Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Question of the Week:

"All sunny skies would be too bright,
all morning hours mean too much light,
all laughing days too gay a strain;
there must be clouds, and night, and rain,
and shut-in days,
to make us see the beauty of life's tapestry!

So I have a friend who is a fitness blogger.  She recently wrote a post about staying in shape during the holidays, with tips to counteract the parade of food that happens this time of year.  She made a really good point about switching the focus and making the holidays about people, not food.  I think we can all agree with that...

So in the pursuit of making the holidays more about people, one of her suggestions was to visit a shut-in during the holidays.

When I read this, I got a little excited.  I thought maybe she would be taking her own good advice and calling me to schedule a long overdue visit.  Thing is, the call hasn't come and I am feeling a little disappointed.

Then it hit me: maybe she doesn't think I am a shut-in!

Now, to be honest, I don't like thinking of myself as a shut-in either, but I looked up the definition and, sure enough, I meet the criteria:

  • Someone who is incapacitated by a chronic illness or injury
  • invalid; homebound; housebound;
Before I move one, I want to make it clear: being a shut-in is not something I ever thought I would be.  Then again, I didn't aspire to be a sick chick either.  That said, if I have to be a shut-in, perhaps I should embrace being a Shut-In Princess (just with a different ending...)

I am a shut-in because of the chronic and severe symptoms of my illnesses.  Without copious amounts of help, I can't really leave the house on my own.  I need assistance to go to the grocery store, get to my doctor's appointments and travel anywhere outside of a five mile radius around my house. And I have learned from experience that even if I feel good enough to go out, it doesn't mean I'll have the energy to get myself back home. 

Pam knows all about this too...she was once Shut In and Shut Out of Life.

Perhaps my biggest concern is my sleep disorders and how they make me sleep-deprived during the AM hours.  In fact, I am as dangerous as a drunk driver when I am sleep-deprived and behind the wheel.  So I choose to cancel appointments on days I don't get enough sleep.

Now maybe my friend has a narrow view of who is a shut-in.  After all, the term is usually associated with older people, and I'm not old--yet!  Too bad I'm not friends with Elizabeth.  She is from the South, where they have a little broader view of what a shut-in is and know shut-ins have a desperate need for casseroles. (Read Casseroles, Shut-ins and Feminism for a good chuckle.)

Can I also say that there is a real lack of services available to me that could make the difference between being shut-in and living large?  The main one is disabled-friendly transportation.  Sure, I used to have access to County para-transit services, but they changed their eligibility criteria and cut me off (most probably due to budget shortfalls.)  Then there is Robin who is the Medicare Shut In because MediCare won't pay for a power chair to help her get out of the house.  Which leaves me scratching my head and asking 'How does this make any sense?!?'

So what about you?  Are you a shut-in too?  Plus I'd love to hear any nifty substitutes for the word shut-in you might have, because while the word shut-in is technically correct, isn't very sick chick friendly.

Go ahead and leave a comment here or head over to the Oh My Aches and Pains! Facebook page to discuss this topic there.

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Silverdrop said...
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