Embracing life with chronic pain and illnesses.

To List or Not To List

It has been interesting along my path of chronic illnesses/conditions to interact with others like me. Invariably we exchange tips…tricks…hints….hoping to help prevent some of the frustrations with which we find ourselves…the brain fog…the extreme fatigue…plus all the pain…burning…etc…

One Fibro friend swears by sticky notes.  She uses them at work…at home…in the car….they really help her to remember where she left off on a project…keep her on track with what to get at the grocery store….help to remind her to get her purse before leaving in the car…it is a system that has greatly helped improve her confidence.

Another one that several people have suggested are making lists.  One friend likes to make a list at the beginning of the week of everything she would like to accomplish.  It is not hard and fast…it is what she would like to attain. Throughout the week she marks off what she is able to accomplish (it could be things like vacuum, grocery shopping, folding laundry, read a book, walk around the block each day…etc.) This has increased her confidence in that she can visually see what she has accomplished in turn increasing her confidence as well.

Another friend of mine uses lists in a different manner.  She keeps a notepad in the kitchen where she can write down any needed grocery item. She has also opted to make a short list of goals for the week which she posts on her frig for motivation.

I know prior to quitting my job I was using the sticky notes….I would have to jot down or mark where I was….the smallest interruption would disorient me SO much! LOL

The idea of lists do not work for me. I have worked with people in the past that had to have lists for everything….I could understand this type of organization and could see how it would indeed be helpful.  After all, the ways in which lists can be used is so versatile.

I attempted one time…years ago….however, I found that it made my “Type A” personality flare! I could not stop until everything on the list was done! To this day, just the idea of making a list makes my head spin! I can feel myself almost instantly wanting to struggle…a struggle that I do not have any energy to fight.

I have been able to finally adapt a little of the “list” concept….by using the task and the note apps on my cell phone…I have been able to trick my brain!  I have successfully made short notes of issues to bring up with my doctor (we all know how quickly we forget a thought)….and when I remember…I can jot a few needed items on the tasks for the grocery store when I go with my husband….

One thing I have found though….in regards to grocery shopping….I will verbally relay a few items we need (say eggs, soy milk, rice milk…)  Then my brain just stalls….I cannot think of the words….so when my hubby is pushing me in my wheel chair, I now watch for the visual clues….I see the canned tomatoes…and can say….”Hey, we need some tomatoes”….

It is reassuring to know that somewhere….hidden…in my now scattered brain…..is the me that was so detailed….that had no reason to make a grocery list because it was all on the tip of my tongue….now it is just in the pictures!  (Thankfully…my hubby is patient….and he has learned that I just need to go up and down the aisles for my cues!)

Comments on: "To List or Not To List" (1)

  1. You know, I am actually smiling at you because I understand this. I could make a list but forget that I’d made a list, or where it was, etc. I think we come to rely on whatever works, even if it is someone else’s memory. The main thing is, we just keep going. Huge smiles and hugs.

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