A friend mentioned one day, there are a lot of people who have trouble understanding the condition of having invisible pain...
I also think it's sometimes hard for me to remember that I have limitations, which aren't pain but are the sensible things I know I should do to prevent pain.
For me pain is an incessant cough, which leaves me hurting in my ribs, gasping for breath, and often peeing my pants I cough so hard.
That cough from hell was with me 3 months this last winter. And I had maybe a week when I got over, in between each month. I found that something was really happening in those weeks I felt good, which brought it back. I continue to have intermittent short coughing spells, not so insistent, but with a loud mucousy sound which people think is maybe catching. It isn't or I'd have gotten over it by now.
I've seen specialists, and am continuing to do so.
But just common sense led me to figure out that recuperation at 71 requires patience. Just because I feel better, I cannot resume going for half a mile walk. I cannot go on day long trips, or take plane rides that get postponed requiring staying up for hours into the night.
So now I'm on the cusp of almost being well. And today I had a challenge. A phone call asking me to help an acquaintance, who had asked for a meal to be brought to him following a day or so with hospital tests. He said he had to cut back on things he did, and was asking for help.
I talked to another person who also was called to help. I said how I've already said no to a task that I probably could achieve on a computer, but that I was trying to limit how many new things I took on. I really want to be well. Shopping and cooking and delivering a meal sounded like a lot.
So I called the man back and said I couldn't bring him a meal. I explained that if I did more than I already had planned for the day, it could possibly set me back in my own health. He understood, having just received the same advice from health professionals.
My cough is almost invisible, until I inhale some chemicals (like incense) or dust particles when someone shakes some clay dust around. That's when people see what I am dealing with. The rest of the time I can sit quietly, talk with a group of friends, and walk around. I can even throw some pottery, but at a much reduced rate than maybe a year ago.
Today I noticed I have avoided doing a lot around the house. I don't really have funds to have someone else come in and do good cleaning. I decided rather than feeling overwhelmed by it all, I'd just start things. I could start the dishes, and the rest would wait till another sinkfull of suds. I could start cleaning litter boxes, and scoop the other one tomorrow. I have approached the things that most need to be done. When I run out of spoons in the drawer, it's time to wash dishes!
The 2 cats I live with make sure to get their food every morning. That's my alarm clock. I am able to go shopping once a week, and maybe go pick up a take-out dinner once a week. So far I've paid my bills pretty much on time. I mostly keep track of the medicines I take. I've delivered pottery orders on time too. But I really have let myself down while trying to slowly take care of myself and my environment. I feel really guilty about this.
Getting on line, writing blogs, it's an escape from running the vacuum, from putting things away, from cleaning out the things right outside the front door. Honestly, when a friend came over, she saw a broken bird bath and a shelf full of dead plants in little pots. Nice welcoming if you want something ghoulish.
I know lots of people are recuperating from one thing or another. These invisible limitations are so difficult, not only for my friends to give me support, but for me to acknowledge and accept. Drat it all!