Chronic pain and chronic illness and lower functionality

So things with the vestibular symptoms on top of everything else have limited my functionality and therefore my capacity to distract myself from the pain. And to well do much of anything.

  1. I can’t do much housework. If I can do anything at all in that day it is 1 small thing. Like maybe I will clean the litterboxes. And then I am done. Day over. I have made it worse. So that is pretty much out for productivity. Or a distraction. Or a thing to do.
  2. I can’t be upright for long because that too makes it worse. Just sitting upright makes it worse. But standing? Yeah that makes it a lot worse. So this limits pretty much everything I can even potentially do time wise. Cooking dinner is one thing I like to do when off work and so I try but it ruins my night. It exacerbates my symptoms immensely. I pretty much need to cane at night as a result of this effort. But either way, it just gets worse as the day goes on, because of sitting or standing. That just makes it worse. So night is bad. Even when I sleep in in the morning and rest all of the day. Just gets worse the moment I am in the least bit upright. Not that it goes away laying down, just … better that way. I have left the house for short durations and every time it has knocked me right out. Not to mention I keep getting these drop attacks out of nowhere, which even with a cane are freaky as all hell.
  3. I can’t read. I can enlarge text and sort of read on social media, but not an article where there is a lot of text. Just like a small amount like facebook comments or something. Something easy to comprehend. Because of two things. 1) can’t really track well with my eyes. So I keep reading things wrong or the wrong line. 2) I have little to no comprehension because of the intense brain fog that comes with the dizziness and lightheaded feeling… when it is at the point I can even manage anything. When I have vertigo or severe dizziness, I can’t do anything at all, let alone read. So reading a book is out of the question. I can it seems when it is mild read a short article. But it is really hard. I mean the brain fog in intensity is like nothing I have ever experienced before. It is the dizziness. It is too intense.
  4. I can’t think. I can write a blog post with effort but I can’t do creative writing or edit the novel I am currently working on. I tried. The focus and comprehension isn’t there. I seem to be in a haze a lot of the time. Sometimes just zoned right out. I am making a lot of mistakes. Or just confused about routine things. Again just the dizziness, the vertigo, and the constant falling sensations are to blame for this.
  5. I can’t drive. Obviously. But this is a limitation I really had not thought much on. In that past, it was maybe I Shouldn’t drive, but never I literally Can’t drive. As in that wouldn’t be safe for anyone involved.

So what Can you do when chronic illness when functionality suffers?

I mean really with your functionality down what can you really Do with your day and not go mad with inactivity? Reading and creative writing are my Things. My pain distractions. My passions. And now… I am sort of wafting through the day in a haze of nothing.

  1. Resting. Because I must. Resting. A lot of resting. I realize this is important for my capacity to do anything at all in the least bit. So this is vital. That I understand. I don’t feel guilty about it. There is no guilt when functionality is low. There is just necessary. I have to. So I do.
  2. I have been doing a lot of social media. At least looking at things. Images and such. But I find it gets boring. And it gets a bit depressing. So while I can distract with that for a bit, even when resting, it doesn’t seem to be helpful to me much. I think too much isn’t really beneficial to me. A little bit helps pass the time.
  3. Blogging is better. I can try and focus a bit. Write, which I love and is a distraction. It is difficult but I can at least take time. It may take me a lot longer to write a post but I can take that time. I have been doing Pinterest which only requires me to pick an old post and make an image for it then pin it. I have a few predesigned templates for images so that isn’t that bad. That is time-consuming, easy, and doesn’t require much focus. And I can do it slowly over the day. But is also good for my blog, which is good.
  4. Netflix. Yeah, Netflix is my friend. I am binging a lot of shows I have wanted to see. And also catching up on shows I have saved as well in my PVR.

And that is all, my friends. The struggle is real right now. I am not going to lie, it was getting me in a sort of melancholy state there for a bit. Just the inability to do things. How cognitively difficult it is to function a lot of the time. How physically it is so difficult right now. How I have to time everything perfectly to manage anything and how worse I get as a result of anything.

So lessons here are:

  1. You have to take more care. Once again you have to find where the limits even Are. Where are the boundaries of this new state of being? What can and can’t you do? Should we nudge those limits? Or is this a time of recovery?
  2. Amp up the self-care. I am serious when I say you need it when functionality suffers. My mood was really beginning to drop.Take care of your body and your mood. Things you usually do when symptoms are bad, you should consider when functionality begins to suffer in the longer term.
  3. It is a new level of pacing.It is a new level to pacing I haven’t quite gotten a handle on yet because it is so much slower than normal. Infinitely more Care needed in everything I do. Infinitely more time needed. More rest. Coping takes a new form. I have yet to test the boundaries of these new limitations. Effort, well, it takes on new meaning.
  4. Find new distractions where we can. I have yet to do this because my mood was a bit low and I was in a funk, but I am going to try audiobooks. I have a few free ones to give a go. I have never liked them in the past… but if I cannot read right this moment why not? Why not try something again and see if I can get some joy from that? Or a new hobby I Can do? We have to pull back on some things, but we can create new things.

I have no idea how long this is going to last but I have to deal with it while it is around. So have to shine up those coping strategies. And do what we do best, eh? Survive.

Just like we survive the so-called functional suffering we have from pain every day. As society tries to shove us into the role of the healthy and we can’t maintain it. I loathe the term ‘functional’. It is a lie. It is a lie medical professionals and insurance companies try to force on you when you are just surviving day by day. Or trying to.

The stagnation of non-functionality

When functionality suffers

Poem: Functional

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11 thoughts on “Dealing with lower functionality

  1. I reLly empathize with you …not just sympathy. I’m going through the s@me thing myself after a heart situation, it feels like I in@ pit and will never get out.


  2. Thank you for this. I’m having a time of “low functioning” right now. It gets harder each day that it keeps going on. It helps to think of it as a time of low functioning, and that I can accept it and care for myself. and it’s good to be reminded not to beat myself up over it. These are also good coping skills. I like audiobooks and will download some. Laying down is mostly all I can do right now too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for writing this Nikki, I always enjoy and appreciate your posts so much. It’s especially hard when writing is such a huge part of who you are, and also how you cope, connect often too, but you’re forced to limit it, and all else, sometimes stop it all together, however momentarily. In a similar place; your words resonate deeply. It’s so hard but we do survive, how ever painful the pacing, how ever easy it is to exceed these altered limitations… especially when inspired! Wishing you far kinder days, miraculously low pain days too, and spoons, many, many spoons…❥

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have struggled with vestibular issues as well as other health problems. Writing , knitting and crochet all require uprightness but I have found I can record verbally on my phone in order to ‘write’ my ideas or plan my next project. Hearing yourself later seems odd at first but it really does cheer you up and pass the time. Start by retelling yourself a story or explaining something you know. Who knows maybe you will find a new hobby.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have found I can draw when dizzy… not the vertigo full on but with that dizziness that is there all the time, because i can recline and it doesn’t take thinking. It has been fun to experiment with


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