Managing chronic illness means creating shortcuts, protocols, and mechanisms that remove barriers to a successful day.
For example, one of the things that helps me is to have some standard protocols in place to help me get through the day when Dan has to go to work. Our space is on the third floor of the house so if I am having a day where I can’t carry and walk much I can really have a bad day without prior planning. If we were to write up the usual routine in list form it would go something like:
TEAM FOK PROTOCOL ONE
- Full water dispenser in bedroom
- Protein shakes in mini-fridge
- T.V. remotes close at hand
- Cellphone upstairs and plugged in at bedtime
Lists have been a godsend for me for a number of reasons. One, I often forget to do things because my mind is occupied with pain management. Second, my medications are not unknown to make me forget everything including day of the week, and last, I find it easier to push myself to accomplish a short list of small things that a nebulous series of ideas about what my sick-ass needs to be doing in a day. So I use them a lot.
For you and your team members I suggest you identify the things you need the most that they can help you have close at hand for your day so they can go to work, get the house in order, manage home-schooling the kids, etc. and you can manage yourself as best as possible until you need additional help. Like this cute and cheery one I made for you!
You can put your team name on it and any important notes you need to remember and you and your caregiver can start out the day with a quick and easy reference sheet for what you need on hand to make being sick, and care for a sick person, a little easier.
Don’t forget to throw some extra love to your caregiver every day. They work hard for us and have the added stress of seeing us in pain and feeling helpless to stop it. There are a number of things I do in the care and feeding of my caregiver that I will share with you as time goes by but for now, here is a card you can print out and give them, if you like!
I absolutely hate it when I am staring at my medication bottles trying to remember if I took them or not today. Here is a med tracker sheet I made up to help out.
Some days are better than others. Here’s a little something to send to loved ones for the days that aren’t.