Monday, January 7, 2013

Ready to See Where Life With Chronic Illness Will Take You in 2013?

Wow, time sure does fly!  I can't believe that 2012 is over already.  Really.  I feel like I got so little done and missed out on a lot of things last year because of Hepatitis C treatment.

I am so looking forward to this new year and:

Health Stuff

  • fully recovering from Hep C treatment aka chemotherapy #2
  • getting the final results of my Hep C treatment in February
  • seeing what health issues and limitations I am left with once I am Hep C free

Life Stuff

  • getting more things done at home--nine months of neglect and my house is a disaster!
  • getting out of the house more often
  • returning to a regular schedule of blogging and writing
  • heading back out to my container garden and sharing my adventures at The Seated Gardener
  • seeing if I can turn my hobbies into an Etsy empire

Now this is going to be a process, like going on a trip.  I start where I am today, point A, and keep moving forward, for the most part.  I don't really have a destination, at least not one I am 100% sure I can reach, so I'm traveling by Zen navigation this year.  I wonder where I will find myself by the end of the year!

As with every trip, there are road signs, traffic lights and rest stops along the way.  Here are the ones I am going to pay extra special attention to:

  • The green light:  Every day I am inching closer to my previous level of functioning, around a 30 out of 100, which IS something to celebrate.  Yippee!
  • The yellow light:  This is a delicate balance, finding my new baseline. So I have given myself a generous 6 months more of recovery time, plus or minus another 6 months!
  • The red light:  We all know how easy it is to over-do things and wind up paying big time for pushing our limits too hard, too fast and/or too frequently. So I need to be CAREFUL and keep using the coping skills that have served me the best: planning, pacing, resting, saying no and having some fun every day.  

You can tell that this sick chick has learned some lessons from 8 years of life with disabling chronic illnesses...

To tame my enthusiasm and avoid getting myself into trouble, i.e. more pain, fatigue and flare-ups, I'm using some new tools this year:

1)  Evernote: this is a cloud-based note-taking and file-organizing program that I can access on my computer, Kindle and Andriod phone.  I use it two ways: for my blogging/writing (posts, ideas and book chapters) and for collecting and storing items of interest and inspiration I find online.  While using it on a computer, you can clip almost anything to Evernote, from a recipe, crochet pattern or photo to an entire article or blog post. You can also attach voice notes and files to your notes.  Plus check out Clearly for reading webpages much more easily.

Evernote has helped organize my thoughts and ideas into one place, and it's a place where nothing ever gets lost!  Plus my stuff can be read, searched and accessed from almost anywhere, which is part of the Evernote philosophy: my data is mine, it is protected and it's portable.

2) Astrid: since I have been ill, I've avoided using traditional "to-do" lists because, well, they make me feel like crap when I fail to accomplish my tasks and goals.  But Astrid takes the list to a whole new level, one where this funny little red octopus gives you gentle reminders and sweetly encourages you to get things done.  Plus Astrid wants you to make all kind of lists, like books to read and movies to see...you know, fun stuff.  And she gives you the option to delegate a task to someone else (yes!) by sending it to one of you contacts.  Watch out, hubby!

I have been using Astrid to facilitate my famous "brain dumps"  and get a handle on all the things I want to do now that I have more energy to actually think about and do things.  Now I just need to be practical and reasonable by setting very generous due dates on the things I choose to work on and letting most other things sit for just a while or two longer.

So what about you?  Are you ready to hit the road and see where 2013 takes you?  What road signs are you going to be heeding more closely this year? What companions are coming along with you that will make your trip easier?  I'd love to hear about your plans, so leave me a comment.

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L said...

great post! I've heard good things about Ever note, might need to check it out!


Shannon said...

I bet you are soooo glad to see the other side of the Hep C treatment :) *happy virtual dance* I'm glad for you too Selena!

I'm also very jealous of your mad organizational skills! I have yet to find secret weapons of mass productivity lol.

I already have an Evernote account but like many social media sites, I try it a while and then forget about it. May be time to look again? I will do that.

Astrid sounds fun and amazing too! I will definitely try this one as well.

Love and light Selena <3

Anonymous said...

I stumbled on your site while doing research on Hep C, I was recently diagnosed, I received a blood transfusion after a bad car accident in 1974, lived through the 80s and here I am today.I am having a liver biopsy next week due to a mass and am awaiting the genotyping and viral load.
In a sense I am glad I have a diagnoses and that the things I have been feeling are not in my head...On the other hand I am scared to death. Im glad I found you.