when life smacks you upside the head to get your attention and then proceeds to add some difficulties to your life. When you get to be my age, those difficulties are mostly medical.
Those who are regular readers know of my physical limitations because I whine about them periodically. Those new visitors, take heart. I promise to keep the whining about fun stuff like arthritis and cellulitis to a minimum.
To my way of thinking, there are two things a person can do.
The first is to crawl into bed, pull the covers up to your ears and just wait to die.
The second, and my personal choice, is to just to get on with it. Make peace with the fact that life has changed and there is bloody little a person can do about that. So after you get through the initial anger and frustration and periods of weepy self pity, find ways to adapt to the situation.
Everyone has different situations to deal with. Many are much worse than mine. I still have a mind that works - well, sort of. I can still walk - sort of. I can still take care of myself as far as personal hygiene, cooking, keeping my apartment clean enough to stay the health department, etc. But each task needed to be thought out as to how to do it in my present condition.
The hardest part for me was knowing that I was not the Wonder Woman of the past who could work hard from dawn to dark and beyond. That fact pretty much shredded my ego. I have never been one to cry for help unless it was obvious that the task at hand could not be accomplished alone. So having to call on my kids to do for me was not high on my list of things I enjoyed. But, after swallowing some of my pride, I did it. Thankfully I have grown children who are more than willing to help out when needed.
Adapting to current limitations has been a challenge. I know that I can not stand or walk for more than 10 minutes at a time before the arthritic pain becomes overwhelming. So I have learned to do the chores either in ten minute increments or do what I can while seated at my kitchen table. Youngest Son and his family gave me a walker for Mother's Day so I can now leave my apartment and enjoy the outdoors. Admitting to myself that I needed a walker was tough. I have learned that if I do too much one day, I will spend the next day quietly recovering. Sometimes it is worth it - sometimes not.
I believe the most important thing about dealing with limitations is attitude. I suppose I could sit around in a puddle of self pity, but I won't. I haven't the time nor do I have the patience for it. I think that concentrating on what I can do rather than what I can't makes all the difference.
The point of this post is not to dwell on my physical problems, but to encourage anyone out there who is facing life-changing obstacles. If just one person who reads this is able to realize that life, even with limitations, can be good, then this was worth posting. Just do the best you can with what you have to work with.
Oh yeah...keep your sense of humor. Laughter is the very best medicine. Really - it is.