Monday, November 14, 2011

The Next Iron -Top- Food Network-Star-Chef

Yes, I know they are all different shows- I love The Next Iron Chef (watching it now), Top Chef, The Next Food Network Star, Food Network Challenge- basically all of the cooking competition.  Today's theme on TNIC is "Ingenuity".  I find that ironic because each and every challenge that they face and WE face requires ingenuity.  Let's look at this for a second.  As we live our lives with chronic illness, we are called on to use our ingenuity every single day.

We find ways to get through the pain. The pain is a major factor for us and there are as many different ways to combat it as there are degrees of severity to our illnesses.  Pain meds, heat, ice, dietary eliminations, supplements and more.  We all try (and share) a myriad of different pain remedies.

We find ways to combat the fatigue.  This is my personal demon.  Napping, exercise, energy drinks, energy supplements, sleep aids; you name it- we try it.  Even more than the pain (in my own experience) the fatigue can be crippling and when we over do it this can be the biggest setback for us.

 We find ways to be able to do every day tasks that are no longer just "easy" for us.  In my personal arsenal there are grippers to open bottles, extenders to grab things up above my reach level, a tall husband (he's got 16 inches on me) who can get what I need, canes, walkers, shoes that don't have to be tied, clothes that don't have to be buttoned, fat grippy pens, gel grip hair brushes, water bottles with wide mouths (love VOSS) that are easier to open; there are so many ways that we manage to get it done when there is that moment with the "GULP" when you realize that you can no longer do little tasks that we took for granted before illness.

We find ways to cope mentally and emotionally with the "chronic" part of our illness.  This can be the hardest part for so many.  First there is the HUGE blow of a diagnosis of chronic illness.  Coming to grips with the thought of forever being sick causes you to reach deep inside yourself  for more strength than you ever knew or be swallowed up by the illness.  Perhaps even more difficult are the never ending setbacks to that barrage you. All of the little things that you can no longer do, the hills and valleys of pain and fatigue, the stiffness or illness that come and go throughout the day and the financial strains that come with constant doctor's visits, tests, medications and procedures and the strain on our relationships all combine and add stress to an already difficult situation.

It takes an incredible amount of inventiveness for us to fight one of these situations; much less all of them at once.  As far as I am concerned- if we are living with, fighting and overcoming our illnesses- we are the TRUE STARS.

Happy Monday!  

1 comment:

MissDazey said...

Good thoughts. I so agree the fatigue is sometimes more difficult than pain.

I am looking for a very good bottle opener. If you know of one, please pass the name along..thanks. Mr. Bruce was gone last week, I could open my V8 or bottle of any kind. boo,hoo...