31 March 2013

Adjustments.

It's really not all that bad for me right now.  But I can no longer lift over 20 pounds on a regular basis, ever again.  Which really doesn't sound like a big deal, until you consider that two milk jugs and a purse put me over the limit.

That means someone always has to help me with shopping if I'm to get things home and put away before frozens melt and refrigerated stuff isn't very cold any more.  And considering that there are eight people in my family and I buy lots of stuff, someone big has to come along and push the cart while I walk about the store uselessly and direct him to pick up the stuff I want.

And my new limits mean someone always has to lift the vacuum and move the furniture about every week.

And when I unpack this year's summer clothes and put the winter ones away, someone has to get down each and every stupid bag for me.

Now when I go through boxes of school books, someone must be on hand to help with each. and every. stupid. box.  No more getting stuff done while people are off at work/school.

That means I sit around like a stupid prima donna all the time and have to ask everyone else to do MY work for me, but I don't get the benefit of being genuinely lazy.  

No more re-arranging furniture on a whim, going on trips alone, or really much of anything you think of as "completely independent."  Real yardwork, even, is completely over.  I'm not trying to be melodramatic (and I don't really feel that way, despite my itemized list here on the blog), but it really does put a great restriction on my life.   Not enough to be truly disabling in the classic sense of the word, but bahh.  Just enough to feel sorta useless.

Have you ever had to make adjustments like this, and make others understand and respect your new limitations?  Maybe this sounds silly, but it is the ordinary requests that are very hard for me.  For example, a room is becoming more crowded and new tables are needed to be brought in.  "Everybody" is supposed to go help move the tables and chairs.  I'm left doing nothing and looking like an inconsiderate bum OR explaining all about my medical history to strangers.

It's weird and I'm never really sure how to deal with that.  I don't want to be some old person who when people ask, "How are you?" go into the whole thing... but I also don't want to be all "everything is ok" and have people wonder why I'm so goshdarn lazy.

I think the hard part is that I will never get "better" and people don't want to hear that, or maybe think I say that for my own convenience.  I can't tell.

8 comments:

  1. oh dear!
    I am so sorry you are restricted this way ... but then I am also not permitted to heave things around .. and probably not able to do it anyway. On the other hand, I think you will find that things can get done ... just not in the old method of do it yourself.

    But the important thing is to take care of yourself, heal, get well. We all love you and know that things will seem better soon ... and hope you feel happier too! ... love, Dad

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    1. Hi, Dad! I'm happy enough, but I do wish things were different in the restriction department. Was hoping to just be one of those really rough tough people up through my 80's instead of the feeble "please lift this for me" type. I just need to get over it, I guess. :)

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  2. Sorry to hear your health problems are causing your restrictions. I cannot imagine not being able to do all the things you mentioned, cos I do them all the time!
    I did hurt my arm back in November moving a box... and it's still not all better... so that restricts me a little bit.

    Is there nothing the medical profession can do to help with the recurring tummy problems at all?

    Stew had some 'special' reinforced gauze put across his tummy where his hernia was (under the skin), and he's been really good every since.

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    1. Hi Chris! It's my third surgery, but I pop all different places. Doctor said the mesh wasn't needed because the hernia wasn't big enough to outweigh the risk of infection. :(

      I am wearing a binder for another month and then I will have to wear it whenever I exercise, and I still can't do situps and that sort of thing anymore.

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  3. I think people don't want to hear that because it makes them feel helpless and it hurts them for you and they don't know what to do - that is what I feel in the better part of my heart and soul

    there is another part of me that is so truly disappointed in people. in how thoughtless they are and selfish

    it's not easy being someone with limitations in a world that moves so fast that people see you through a blink

    I no longer explain - I am become stronger on the inside as the outside gets weaker and I believe that may be a blessing

    love ya

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    1. Thank you, Dianne. And I know when I read of your situation I'm saddened and amazed (in a bad way) that there is really no correction for the problem, but there COULD HAVE BEEN IF ONLY. So I had this happen just because stuff happens (and having six children doesn't help the hernia risk...). I don't know how well I would handle it if my parents could have stopped this from happening with a few bucks and a bit of time, but didn't bother.

      I think you are really strong on the inside, and that there is so much more to you than we see on the blog and your writings... I feel there is so much more there and I am only beginning to know you. :)

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  4. I had a patient once, a young Special Forces Major. He was out running and felt a tightness across his chest. So, you know he stopped running and did a few push-ups to work out the "muscles spasm." When the pain subsided he finished his run and dropped dead right in front of his tent. Luckily, he had been deployed with a medical unit. There was a field hospital and crash cart. His heart was restarted. His brain survived and he was at Brooke Army Medical Center having bypass surgery.

    He taught me two things. One, "Dead is dead. Dead does not come back to life. Dead does not contract, conduct electricity or feel pain." He told me one night when he was having chest pain and was pretty sure he was having another heart attack because the doctor had assured him that part of his hear muscle was dead. He was...

    Second, he went home and participated in cardiac rehab. One day he thought it would be a good idea to mow the lawn. But, he knew he would get out of breath if he tackled it all at once. So, he set up a resting station on his screened in porch. He started first thing in the morning before it got too hot. "I just made two rows with the mower. Stopped, went in and had a break. Got a drink of water... and then went and mowed two more strips." He was putting away money every month to have his yard landscaped for lower maintenance and he was "getting used to a new normal."

    He was the most positive person I ever met. He wasn't really complaining. He was just sharing how he was processing his new physical limitations. He never, ever got good at asking others for help. Pride. Terrible thing.

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    1. I'm not prideful, exactly, but I hate sharing with strangers, yk? :/ I can't imagine trying to hide/work around a heart attack!!

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