A day in the life of a retired disabled woman with chronic pain and mental illness

Inspired by @silverwolf634
  1. Wake up between 8:00am and 10:30am
  2. Assess pain level and stiffness by gradually rolling onto each side
  3. Work up the courage to pull myself up to a sitting position
  4. Sit on the side of the bed until able to attempt to stand
    During this time pet dog or cat if in bed with me.
  5. Listen for and alert my husband I am awake
  6. Struggle out to the living room and sit on the couch
    We selected this couch specifically to be the right height for me to stand up from and with sufficient back support.
  7. Have breakfast prepared by my husband
    Usually an oat bran muffin or oatmeal with cinnamon, brown sugar and a little milk and a cup of Bigelow French vanilla tea
  8. Take medications (2 narcotics for pain, 2 muscle relaxants, meds for BP and depression, nasal spray and inhalers for asthma)
    While waiting about an hour for pain relief distract myself by watching TV (Today Show or news), reading electronic newspaper, or social media (Li.st, Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
  9. Somewhere between 11:00am and 12:30pm use therapy tub
    I usually use 105° water with air bubbles and therapy jets. The therapy tub is the only time of my waking life when I have no pain so I tend to stay in there for 60-90 minutes. I can also bathe, wash my hair, etc. in there.
  10. Have lunch about 1:30-2:00pm and take 2nd round of medications (1 narcotic, 1 muscle relaxant, 2nd medication for depression)
  11. Afternoons are my best times so this is when I make my doctor appointments. I have approximately 24 appointments per year (total visits with my 5 doctors) but until 6 months ago it was about 2 or 3 times that. I cannot drive because of the meds so my husband drives me.
  12. I also have about 10-12 medical tests each year. I try to do these in the afternoon, too.
  13. My husband and I have lunch once a month with 2 different sets of friends and our daughter. This would be a total of three times a month.
  14. My brother is a retired bachelor and we have lunch with him a few times each month. I use a motorized scooter to get around to these events.
  15. When there are no afternoon appointments (about 4-5 days each week) I use about half of them to recover from the busy days by staying home and resting. This will include more TV/Internet/social media/reading short articles time.
    I can't focus long enough to read books anymore.
  16. If I feel okay and my depression is manageable that day I might listen to music.
  17. Other things I do are sit on my back or front porch with my dog or pet the dog and cats inside
  18. We like to watch the NBC Nightly News
  19. My husband gets supper for us around 6:30pm.
  20. My food choices are limited by the following: I have Celiac disease so no gluten. I am allergic to shellfish, tomatoes, apples, bananas, and strawberries. I have a swallowing abnormality so I eat soft foods and no raw vegetables. After I eat I cough for about 30-90 minutes.
  21. I take some more drugs at supper time (1pain med, 2 neuro drugs, and 1 muscle relaxant)
  22. By evening my legs have worn out. I have an Apple watch and it indicates I average 900-1500 steps a day. These are in short spurts because my legs are weak and some muscles are atrophied in my legs and back.
  23. So I just pass some more time at night like earlier.
  24. I go to sleep about 11:00 most nights. Before bed I take 2 narcotics, 2 muscle relaxants, asthma inhalers, cough medicine, and one neuro drug.
  25. About once each year we take a cruise with lots of at-sea days. I get deep tissue massage every few days and only go on wheelchair accessible excursions that are less than 4 hours.
  26. About twice a year we take a road trip around some part of the US with my brother. Every other day I sightsee for a couple of hours then the next day I stay back at the hotel to rest.
  27. We're on a road trip now and I'm pretty exhausted. It's only day 4 and we have 14 days left. I may not be able to do these anymore.
  28. I was once a vibrant active woman. I am well-educated and loved to teach and learn. But now I am kind of slipping away. It's depressing but also part of the natural cycle of life.
  29. My turn to go downhill just started a lot sooner than I expected. So I have some bad days filled with anguish and despair. I feel like I am in a deep dark hole. I want to get out but I'm stuck. A lot of mental and emotional battle goes on during depressive episodes. I have fought back against suicide many times.
  30. My day is not bright and happy like those I have read but hopefully you don't mind reading how it is for me. Because sometimes you may feel better about your own situation when you see how others live. I also sometimes beat myself up with guilt because others have lives much worse than mine. And yet I still grieve and cry.