Last post I started talking about how I compensate to accomplish tasks and feel fulfilled. Here are a couple more every day activities that become more of a challenge for people with breathing difficulties.
4. Grocery Shopping – I grew up grocery shopping with my mom, seeing her make her list; organized by produce, meats, dairy, grains, canned goods and other delicious treats, ending with frozen stuff. The idea is that you start gathering all your veggies, meats and so on as you walk around the store. This way, you end in the frozen food section before you check out. Unfortunately, her organizational example didn’t set. When I shopped alone there was no method to my madness and I searched for items aimlessly around the store. Obviously this put a strain on my endurance. Pushing the grocery cart while pulling an oxygen canister didn’t help my breathing either. Even now, sometimes what starts out as an easy 30 minute trip for 2 meals turns into an 1 ½ hr odyssey with a weeks worth of random items!
As my oxygen needs grew, I started planning my grocery trips according to my mother’s organizational lessons. The positives are two fold: The outer produce is healthier so by avoiding time spent amongst the isles, I’m less likely to be tempted by processed garbage. Sticking to an ordered list lets me grab the necessities in one swoop, saving me time and energy. Anyone familiar with me knows I’m a big foodie! I love to cook and be creative in the kitchen! When I find fantastic looking recipes online or on cooking shows, I choose two or three to try which will last me a week. When I have an organized list, I spend less time shopping and more time cooking! Plus, I don’t have to cook every day and can enjoy leftovers 4 days out of the week! (saving time and energy!) If it’s too exhausting to shop for three meals worth of groceries, break it down and shop for one meal. I can tell you from experience, sometimes inconvenience is a small price to pay for not being exhausted.
5. In the same vein of sacrificing convenience for breathing ability, I found it necessary to break up the cleaning agenda into multiple days. Instead of vacuuming, doing laundry, mopping, cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, etc…I put away things as I use them. A difficult task to learn was doing my dishes after I eat. Do the laundry when the basket’s full. Make the bed in the morning and tidy my room before I sleep. I try to stay in a general state of organization to ease my workload. As for the most strenuous tasks like mopping, vacuuming and hard-core cleaning, hire a maid! Or if you’re like me and aren’t made of money, alternate weeks to do the heavy stuff.
These are just a few activities I’ve been able to tackle with a little creativity and determination. Take your time and pace yourself…you will succeed. Remember it’s not how fast you finish the race….it’s completing it that counts!