I've noticed recently that it feels like my body is running out of steam. Everything is taking me longer. Everything I do is harder.
(Sorry for the slight rant)
I drop half of what I pick up. I can't sit down as long as before. When I'm sitting down or lying in bed, I have to use my arms to shift myself. It's not like I feel exhausted after performing a simple task like folding laundry--it's that somehow folding laundry has turned into running a military obstacle course while taking a calculus test. It makes me feel like an ass.
People ask me what I did with my day. It's a common question. What did you do today? I dread it. I feel like I'm being scrutinized every time. I tell them: I checked my email, changed the guinea pig cage, called a couple of doctors' offices to straighten out appointments/prescriptions, did dishes, and made dinner.
And the response I get most of the time is along the lines of, "Is that all?"
And here I am feeling like I have just survived being drawn and quartered. Everything hurts. And when you have chronic pain, sometimes I'm not sure people understand what it means when you say, I hurt. You hurt all the time. This isn't news, right? No, this is very different.
Say everyone has a baseline of pain. Healthy people? Baseline of no pain. People with chronic pain? Baseline of X amount of pain. All day, all the time. Docs have told me that there isn't much to do about this--that chronic pain is chronic. Get used it, pretty much. And I do, enough to continue to have a positive look on life and manage as well as I do. But I never get used to it enough that I can forget about it or that it goes away. Or that other or new pain doesn't hurt. So when I say, I hurt, I mean that the shit that is going on is way above my baseline level and is seriously fucking me up. But of course, even though I feel this way, I still get the, "Well, what else did you?"
No. You aren't listening. I checked my email--given this is the easiest thing I did. I changed the guinea pig's cage. This took over an hour not including breaks. Sure it didn't used to take that long, but that's when I had hands that worked and didn't drop 75% of the old bedding, piggie poop, and new bedding on the floor. I talked to doctors' offices. Have you ever dealt with big medical offices? On hold, transferred, cut off, on hold, on hold, transferred. No idea how long that took. I did dishes--again, breaks in between each dish to lay down on the couch. I made dinner which took over four hours. It wasn't even like a fancy souffle or something. I just work slower now. I have to do a little, go lay down, and then come back to it. By the end of that, all I could do was eat a little and go lie down for good.
And when I say I took a break to lie down, please don't think it's like a refreshing 30 minute nap or that I plop down on the couch and go, ahhhh. This is a lot more like fetal position, slow measured breathing, and a pull it together mantra.
I feel like I'm working my ass off. It doesn't put me in the mood to get disappointed looks. (Mind you, the people I interact with on a daily basis and really know me do not have this reaction. They generally tell me I did too much.)
In short, I am frustrated. Yes, I realize that most people can do in under two hours what I can do in a day. Yes, I understand that most people can do these things while working full-time. Yes, I feel pathetic most times all on my own without needing you to point it out for me. No, I am not being lazy. I have three chronic, incurable conditions; remember those? Yes, I'd love to be able to do more with my day. D'uh.
Do I want someone else to do these things for me so I can just rest my joints? Hell no! I plan to work my flat ass as hard as I can work it until it drops. I don't mean push it until I pass out. I mean work at a reasonable pace so that by the end of the day I feel that A. I got something accomplished, and B. I feel tired and a little sore, like I worked. Because ultimately that's what I want to do. So, why you gotta give me attitude about it, world?