A Day in the Life of Someone With 10 Chronic Conditions
The last three years have been heavy! I’ve had chronic headaches for at least a decade. I was diagnosed with migraines in 2013. In 2015, I was diagnosed with psoriasiform dermatitis – pretty much just severe eczema – and I had to take a medical leave (which I am still on). I was diagnosed with four spinal conditions (scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, bilateral spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis) in one day in June of 2016. And since I was on a roll (*rolls eyes*), I was diagnosed with anxiety and clinical depression in August of 2016.
I’m a believer in stepping in other people’s shoes. It helps you understand them. You get to know them. Maybe you just want to experience someone else’s life for a day. Maybe you’re curious as to how someone with a chronic condition lives their life. In this case, maybe you just want to see what it’s like living with 10 chronic conditions.
Welcome to a day in the life of a stay-at-home mom with 10 chronic conditions.
7 a.m. – Time to wake.
*Insert pretty alarm music here.* This is normally the time that my alarm rings. Most of the time I listen to it and get up but I do have days when I just look at my phone, swipe the dismiss button, say “nope” and roll over again. Don’t pretend you’re not guilty of that too! The moment my alarm rings, Nala hears it from whatever corner of the house she slept in and she’ll be meowing at my door until I get out. I stumble to the washroom to wash my face, brush my teeth and apply my medicated cream so that my skin doesn’t hurt as much. Sometimes I have to stumble my way around the house in the morning because I am completely exhausted and I have a headache.
(Once a week, my alarm is set for 6 a.m. Mr. J. works 12-hour graveyard shifts, so I like to wake up extra early on his Fridays and welcome him home to his weekend.)
Mornings are not right without coffee. Right when I head down, I start the kettle while giving Nala breakfast and waiting for my little guy to come down. I’m a sucker for Tim Horton’s french vanilla. I empty the dishwasher from the night before and get my work area ready for the day. I turn on my laptop and quickly check the happenings of the online world before Riley leaves for school.
In all honesty, that’s the only scheduled part of my day that is actually followed. I would love to have a more structured day but each day greatly depends on how I feel each morning. I could wake up and just feel absolutely horrendous. I could wake up cranky because my medications prevented me from sleeping. I find myself constantly apologizing because there are times when I just snap out of nowhere.
8 a.m. – 2:40 p.m. – This is a free-for-all block.
It totally depends on how I am feeling. Maybe I’ll sleep some more, make breakfast, vacuum or dust. Maybe I’ll actually take out something from the freezer because I’m feeling alright enough that I want to make dinner that night. Lately, ever since I started blogging, this is the time frame when I get most of my work done! I can’t continuously work, though. My back just hurts way too much. If you were over, you would notice that I get up to walk a lot. Sitting for too long hurts my back so I get up to walk every so often or I lay down on the sofa. I try to get a lot of things done before Riley comes home because when he’s home, I have to switch from blogger mode to mama mode.
2:40 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
These hours pass by so quickly for me. Once Riley comes home, we talk about his day – how it went, whether he has homework or projects or if anything interesting happened in school. I make sure he does his chores before he does anything else, like go to his dad’s house or play with his friends. I take a deep breath and prepare myself for some “house duties.” I go around the house and pick up small things I can easily clean up. I sweep. I prepare Mr. J.’s food for work. I load the dishwasher and start it. 6:30 p.m. (*insert annoying alarm music here*) – medication time! I have so many alarms on my phone. I take a lot of medications and each of their schedules are different. I need to take a certain medication once a week. Most of my medications I take daily. Some of them can’t be taken together, or I have to eat before taking them. I just can’t keep track of all of them and my phone saves me the worry of missing a dose.
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
I may take this time to work some more. But there’s a high chance that all of the things I’ve done all day will cause me to lay down in bed or on the sofa. I just have to get up around 8:30 because that is what time Riley gets home from his dad’s place. I try really hard to get up at that time but don’t always succeed.
8:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Time to get ready for tomorrow! I make sure Riley prepares everything he needs. Sometimes it’s soccer. Sometimes it’s band practice. 9:00 p.m. (*insert annoying alarm music here*): medication time…again. Then an hour of family-time binge-watching a show… Currently it’s Full House.
This is the time when my house goes to bed. When Riley goes to bed (maybe he plays on his iPad for a little bit – who knows?), I try and turn my brain off by taking a long, hot and relaxing shower. I find that it just relaxes me physically and mentally. The hot water relaxes all my tense and painful muscles and gets me ready for bed.
So there’s a little look into my world. There’s so much more that can happen. I’ve got a pile of laundry to do and I still have last week’s pile of clean laundry to put away. I’ll try again tomorrow.
Follow this journey on Coffee Heart Mind.
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