So … practically speaking, how do we cope with our physical challenges? What are some practical tips for invisibly disabled adults to adapt? Since our problems differ, our practical approaches will need to be tailored to our needs. All of these tips will not work for all of us. We hope you will find something to help.
Happy hunting! And, if you have a tip that works for you, please use contact to submit it to share with others so they can be helped.
Lynn – Depending on God and making diet changes
Last winter Lynn couldn’t move because of back pain and inflammation. With half of this winter over, she sees “improvement inside my old bones; instead of being a hundred years old now maybe 70.” (She’s much younger than that!) She does her own housework, slowly and surely. She buys groceries in small stores. She gives in-home care for her mom. Her painting brings her happiness and some remuneration.
Tip: Depend on God
She says, “God is working with this improvement.”
Tip: Watch your diet
Lynn made changes in her diet:
- using tumeric on all her food;
- adding bromelain capsules;
- eating natural foods and no processed foods.
Connected Carole – Support Systems
Tip: We need people
- A supportive family will be your first line of support. I hope you’re blessed with one.
- Friends can help.
- Friends can offer special prayers.
- Friends can just be there for you.
- This is critical.
- Find and keep a good primary care doc, if you’re able.
- Find specialists who understand your challenges and can help.
- Too often an overlooked item because of busyness. Who has time for a meeting?
- Find a group for your challenges. If there isn’t one, can you start one, or interest someone else to?
- If that’s impossible, look for a generic group for your type of challenge.
I found a Dystonia group that meets once a month for two hours which I can only attend occasionally. My husband has to take me. But it has been well worth the effort. I’ve made friends, discovered what life is like for others, and made contacts resulting in some fun speaking engagements.
Cinthia - Practical Ideas
Cinthia Griffin offers these tips that she’s learned along her journey. She says some ideas are borrowed, some are original.
Here are things I do to help me battle frequent isolation & stay positive
- keep a shoebox on my bed with handy items
- encouraging scriptures
- fun novel
- book light
- muscle rub cream
- notepad & pen
- sleep mask (for daytime)
- hand lotion & lip balm
- other items you'd like
- I live in PJs, so I have a variety of comfy, pretty ones.
- I enjoy Jigsaw puzzles with an app on my phone, as well as play Solitaire & word games, & watch Netflix movies.
- I maintain a daily prayer & devotional life to help me stay strong (or scrape me off the floor when I've crashed!)
- Pacing myself is key.
- I read some devotionals & novels on Kindle (take advantage of freebies).
- Play soothing music on Pandora.
- Use a phone app w/ soothing sounds & timer for sleep.
- Adult coloring books.
- Collect ideas & recipes on Pinterest.
- My slow cooker is my best friend!
- I try to continue my hobbies, but on a much smaller scale now (gardening in pots, oil painting)
- send greeting cards to those in need
- AND eat organic dark chocolate!!!!
Used by permission.
Jennie – Advocating for herself with doctors and facing her fears
Confusing physical challenges resulted in Jennie being referred to University doctors. Being early in the process, they have no definitive answers, but they do know her insulin is out-of-control yet she’s not diabetic.
Tip: Be your own best advocate
After considering the situation, she decided having a glucometer to monitor her glucose made sense so she could prevent the disease. Being proactive, she called her doctor, asked for a prescription, and filled it. Now, she had a
new problem: fear of the finger stick to get the blood!
Tip: Face your fear
Asking for help
Jennie asked her husband to do it first, but that didn’t work.
Her brother had recently learned to do it; being competitive, she just had to learn it, too.
When bedtime came, Jennie knew she wouldn’t sleep if she wasn’t able to prick her finger. She again asked her husband for help. This time, she put her “shaking” finger on the table while her husband pricked it. The experience surprised her: she felt the prick, but no pain!
In Jennie’s words: “To cope means I sometimes have to go through a bunch of antics to be brave enough to face a fear, but I must face my daily fears to go on each day.
I spend a lot of time studying the object of my fear until I can confront it. . . . [This time] I had to ask for help, which was kindly given.
Tip: Learn survival skills
Varies for each person, depending on specific disabilities.
- Research your challenges.
- Be proactive in figuring out strategies for your bad days.
- Keep a list somewhere since often you don’t think well on those days.
Tip: Take time for fun
We’re unable to complete everything we feel is necessary, so something has to give. And that’s usually the fun things. Resist that urge.
Alternatively, we might cut out most of the necessities and spend all our time on fun.
Find the right balance for you and enjoy the life you have!
Tip: Prioritize with a to-do list
These can save time and energy. Just don’t go overboard. That’s my weakness, using lots of time and energy making the lists, then not even using them! I finally researched apps to find one to fit my lifestyle. I bought one that works fairly well. Now for the time to learn it!
Organizing your to-do list with pen and paper - Or maybe use a computer