Here are a few coping mechanisms I am developing two weeks into my shattering experience.
1. People told me, "take your pain meds, that is what they are for." "Stay on top of the pain." After one day of taking the prescribed amount of meds, I was tired of feeling nauseous and fuzzy headed. I cut my dosage by 50%, then to 0% and haven't taken any more. I am feeling no pain and though a blonde senior citizen, I am relatively clear-headed.
2. Accept help when offered. Our church would bring us meals if we so desired. And though I am instructing you to accept help, I declined. There are just two of us here and I am somewhat of a squirrel when it comes to having food on hand. So, we have not starved. But we did have some delicious chili from a friend last night.
3. Be specific when someone asks how they can help. We are having an early Christmas this weeks with the kids and grands. I still needed a couple of gifts as well as the elastic finished on the granddaughters' skirts. Thankfullly, I was able to see the skirts myself with one hand, but I could not connect the ends of the elastic myself. When my girlfriend said, How can I help you? I said , Could you connect the elastic on these two skirts (5-10 minutes). And can you take me to these three shops in town? She graciously agreed to do both and we spent a very pleasant time together (and lunch!).
4. Break down your tasks. I wanted to make fudge and knew I would need to enlist Pat's help. But only at two steps. I could measure, cook, stir. But I could not lift the pan off the stove to dump into the mixer, nor could I pour the completed batch into containers. The fudge is made. A delicious team effort.
5. Change your cannots into cans. No, not positive thinking mumbo jumbo. For example, I cannot empty the canister on my vacuum cleaner, but I can vacuum. Just because I cannot perform the whole task does not mean I cannot do any of it.
6. Take good care of your friends and they will take care of you. One of my girlfriends is starting a business in which she will go to the home of elderly folks and trim their toenails and care for their feet. And she needs practice! She is coming over next week to practice on my feet ( I was going to trim my nails the day I fell.....). I helped her move this past summer.
7. Set up systems. The first time I washed my hair with one hand and took my one- handed sponge bath, it took me a half hour. By getting everything set up logically and in step by step order, I can now manage it 15-20 minutes.
8. In the grand scheme of things six-eights weeks of inconvenience is just a blip. Keep your perspective on your 'troubles'. Could be worse. Could be raining.
9. Be grateful. Though I am broken, GOD, even now is busy knitting those bones back together. Pretty amazing if you ask me.
10. Keep up. Since it takes longer to do everything, don't let stuff slide by. Before you know it, things will really be a mess.
I am by nature a stubborn and independent person. My inner two year old comes out: "I can do it myself!" While these are not my best character traits, I'm using them to my advantage now on my road to recovery.
For you who are still healthy and in one piece? A few bits of unsolicited advice.
Don't procrastinate. If I wouldn't have put off making the skirts for the girls, I wouldn't have had to impose on my friend.
Work on your core strength. I took an exercise class years ago and the instructor emphasized this by saying, ' you want to always be able to get of the toilet by yourself'. To that I would add, the couch, the easy chair, out of the car.....