I am currently experiencing the worst flare in a while of my chronic illnesses and I am really struggling, so lets talk about how it happened and why its a lesson to learn from.
I often talk about my chronic illnesses, and I try my best to show you how to keep them on a consistent level and to be honest I have. I rarely go out, I use mobility aids so when I do go out I don’t do too much, and I live a life that is well paced out so I don’t flare too badly if I do flare.
However, I recently went into our little town with my husband to go thrifting and we had a lovely time, but I walked too far. I was having a good day and just kept going not really thinking about the repercussions, something that I rarely do. I am someone who thinks about what will happen after every decision, but this time I guess I got cocky and thought maybe I could do more than I thought I could?
This was a big lesson learned for me, that I still have some internalised ableism thinking that I might not be as bad as I think, but also to be careful. My illnesses are always there, they affect every part of my life and I need to make sure I take care of myself better so that I can stay as stable as possible.
Many of us struggle with this, we push ourselves to keep up with others or to keep heading towards our life goals or dreams, and we assume that we can rest later. Slowing down our lives is not something that is promoted in our society, but if you have chronic illnesses, slowing down might just be the trick to living happier lives.
Avoiding the worst flare in a while
- Living slowly – When I started dressing vintage, I found a YouTube channel called It’s a charming life, they promote living slower, happier lives. They seem to live cottagecore dreams and I now try to live a slower hygge life where I appreciate the moment.
- Rest is best – Planning time to rest and breaking jobs up into several sessions are things that have helped me so much. For example when I clean our bedroom that is a three day task dusting one side of the room on day one, change & wash bedding day 2, dust other half of room & mop day three…and thats with two of us doing it! Yes it is frustrating and means everything takes a lot longer, but it also means cleaning my room doesn’t flare my pain and fatigue.
- Ask for help – We all have things we cannot do, it is just too painful or not accessible for us to attempt. For me it is bending to clean the two bathrooms and keeping on top of the kitchen, when we moved in with mom she had a cleaner who does these three rooms once a week and it really helps! Asking for help can be difficult for our pride, but it can make all the difference.
- Get a slowcooker – A lot of the meals I make for us are done in the slowcooker, this means I can throw the ingredients into it leave it cooking a few hours and meal is done! Also I couldn’t cook at all without my *perching stool it is so good to be able to sit while cooking.
- Be patient – Things take longer, jobs are harder, frustration is real! Be patient and kind to yourself, you are doing your best and slowing down so you flare less is much healthier than pushing until your body cannot go any longer.
I really hope this flare settles soon, it really is the worst flare in a while, and I am struggling with needing my walking stick and a wrist brace. But I am being good and no I will not be walking everywhere and not using my wheelchair just because it is a good day again!