Friday, July 9, 2010

A Plan to Save the Day

Save the DayImage via Wikipedia

I probably should mention that the monthly blogging theme for July for NaBloPoMo is SAVE. It's been a while since I blogged on a theme, but judging from this week SAVE is an apropos theme for me. I don't know if I have 20 some odd posts that will fit the theme or not, but it's always fun to just write and see what happens.

I find being disabled is practically synonymous with filling out forms, lots and lots of government forms. Inevitably, I feel like I have to prove (over and over again) that yes, I am disabled. More than once I have encountered a question that asks me something like this:

Please describe your typical day, including the activities you engage in and self-care behaviors.

So when faced with this question once again, I decided I needed to write a bit of prose that definitively answered the question, once and for all. Here is my answer:

Every day starts with figuring out how much energy I can expend. I usually have about 2 to 4 hours worth of energy on a good day.

Every activity needs to be broken down into smaller pieces -- 15 minutes at a time, followed by a rest break.

I constantly monitor my pain and fatigue level during the day and sometimes need to put activities off if my symptoms increase.

Every day, I plan to spend 15-30 minutes on chores/housework, 15 minutes on pet care, 30-45 minutes on meal preparation, 25 minutes walking my dog using my mobility scooter, up to 30 minutes on e-mail or phone calls to family & friends, 15 minutes taking a daily 1 to 2 block walk, 15-45 minutes on hobbies and 15-30 minutes on writing.

If I plan to leave the house, which I can do 2 to 3 times a week, I adjust my activities accordingly and include more rest time before and afterwards.

The rest of my awake time is spent in a reclined position watching TV, spending time with my spouse and pets, reading, listening to music or watching DVDs.

Upon reflection, I think this is a pretty solid answer and somewhat akin to my own personal story about spoons or marbles or what ever other currency you image your energy takes. In fact, I think I might have transcended answering a mundane question and arrived at a real, honest-to-goodness personal plan to save my day. And yes, for the most part, I really do follow this plan, mostly because it is the only way I have found to prevent major setbacks from and flare-ups of my fibromyalgia and other pain and fatigue inducing conditions.

What is your plan to save your day? I'd love to hear what you do to manage the limited energy you have each day.

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Rosemary Lee said...

You've broken it down very well! I've been conserving energy for so long it feels like second nature. I've just never looked at it that way. I just know that I can't do too much at once anymore and plan accordingly. Mostly, I don't do anything at night. There truly is no energy left over. Thanks for making it understandable!!

Hope you're having a good day!

yuis said...

Boy, you have said it right. Government forms- lots and lots of them! And a plan for each day... I need to tweak my daily plan some as I am usually too overwhelmed to do housework, even just 15 minutes of it at a time. On weeks I have doctor appointments, that throws off my plans to where I must rest afterward for most of the remaining day. I try to pace myself to be able to do my hobby anywhere from 15 minutes to one hour daily except the weekends. I rarely watch TV or DVDs as they seem to wreak havoc on my psychiatric symptoms. But anyway, most days Mon - Fri I...

Wake up at 4am to take medications
Computer time for one hour with coffee
Small breakfast, then more medications
Shower and dress
Attend building coffee club/social hour
Attempt to take walk
Back home, more computer for about 15 minutes
Small snack
Phone calls and planning afternoon
Try to clean/pick up the house
Small lunch and more medications
Read for a while
Draw and do any artwork projects I have going for anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour
Small snack
Watch afternoon educational cartoons
Mail run
Small dinner and medication
Relax for the evening
Yet more medications
Bedtime anywhere from 7-9pm

yuis said...

BTW, my Blog is:
Hummingbird Corner