Many a time I would have to pinch myself just to realise I was in a different continent, let alone the places I would visit!
That was of course, until one summer's evening in 2006, when this dream life that I was living at a hundred miles an hour, was over in an instant- as one simple mistake/lack of concentration, by the girl who crashed her car into mine- changed the path of my life to a very different direction.
Now, in this new phase of my life, a shower and change is a MUCH longer and more arduous process and involves using disability aids to make the very act even possible!
The strength has to be summoned from the extremely depleted energy reserves in the first place- before then taking 5-10 minutes to ensure that all of the products and equipment I need are in place, because there's no popping out to grab your shower gel if you forgotten it!
The shower (or more often than not bath), takes about 10-20 minutes- the last five of which, are spent trying to psych myself up and summon the energy and strength to do the physical process of getting out of the bath/shower, wrapping a towel around myself before collapsing on the bed.
Then when all of that is done, I am totally and utterly spent!
Blow drying aside- all groomed and dressed and ready to hit the town; do some work or meet some friends and I am nothing short of knackered and riddled with pain to do so!
This is what happens as a result of all of life's daily tasks- be it dinner, shopping for dinner or getting ready for bed- they now all have the same energy value as two hours in the gym used to back in the days of my "normal" life: not forgetting that all of the above is only possible at all on good days!
A problem occurs in the fact that I do not easily accept that these simple tasks that I previously took for granted as non-events in my 'old lifé', should be off limits or restricted- so I am defiantly just trying my best to carry on regardless- perhaps a little in denial?!
The result of this stubborn behaviour is that I inevitably frequently 'do myself in' and end up with my pain exacerbated to the point of unbearablee heights!
I consequently have to take more morphine as a result of my actions, ( which then brings on more fatigue), and my sleep is often hugely affected by both pain and depression due to the fact that I have once again been defeated by my nemesis.
The additional anxiety that is present in me right now, is in my fear that this situation will develop into the situation of 'perpetual poorliness'- which is where I do not wait and give myself time to recover from my pain, fatigue or reoccurring infections, resulting in them never going away for months due to my impatience!
I appreciate that I have tried to articulate how much more energy is needed for a standard day for somebody like me in a previous post- http://www.discoverdisability.com/2011/08/just-cant-keep-up.html , but I have no qualms in returning to this subject matter now and no doubt many more times in the future- as this is one of the most frustrating things that I and many other people with disabilities experience daily.
There is no doubt that life is tougher since my accident/surgery/illness-disability, both physically and emotionally.
I don't know if I will ever fully accept that the amount that I used to think of as a normal day's work/living is no longer possible without rendering myself confined to my bed for weeks!
How do you change the habits and expectations of a lifetime?
I frankly have no bloody idea- but I gladly welcome any ideas from folks of how to do so!
Until tomorrow folks...