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What a 'Good Day' Looks Like for People With Chronic Illnesses

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When you live with chronic health challenges, your definition of a “good day” might be different than what a healthy person considers to be a “good day.” For you, things others take for granted may hold more significance — having less pain than usual, being able to go the whole day without a nap, or having the energy to play with your kids.

With more understanding of what your “good day” looks like (and thus, the difficulties you face on your bad days), hopefully the healthy people in your life can better support you on both the good and bad days. So we asked our Mighty community to share what the “good days” of their illness look like. Let’s raise awareness of what the ups (and downs) of chronic illness really look like.

Here’s what our community told us:

1. “Waking up in the morning without feeling overly tired and making it through the whole day without feeling exhausted or needing a nap. Having energy for cleaning, cooking and spending time with my family. It’s rare that I have energy for all the have to’s and want to’s.”

2.A good day is when I can do household chores without every moment being miserable. It’s having the energy to stand and walk around and the mental clarity to organize, and a settled stomach that doesn’t constantly make me feel nauseous and pained. A good day is when I can smile and really feel it, not just grin for the benefit of those around me…”

3. “Being able to get out of bed, go to work, make dinner, clean the house and take a shower all in one day. A good day for me is a normal day for most.”

4.I can actually get out of the house for several hours and do something! Sometimes I go to church, sometimes I go shopping, sometimes I go to Disney World. I’d love to have multiple good days in a week so I can work!”

5. “Being able to complete a full day of school with minimal pain. Not feeling overly sick when eating, able to concentrate and make it through the day without taking a nap.”

6. “A good day is not feeling pain when I eat. Being able to enjoy my meals instead of running to the restroom. A good day is having enough strength to carry my 4-year-old because she fell asleep in my arms. A good day is being able to make it through work, cook dinner, clean up, and give baths. Most days there’s a glitch in everything I’m trying/needing to do.”

7. “A good day consists of pain and exhaustion. It really does. A good day just mean that perhaps I’m experiencing less of one or the other, or if I’m lucky both. Or it just means I have more strength to push through and get stuff done.”

8. “Getting to see the sunset. The majestic, vibrant colors of the sky. It’s more than beautiful — ethereal, magnificent, enchanting, captivating, enlivening and magical. It’s one of my favorite things, something to look forward to as each difficult day draws to a close. A moment of quiet, knowing no matter what I may have faced in the hours that preceded, I made it through.”

9. “A good day would be a day when I’m able to do things others take for granted without any pain or exhaustion. To be able to just get out of bed and not have to give my body 45 minutes to adjust before even attempting it. To be able to shower without fatigue. To get through the work day without grimacing from pain or needing to rest throughout or to pop pain killers.”

10. “A good day for me is a day I can take a shower. Some days I go two or three days and get to where I feel so gross but need help to shower. If I can shower on my own it’s a good day.”

11. “Single digit dislocations, no passing out, minimal blackouts, only faint abdominal pain and nausea, if I’m really lucky no headache, body temperature stays relatively normal, few tremors, anxiety mostly absent, and able to pull off the “normal teen” routine and enjoy myself.”

12.A good day is when I manage to do one productive activity, one self-care activity and keep to a normal hygiene routine! If I did these things and still had the ability to do more, then, it would be more than a good day! It would be a flying pigs kind of day!”

13. “A good day is waking up and being unaware of my kidneys. Other people take for granted that they have kidneys without being conscious of their position, speed, relationship between function/pain/and humidity. On good days I get to be an unaware kidney person.”

14. “A good day is where I actually put on jeans and a bra when I leave the house instead of just my ‘going out’ yoga pants and ‘going out’ T-shirt (the one with thick screen-printing on the front so I don’t have to wear a bra). Jeans and bra. Good day.”

15. “Like Christmas… Remember when you were a little kid and how excited you would get on Christmas morning when you saw santa left a pile of presents for you. That’s what a good day is like for me. And I make full use of it… so I go out and have fun with my fiancé.”

16. “A good day means I get to move into the living room when the kids get home from school and spend the evening with the family instead of in my room in bed. A really good day means I might get to go see a movie or go grocery shopping, I have to choose.”

17. “Being able to play with my dog. Giving her a good run around outside or inside and laughing at her goofiness. Sitting on the grass with her in the sun, with minimal back and abdomen pain and seeing how happy it makes her to have mum all to herself.”

18. “A good day for me is when I can breathe normally, without feeling the invisible weight on my chest. When I can just step out and do things on my own without feeling disoriented.”

19. “A good day is when I can accept my limitations, not push myself over the limit and not feel guilty for being me, and being constantly exhausted or in pain.”

20. “A good day for me is when my 1-year-old grandson visits. When he is around it allows me to ‘forget’ for awhile how ill I am and focus on the joy he brings me. He takes the pain away if not for a little while. His visits work better than all my meds.”

21. “A good day looks like having my pain being manageable enough to cook a meal for myself, and not leave places early to go home and rest… It looks like having the energy to reach out to friends and hold a conversation for more than five minutes. It looks almost normal to those who don’t know me personally.”

What does a “good day” look like for you? Share in the comments below.

Originally published: April 8, 2017
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