma thinks are cardboard, but you secretly like.
You hate the cold, but despise the heat even more.
You have a schedule for chores, but know it probably won’t get done, and you have to be okay with that.
You want to do fun things that people your age don’t think twice about, but know you’ll pay for it later. You do them anyways because part of caring for your mental health is to live.
Your kids pray for you and always tell you they wish you could get better soon.
You are making an oasis in your backyard because you know that’s probably as far as you’ll travel, at least very often.
Your house is decorated simply.
Your children are pretty compassionate people.
You are grateful for simple and small things in your life.
I believe in you. I believe you can make miracles happen. And I believe that peace (true inner peace) is the answer.
From my 6-year-old son for Mother’s Day 2017
This article showed up as a guest post on Julie Ryan’s Counting My Spoons