Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Everyday Struggles

One of the weirdest things, I think, about having a chronic illness is all the little everyday things that are a struggle, or impossible, to do, things able-bodied people probably never even think about. Here are some boring, mundane everyday things that I actually really struggle to do. 

1. Use a stapler - no really, I actually really struggle with this. I have to put my whole upper body into it and it usually leaves my shoulders really sore...

2. Plug in/unplug plugs - some are better than others. Those new Apple ones? The worst. I get really annoyed whenever someone unplugs one I need because then I have to try and plug it back in again. I have a couple of those old huge ones left and they're what I always take on holiday.

3. Touch my toes - I've mentioned this before, but due to my leg and back muscles tightening I've never been able to touch my toes. It's such a small thing that so many people can do really easily and I'm determined to overcome this.

4. Hold a kettle of water - unless it has like, only 2 cups of water in it this is really difficult for me and makes my arm shake, which is pretty embarrassing in the workplace...

5. Sleep well - not something solely limited to those with chronic illnesses, but I can probably count the number of refreshing nights of sleep I've had on one hand. It takes me ages to get to sleep, my sleep is restless, and I always feel tired and groggy when I wake up, no matter how many hours I've had. 

6. Wash my own hair - My arms get tired, my hands get tired, my fingers get tired, I get tired. I've recently switched to a sulphate-free shampoo which barely lathers and it's so hard to work with. I hate washing my hair so I do it as little as possible. 

7. Stay awake for a whole day - any day that doesn't feature a nap feels like such an achievement. I'm so exhausted from a poor night's sleep, a half day at work (I work 3.5 hours a day) and travelling to and from work that by the time I get home I absolutely need a nap - and that's without doing anything else like exercising or going to the cinema. Lately my naps have gotten so long I think they actually have to be deemed 'sleeps'. 

8. Chop anything - I can't really prepare any food; I can just about chop tomatoes, or herbs, but anything sturdier than that is off limits. Fortunately my mum cooks my meals for me so I can avoid this completely. 

9. Cut up my own food - like the above, not only can I not chop anything, I also actually really struggle to cut my own food. Especially if it's meat, or bread, or anything harder than a cooked potato. Coupled with my obsession with small, precise mouthfuls it takes me approximately twice as long to finish a meal as anyone else.

10. Sit still - I only recently realised how much I fidget when I'm sat down. It's so difficult for me to get comfortable, especially in a 'standard' seating position. As a result I'm constantly shifting, changing position, which makes going to the theatre (one of my favourite past-times) difficult. 


  1. This sucks, Caitlin. So sorry.

    1. Thank you :) just my life, really, I get round it as best I can!

  2. I can relate to every single one of these! I've found the touching the toes thing an issue with doctors. They assume that if I'm having a tense muscle day that I must not have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome because I'm not 'flexible enough'. So many seem to overlook that because of our conditions muscles have to work extra hard & end up in this sorry state. Xx

    Tania | When Tania Talks

  3. I relate to this on so many levels!! I have long, thick hair...and it used to be down to my waist! But washing it is a huge pain, so it's just...let's face it...downright greasy most of the time since it doesn't get washed completely. I also almost always have to ask for some help from someone if I have to cut up food. I've learned to not be ashamed of it. I love food TOO much! Haha.