Have you ever really stopped to think about all the things you do, places you go, activities you participate in on any given day or week?!? Okay so now you are thinking. Now make a list, list everything you do that takes physical ability, everything you do that, which allows you to have freedom (leaving the house on your own, whether it be on foot, on a bicycle or by car). And everything that requires mental capabilities! Now you think I’m crazy. But my point is that we do things all day that we take for granted. Things that not everyone have the ability or freedom to do.
All day, everyday we do things that we take for granted. We get out of bed and walk to the bathroom, we eat food, we have a normal conversation with our families and thousands of other tasks. Now think about how you would feel and what you would do if you were unable to do those things as easily as you do them now! What if you were no longer able to easily carry on a normal conversation, because your brain is “foggy” and your thoughts are easily jumbled? Which in turn causes people to start to question your mental capabilities. How would this make you feel? This is something we all take for granted! And I never thought about until I developed Lupus, Fibromyalgia and Migraines, all which can cause brain fog and make it hard for me to carry on a normal conversation at times. Due to those conditions I may randomly lose my train of thought mid sentence, or have no idea where I was going with what I was saying. This alone can effect my daily life. But also impacts my ability to work because employers want nurses who are on the ball mentally. Not one who is forgetful, and easily loses their train of thought.
What would you do if you lost your ability to drive? You no longer could just run out and jump in the car and run to the store or to grab food. How would this change your life? Well, let me tell you how it’s changed mine! Since I totaled my car in August & it is thought that seizures were the cause of the accident, I can’t drive again until I have been seizure free for 6 months. Never, until now, did I think about all the things I would just jump in the car and “run” to do. I can no longer take myself to the doctor, to the grocery story, the bank, to go grab some food, or even just to go for a drive to think!! This has had a major impact on my psyche. And caused some major depression and anxiety issues. It has also really made me question my self worth since i can’t drive a car, I can’t work outside the home and I’m living at my parents at the age of 32 due to lack of steady income. All of those are hard pills to swallow on their own, but combine them and times can be very difficult. Things get really hard when you are stuck staring at the same walls day in and day out! Just imagine one day you are a functioning member of society, working outside the home. Who is able to drive and go wherever whenever, to the next day having no car and not being able to drive at all. Definitely a major life change that is hard to accept and one you (or I ) never expected.
The things we take for granted don’t have to be as drastic as the things I’ve talked about so far. They can be something as simple as getting out of bed pain free. Most people wouldn’t even think about this. But those of us who deal with chronic pain never take a day when we can get out of bed pain free for granted. That is because the pain free days are so rare, that when we it happens we rejoice and enjoy it. Some people who battle chronic illness will even lose the ability to do the little things we have done by ourselves for years. Tasks like bathing, toileting or feeding themselves may no longer be possible. How would you feel if you had to suddenly rely on someone to help you bathe or change clothes or even help you get to the bathroom? Would this change the way you look at life? Would this change how you felt about your self worth? It certainly can. It’s hard at any age to ask for or accept help from others. But you get to a point when you have to. You don’t have a choice. No matter how awful it is and how bad it makes you feel sometimes you have to accept that you are no longer able to safely function by yourself.
A person never thinks about all the things we do in a day that we take advantage of, that is until they can no longer do those things. We are just so used to running out and jumping in the car and running wherever errand or completing whatever task needs to be done. We don’t think about how lucky we are to be able to run to the store, to the gas station or to the pharmacy. Or have the ability to leave the house without someone with you. I guess the point I’m trying to get across with all of this is that we need to pay attention in life, and make sure that we are living each day to fullest and not taking anything for granted. We should be living our life knowing full well that tomorrow our lives could drastically change for the worst. And that we could lose the ability to do the things we take for granted on a daily basis!