Living Day By Day With Fibromyalgia And Other Chronic Illnesses
Living day by day with a chronic illness like chronic pain, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and many other chronic invisible illnesses require a different mindset or an adjusted mind set. Your day to day life is affected in every single aspect or nearly every single aspect.
Gone are the days of waking up early after a good night’s rest, getting ready for work, spending eight or nine hours at work, coming home to spend time with the family, work in your garden or other hobbies. Gone are the days of waking up early and making breakfast for the family, cleaning the house, maybe go to work, making dinner for the family, spend time with the kids and hobbies.
Whatever your past life was before coming down with a chronic, invisible, pain filled disease, your life is different now. Are you disabled? Even if you’re not completely disabled your life is different.
I have had fibromyalgia for thirty-one years. The last twelve or thirteen years have been disabled. After getting diagnosed and properly medicated, I have spent a great deal of time trying how to have a productive life in spite of my illness. I have struggled to reinvent myself in spite of pain around the clock.
My wife has had colon cancer and about five years after that breast cancer, twice a cancer victim, twice a cancer survivor. I think it was when she was having chemo for breast cancer, we met this older lady during a chemo session. She was dressed up nicely, a great looking wig, makeup and a great attitude. She had been fighting cancer on and off for, I think, about ten years and was on a downward spiral when we met her. We talked about a lot of things, the only thing I remember about that conversation was that she was really sick and could do very little day by day due to her advanced cancer and chemo sickness. She loved to garden and didn’t want to give it up, but she just couldn’t work her garden any longer. She then realized she could replace that urge to garden with house plants. She could take care of several house plants. It fulfilled something that cancer tried to take from her.
I grew up working in a large vegetable garden and an extra large flower garden. I also developed an interest in house plant when I was ten or eleven years old. I could buy a nice little house plant for .49 cents back then. Once we bought our first house I started my own vegetable and flower gardens. After two upgrade houses we built our own house and I landscaped the whole lot including planting grass, trees and perfectly designed gardens.
I also had a few house plants around the house as my wife would allow. The plants and pots had to match her decorating scheme.
After I heard the “gardening to the house plant’s story” with the brave cancer lady, I realized I could do the same. Since then my inside garden has grown substantially. It is not a daily activity but it’s fun to look at and It gives me an opportunity to water them, pick off the dead leaves, occasionally transplant a plant getting too big for a pot. It almost completely satisfies by gardening inclination. It gives me a doable activity a few times a week.
House plants are not my new life, but it is a doable fun hobby. It satisfies a need I have. Another thing I have recently started doing about a year and a half ago was reading books. History books and novels. I’m not talking casual activities, but reading at the rate of one or two books a week.
What do you do to fill the void in your life with chronic pain illnesses?