Seems years ago now well before 2000 that everyday acts of daily living just came naturally.
I cooked, ate, bathed, dressed, never worried about incontinence or pads, and could freely walk or move around and dash about like a lunatic. You took all these things for granted.
I would go to bed late, wake up, stretch, yawn rub bleery eyes and think ugh is it that time already where did the night go. I would perform my ablutions, toiletries, dress and of course brush my hair and slap on some colour in the guise of my makeup. Look in the mirror and decide that would have to do, and yes rush down the stairs as usual as I was always late.
Mike my husband was always up before me and would hear me get up and have my coffee ready for me by the time I got down the stairs …… hands up who cant function without that first cup of coffee? Bliss.
The dog and cats would need feeding. I was lucky as we had a dog flap to our very large garden so my small Jack Russel was quite content on doing his daily rounds in the garden in actual fact over the years he made a trail around the garden. I do hasten to add he was taken for walks.
Oh yes the joys of taking your dog for a walk, a long distance memory now, but that’s for another day.
The cats would all be waiting for their breakfast, which consisted of dry food, fresh water, a quick pat on their backs whilst my mind was racing elsewhere.
Hubby and I would exchange pleasantries, a quick peck on the cheek ” have a good day hug sent back either way”………you know the score as I expect I am describing one of your typical days.
Looking at the clock oh hell it was time to get out of there. I would grab my handbag and briefcase, jump into my car (yes jump hoorah), and speed off (well said for dramatic effect more then reality automatics don’t allow you to SPEED off anywhere) and off I went to work.
Whilst driving along I would be planning in my head all I would have to do that day, and think of any meetings I might be attending that day sighing loud if any were scheduled with my boss (yes some of you who may read this and know my boss will be sighing alongside me…. shush you never know who is listening.
It seemed I was always in a perpetual state of motion rushing here and there, but never taken much mind of it, as well it was my life.
When I got closer to work I would always stop at the local store and grab my lunch, usually a soft drink and a sandwich oh my goodness those were the days when I never thought about what I ate, I just ate it. I didn’t have to search for a gluten free sandwich, or cakes I would just eat them oh the joys.
I would park up at work, grab my stuff for the day and walk up the stairs to my office, plonk everything down on my desk, say good morning to whoever was there and get prepared for the rigours of the day.
I did all these things without even thinking about it. I could perform each and everyone of them on my own.
Sometimes when I saw people parking in disabled bays I would think sadly I wonder what happened to them that they had to use these bays……..never in a million years would I ever believe I too would be using them.
I must admit I did see able bodied people using these spaces I never said anything perhaps I should have yes I am guilty of that I should have as now I realise just how thoughtless these people are, using up a space when someone perhaps like me needs to get a wheelchair out, and rush to the toilet only to find that the disabled toilet is being used by non disabled people, and you are desperately trying not to pee yourself………… These facilities are there for disabled people I really do wish I had been more active about spreading that message.
Don’t take these places for granted if you don’t need to use one then DON’T. If you have no need to use the disabled toilet then don’t.
The saying goes be careful what you WISH for in life.
Everyday I just dealt with the activities of daily living, I never needed to think of not doing so. I never thought that others may not be as lucky as me, and need others to help them every day to perform the simplest of tasks.
So if you are reading this and able bodied, just think for a moment how hard it would be for you if you couldn’t walk more then a few yards, or cook yourself a simple meal, or even get out of bed without assistance.
I have to use a commode now at night, yes a commode chair, as to get out of bed in the night and simply walk to the toilet is too dangerous for me. Last time I did so I ended up on the floor after banging myself hard against the wardrobe leaving a nasty bruise. Yes just going to relieve myself a natural body function.
I am not ashamed to talk about it. Its who I am now. My life now my ADL is dependant on others to help me and keep me safe.
Scary isn’t it to think that one day we can end up relying on others to do the simplest of tasks……………………….if it can happen to me, and those of you who know me and my family, knew me as a strong independent women a true Leo who would be quite capable at roaring at anyone if needed, who could run 11 learning centres, keep in line 54 tutors, write copious amounts of books and exercises for Microsoft Suite, personnel procedures, put into place I.T. qualifications and get through said audits with a 100% accuracy phew and breathe. If it can happen to me it can happen to anyone.
This Page of my blog will be dedicated to the six main forms of ADL, and I hope others will comment and offer tips on how they get through their days if they are on a similar journey to me. It doesn’t have to be MS, it can be any chronic illness as we ALL suffer the same regardless of the label.