Is chronic illness simple?

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Photo by Jess Watters on Pexels.com

 

Oh my goodness NO!  Actually not just no, but hell NO!  So why in the world would I give this blog such a title?

Before I started this blog, I struggled to give it a name because once you name something it becomes real and reality can be harsh.

It has taken me years and years to accept the fact that I am chronically ill.  Just typing out that sentence makes me sick to my stomach, I don’t want this to be real, not for me and not for you.  I am tired of feeling the need to explain myself regarding why I can’t do certain things, for having to cancel outings at the last minute, for not being able to live my life the way I planned it all out in my head many years ago.  Chronic illness has taken so much away from me and I hate it, I hate the whole stupid thing and I want it to all go away and leave me alone.  Alas, that wan’t to be and I had to suck down a whole bunch of reality and accept the fact that I am simply put, chronically ill.

After I accepted the fact that I am chronically ill, I realized that I  needed to structure my life as simply as possible in the not-so-fun areas of cooking, cleaning, laundry, errands,  finances and the ability to say no, so I just may have enough energy to add some fun things into my life.  Along the way I have learned, many times the hard way, some tips that have helped me save some of that precious energy and I wanted to share it with anyone who is also struggling.  Maybe I can help just one person get a little more out of life and I know all of you have amazing tips to share too.

I know we all feel alone, but in reality there are so many of us who struggle daily with these dreaded chronic illnesses. Just remind yourself that we are not our illnesses, we are warriors and warriors simply change the world.

Until next time……………..YOU are a superhero!

 

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A picture is worth a 1,000 words.

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

 

…..or maybe just a hundred or so.

Although this post has little to do with living simply with chronic illness, I wanted to write down why I chose the picture I did as the “theme” for this blog.  Yes, the picture was one of the free choices, but once I saw the photo I knew it was perfect.

In my imagination the picture creates an image of  a small farm in the late fall with a barn standing proudly next to the beautifully sunlit apple orchard.  The barn made me think of me, weather beaten, worn, tired and working hard to remain standing against all that mother nature continues to throw at me.  I look functional and I still have an important job to do but the outside looks so much stronger than what in going on inside.

The trees represent those of us with chronic illness standing so alone, yet gathered together for a common purpose.  We are bare and vulnerable to the elements without the covering of leaves and fruit and the health that others take so much for granted.  We were once bursting with the fullness of life, just like the trees in the spring and summer, but now it is autumn, with the hope that spring will come again.

It is dawn and with it comes the promise of a new day.  Each new day gives us a fresh start  with endless possibilities and hopes of a miracle.  Maybe, just maybe, this day will bring a miracle for you and for me.  Here is to new days, hopes, and dreams that just may come true.

You can’t live on bread alone.

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Photo by Marcel Fiedler on Pexels.com

 

……..and some of us can’t have bread at all!

Food, it is the bane of my existence!  You have to shop for it,  put it away, store it, drag it out and prepare it and then clean up the mess you made while preparing it!  Unless you are fabulously wealthy, you too have to deal with the entire food prep system that starts at the grocery store (or your backyard if you are able to homestead) and ends up on your counters.  This whole process can be exhausting, especially for those of us with chronic illnesses.  For me, just going to the grocery store is tiring………driving, walking into the store, walking through the store with those god forsaken prison lights above, moving around people, bending over to look for items, trying to find my list in my purse to realize I left the list on the counter, again.  Then you have to wait in line, load the vehicle and then unload at the house……….then after all that is done NOW it is time to make dinner!?  Seriously?

So, how can we make this whole arduous process easier for ourselves?  I will be discussing different aspects of food gathering and prep in posts to come, but for today I want to discuss freezer cooking.  I have read many books that tout cook for a day eat for a month, or cook one day for a week’s worth of meals.  Many of these books were well written and provided good information, but they were obviously not geared toward those who are chronically ill.  I know, right now you are thinking there is NO WAY I have the energy to spend an entire weekend cooking from sun up to sun down just to put food in my freezer, and I completely agree.  But there are things we can do to make life easier and healthy for ourselves.  We all know the drive thru is WAY easier and saves so much energy, but the food quality tends to be poor and it gets expensive, so eating home prepared meals are better for our health and our pocketbook.

When you have the energy to cook a meal, make two.  I know this will take some planning ahead but if you have to be in the kitchen you might as well get the most out of it as possible.

Let me give you an example, this morning I was happy to wake up and realize I could prepare breakfast for others.  So, I toasted English muffins, fried eggs and ham and made as many egg and ham muffins as I had ingredients.  I assembled the muffins, let them cool, put them in individual sandwich bags and then into a gallon zip lock bag.  I then went on to toast lots of slices of bread and made pb and j sandwiches, again let the bread cool and placed each sandwich in individual plastic bags and then into a gallon size zip lock bag.  Now when my kids are “starving” there are sandwiches waiting in the freezer.

Earlier this week I made burritos, again, I made as many burritos as I had ingredients and wrapped each extra burrito in a small amount of waxed paper and put into a gallon zip lock bag……….I was able to fill two bags.  Although I was tired after making the extra burritos, it was worth the extra 30 minutes in order to have food in my freezer.

Eventually I will post all the items that I make ahead because, for me, they save me time and energy in the long run.  I have not found this true for many freeze ahead meal recipes as they required too many ingredients, too much prep time and/or cooking time.  My motto is to keep meals as simple as possible and you can too!