3 Things to Remember When You're Feeling Better Despite Your Chronic Illness

6:00:00 PM

Last week, there was a day when I was feeling really good. So much so, that I started helping my husband with the daily housework. I helped fill up the animals water and food bowels and started cleaning up. I even managed to put the dishes away for him. Then it happened, my legs started buckling beneath me.

I was happy that I was feeling better and I wanted to help my husband since he does so much around the house for us. Unfortunately, my body no longer wanted to cooperate. Living with chronic illness, it is incredibly important that I listen to what my body is telling me. It's also important that I pace myself.

In Kira Lynne's book Aches, Pain, and Love: A Guide to Dating and Relationships for Those with Chronic Pain and Illness, she mentions that we need to pace ourselves and give ourselves time to rest. She recommends resting for close to 20 minutes at least once a day, even if we don't feel the need to. While reading her book, I understood why she would say that, but I didn't take her advice. Now, I wish that I had.

In a matter of seconds, I can go from feeling perfectly fine to grasping for the nearest wall for balance. Unfortunately, I can't always see it coming. So, to better prepare myself and hopefully prevent it from happening again, I have compiled a list of things to remember when I'm feeling better despite my chronic illnesses.

1. Don't over do it!
Over the last year or so, I've gotten to know my body and I can usually tell what I can and can't do. So, on the off chance that I feel better than normal, I need to make sure that I don't over do it. Looking back, I know I probably should have chosen different chores to do in order to help my husband. Refilling the animals food and water was probably fine, but instead of lifting heavy dishes, I could have started a load of laundry or made our shopping list. Whether or not you feel spectacular, it is still important to know your limits and to make sure that you don't over do it!

2. Give yourself time to rest!
Even if it doesn't feel necessary, we should give ourselves time to rest. We might think that we don't need it when we have a burst of energy, but we still do! The additional rest will help keep our bodies energized and keep us feeling well. It's important that we make time for rest and we do it the right way. I'm sure you think it's easy, but we need to lay down and close our eyes without any distractions. I like to image that I'm in a white room and anytime a thought pops into my head I try to paint over the image with white paint. While doing that, I really try to focus on my breathing. After a little while, I usually fall asleep.

3. Enjoy the moment!
Living with a chronic illness is hard and sometimes unpredictable. However, one thing is always certain...the symptoms will eventually come back. It's hard to ignore, but we need to remember to live in the moment while we have the energy to do so. We can't be obsessing over when the pain will return or when our day will go downhill. We need to enjoy what we're doing and create memories to look back on when we do have a bad day. On another note, it's easy to want to try to accomplish everything you've been putting off on your bad days. Yes, it's good to get stuff done when you're feeling good, but don't waste your day away. Make sure you are making time to do something that you enjoy and then go do it!

While good days seem to be few and far between for me, I really hope you guys get as many as you can! Just don't forget to look out for yourself, listen to your body and follow your heart!

What do you like to do when you're having a good day? Tell me in the comments!

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  1. I, too, suffer from many illnesses and my roommate/soon-to-be ex-husband keeps telling me that I need to stop taking do many medications (I take about 17, including 3 for COPD) and that I need to get more exercise, that I would feel so much better if I just exercised. I've tried time and again, each medication is for a different ailment. He doesn't get it. I've also tried telling him that I'll have my good days and bad days and unfortunately, the bad days outnumber the good days. He just doesn't get it. That's okay, I'll probably be looking for a new roommate when I get home (a good friend paid for my round-trip ticket and I'm staying at his house on Hawaii). Since I've been gone (got here June 7th), Joe, my "roommate" has been doing things he shouldn't and he's lied through his teeth too many times (my sister lives on same mobile home park plus I'm friends with my next door neighbor who keep me updated plus I found out he cashed a check that I had told him to deposit into three checking account and don't touch it. He cashed out the same day got it and then tried telling me that he left it in his pants pocket and when did the wash, the washer shredded the check. He doesn't know that I know the truth and when I get home (August 31st), the s**t is going to hit the fan!!

    1. After my doctors appointment yesterday, I will actually begin taking five more medications next week. I completely understand what that's like. Unfortunately, there isn't one medication that takes care of everything, so each one is essential. It's hard dealing with people that don't understand the process or what we go through, but it's just something that we have to do. Hopefully over time, you will be able to surround yourself with loving, supportive, and understanding individuals 😊

  2. When I'm having a good day, I like to knit. I've made several sweaters and have many projects going at the same time. Due to my MDD (major depressive disorder), those days are far and few between, which saddens me because I used to love knitting or crocheting. I also like to read and am trying to read as much as possible since I was diagnosed last year with AMD. I have the dry kind, which the doctor told me was the kind they can't operate on and so I'm slowly going blind. She suggested certain eye drops, a very expensive vitamin I could take (yeah right, on Social Security, I don't think so) and to eat green leafy vegetables but a friend of mine on Facebook said that all green veggies would work, too.
    If I'm feeling up to it, I also like to bake. I've got all kinds of recipes from my grandmother (who was an awesome baker) and love baking cookies or cakes that she used to make (how I miss her goodies, she passed away in 1978).

    1. I'm sorry to hear about your AMD. One of the medications I'm currently taking has the possibility of eye toxicity, so I'm consistently getting check ups. Of course, that also means purchasing new glasses every 6 months. I hope that you're eyes go more slowly than they think they will, giving you the opportunity to enjoy your good days.

      I also love to bake and I learned from my great grandmother. She's the kind that has drawers full of cook books and purchases every cooking/baking device on QVC. It's because of her that I have a waffle maker and a perfect brownie baking pan. Gotta love grandmas 😄