I can’t believe it is February already. There must be a word from when time moves infinitely slow and yet passes too fast. Whatever that is, that is what is happening. Maybe people think this time has been stagnant. That they have lost a year to this pandemic. And if so I understand the feeling. Everyone with a disabling chronic illness knows this feeling when they can no longer work. When their functionality declines and they can no longer measure their existence on their productivity to society any longer. It took me a while to find value and worth in other things. Even longer to Not define my life by productivity.
Last year and this year have been defined in themselves in many ways. And yet in other ways maybe not. it has widely impacted the world and society and my country. It has impacted my life and those around me. But I feel my routine has not changed all that much. I was impacted prior to that with my vertigo and I have been constantly adapting and adjusting to that for more than three years now. That drop in functionality and that adjustment have defined me a whole lot more. Not being able to drive. Learning how to do things differently and pace a whole lot differently. Being able to do less. Picking up drawing because it is challenging but also something I can do when not able to focus well. By the time the pandemic hit I think my resilience was at an all-time high no matter how many knocks that had in store and yeah I think it has a whole lot of those handy for everyone. I just feel like I can endure them. Maybe things will get whittled down to the basics but somehow, I hope, we all come out the other side.
But my routine has not changed much. Just … refined as I adapted and ever so slowly gently added things in. That to me is progress. Personal progress. Maybe everything else sucks but in that area it is progressing ever so slowly. Although I find it hard to get out and about still but at the moment no where to get out and about to.
I sometimes think people from the outside looking in may think my life looks infinitesimally small. To them, perhaps what I can do in a day seems so very little. But I have fought hard to get to the point where I can do anything at all rather than being laid out all day. To me, this was smaller than four years back but so much larger than when things first tanked downward and I became disabled. Every inch gained is quite Meaningful to Me. My quality of life certainly could be better. Yeah. But quality of life is also not measured in productivity. There is more to life than that.
I take a strong pacing approach to every single day, on the days I can function, because I need to. Doing so enables me to do a few things I choose a day in small increments and far more than I would be able to do otherwise. It took me a long time to figure this pattern out because when my functionality dropped it felt like I couldn’t seem to accomplish anything. Because it was so much lower than it was before and also with pain you can tolerate a level of pain and still do moderate things. With severe dizziness, there is this mind-blowing level of fatigue that is tacked on and also everything makes it worse, or if Pushed, triggers vertigo. It is a very delicate balance to figure out. But when you do you can sort of figure out when you need to rest, when you need to nap and when you need to rest NOW and then your day is done.
By aligning my routine better I have begun to add other routines back in. Making sure I take specific vitamins regularly. Doing specific things in the day I know help with mood; like at least some writing and something to do with a hobby. Just makes me feel good. I have been slowly, early in the day when I feel best, been exercising on my exercise bike to help with balance and chronic pain- it is a very slow process for me but an important routine. And I allocate a specific amount of time for each activity. The next day rotates activities and then the next day rotates again. With immense flexibility because some days are just complete rest days.
We are money impaired at the moment. The pandemic has really done a number on us financially since my spouse got laid off and has not been able to find permanent work since. And with the lockdowns sort of hard to really find anything permanent. I do hope that improves soon. So we are doing the exact opposite of Saving. Budgeting. Tightening. Cutting. Whatever I can to pinch a penny. Not saving money but stretching it a bit anyway. Trying to pick up any budgeting tips that work for us. Whatever works, eh?
I’ve been educating myself about Meniere’s disease because at this time it is the only possibility presented to explain my vertigo but it will take some time to see if they can prove that, given delays in appointment times. So the best I can do is educate myself to what the lifestyle changes are that I will need to make and the possible progression and treatment. Better to be prepared. If that is what it is and I have no better theories so might as well read up on it. It helps to know people are going through the same thing with the same symptoms and triggers.