Thursday, December 3, 2015

Deslobification, chronic illness style

I came across this blog the other day:

It's nice to listen to someone who is pretty honest about how hard they find it to keep things clean, and their own personal habits. She called her process 'deslobifiction,' which sounds just so appropriate to how this feels that it makes me grin.

She's a person who is trying to stay clean and who does NOT like to do it. That's so me - I would be quite happy to hire someone to clean for me so I can spend time doing something else I want to do with that time. If I could afford it. 

And I enjoyed a lot of her ideas. The concept of building routines - like doing a dish when you have a free moment - really appealed to me. 

I was struck, however, by one thing that this gal discusses, which I've seen in a lot of cleaning blogs: routines and habits that involve doing X or Y before you go to bed.

Yeah, thats not going to happen for many of us with chronic illness.
By the end of the day, there is not going to be much of anything I'm able to do but get to bed. Even undressing is going to be too much, some days. There is no WAY I'm going to be able to stay up and get all the dishes done for the day. And sometimes, the morning isn't too hot, either.

But that said, I have one great take away from listening to the podcasts from this lovely lady, and that's this: I can build routines.  They may not match everyone else's, but I can do this.

Better yet, I can build routines that are more about the routine than about the end result. Because on good days, I can actually get some shit done. On bad days, well, the routine is not gonna help, because it is wiped away as I try to just deal with getting through that day. But on the middle-of-the-road days, the days when I could do something, but it's tiring and difficult, I think having a routine might get me to at least do a little, maybe enough to keep things from going completely pear shaped.

And I know you know what I mean, fellow chronically ill. If you don't have a care giver, like myself, do you find yourself with the beds with dishes piled next to them on one side, a book or laptop on the other, medicines and medical devices on the side table, and feeling overwhelmed and closed in but unable to do much about it? I know that I often do, and I've been trying to think of ways to help this, but they always fail.

But...routine. What would happen if every time I get up from the bed - even if on bad days that's not often - I take a dish with me. Even if I only take it half-way to the kitchen to a little side table, because that's where the bathroom is, it is still closer than it was. And when I have to get up to get food, I can take it the rest of the way and suddenly, I'm starting to get dishes away from my bed.

Or what would happen if, when I get food, I keep a wet, soapy washcloth in the sink and try to clean just one thing, even if it's just a fork, when I get the food?  I won't be able to do it all the time, but sometimes (although with the more income, I'd likely get disposable stuff, as much as I hate the ecological impact, because then I have even less to worry about.). 

These are the kind of habits that I think might make an impact for me, so I'm going to try it. I'm also trying to get more in shape - well, in shape for me - because I just realized I gained 60 pounds in the last 2 years, and I really need to stop. The extra weight isn't good for me, and it exacerbates some of my symptoms, so I need to get on that. 

I'm starting with, again, another habit. Walking, every day. I don't care how can be a shuffle from the bed to the bathroom on bad days, or the slow build up to an hour and a half of walking that I'm hoping to achieve (slow build up, minutes more a day if I don't want to react, but I've gotten to 1 hour before, so I know I can do this!).

So, for my non-existent blog readers who may read this one day, I'm planning to share how this is going, successes and failures and such, especially for any other people like myself, chronically ill and trying to figure out how to get by.

The routines I am going to try to stick to this week, on moderate to good days, anyway:
1. Sweep the kitchen floor daily - this was one of the gal's routines and for some reason, I think I can manage this. Possibly because I've been having a pretty good couple of weeks, so I feel very hopeful. It's not gonna be perfect sweeping, or even the entire kitchen necessarily, but just a little sweeping.

2. Walk every day - for some amount of time, no matter how slow I have to go, or for how short a time. I think, if I was on more bed rest, I might do something more like listen to music and move my arms in time to the music daily, or my fingers, or bob my head to the music, or even just do one thing that is good for my physical or mental health that is a bit hard to do.

3. Do a dish when I have a free moment and I am upright and mobile - we'll see how this one goes. But my kitchen is ready for someone with a hazmat suit to find a new species developing in there, so I'm hoping this will finally help me get it more manageable, slowly, slowly. 

4. Every time I leave my room, look around and take one dish with me (or more) and put it in the kitchen sink as I pass by. I may keep a plastic bag or something near the bed, that I can put the dish in, on days when my hands might feel really weak or can't get a good grip on things.

I think that's enough to start with for this month. Maybe I'll try more, but these three, I'm hoping to be able to accomplish. I'll update with how it's going, and what worked and didn't when I next post. 

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