Monday, 29 August 2016

What do sick people need?

Well, one of the good things about being sick, is that you (hopefully) get to be better at understanding other people who are sick
I'm sure in the past I've been pretty self absorbed, busy having adventures and doing other 'important' things, and also not really understanding of what its actually like...
So I thought share some of the things that I've learnt about what sick people need:
- Places to lie down in the warm and the quiet and in the sunshine.
- Nourishing, frozen home-cooked meals that can be heated up in a couple of minutes of standing up time!
- Knowing that there are people they can ask for help
- Knowing there are people who care
- Knowing that people don't think you are a burden
- A few pats of the head, some hugs and reassurance
- Audio books or podcasts
- To be in control of their own energy and time expenditure. To be allowed to be a bit 'selfish' temporarily, because getting better is the least 'selfish' thing you could do.
- Any sort of miscellaneous practical help (e.g. cleaning. Bedsheets changed)
- Beautiful nature things to gaze at
- Sometimes to be told obvious things like 'take a panadol' or 'don't go for a walk', because sick people can often be brain fogged and irrational.
- Really sick people need 'nursing' – having things brought to them, being reassured, having the things they're worried about looked after. Unfortunately this is hard if there is no person who is able to do this for you.
- Sometimes really sick people need somebody else to do the asking for them, because its really hard to ask for yourself.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Giving up the guilt

Today I am going to try and stop feeling guilty about the things I can't do. Logically, feeling guilty about having glandular fever is really really dumb, but it is also really easy. Usually I feel guilty about not being able to do jobs in my share house, like shopping, cooking communal meals and doing huge piles of dishes. Vacuuming is a proven way to exhaust myself. Feeling guilty about being a burden to people, who didn't ask to be lumped with a sick person. Also, there's feeling guilty about needing to claim my personal space and be in control of the amount of time I spend socialising. Sometimes I have to ask people to go away.
There's also the 'needs' thing to feel guilty about, and when to assert my needs over someone elses. Like, I don't really 'need' need some things, like home-cooked meals and a sunny quiet space. Lots of people have endured long periods without them and survived to tell the tale. But they do make my life so so much better : )
Glandular fever and chronic fatigue are invisible, not like a broken leg. Sometimes I may appear to be quite well, even though I have really rigid invisible limits that I need to respect or I'll get sicker. And gf is even less my fault than if I was doing something silly like crashing my bike and breaking my leg.
Also, I do know it is better for everyone if I look after myself the best I can now, so I can get better and do things again. And that's by not pushing myself to do things because I feel guilty about not doing them...
So, that is the goal from today. Less “I'm sorry I can'ts”, and more “thank you for helping me”. Like in these pictures.