Yesterday was a great day: I cleaned the toilet. And I established a filing system for myself. I know – these are extremely mundane tasks, but they are victories for me. Small victories, but definitive, nonetheless. Cleaning the toilet takes balance and forethought – it took me a week or more to collect the proper items for my cleaning kit and transport them to the guest room (Mommy was busy telling me not to concern myself with cleaning, so I did this largely surreptitiously). I used to be Mommy’s chambermaid and was in charge of preparing guest rooms when we had company. I have long been grieved by my inability to assist in this regard. Matters were only worsened by my allergy this summer – I am now scared of touching non-natural cleaning agents but I can’t bring myself to find and wear gloves. There’s also the issue of my motor-skill impairment, making the risk of accidental spilling and bleach-spots likely. So I’m currently working with greener methods.
The filing system has been the work of 2+ weeks. Well, months, actually – Tanpo started getting me used to the idea of looking after my own paperwork several months ago. Mommy has been tasked with triage for the past couple years, but she has enough to do. But now I’m getting better – and c’mon, I used to do this (bringing order to chaos) for a living when I was an administrative assistant. The person who “trained” me on filing was my first boss. I position the tabs on the green hanging folders a specific way because that’s what he showed me on my first day. Old habits die hard.
A huge medical event has necessitated new habits, though. I listen to my phone (podcast or audio book) while I sort papers and set the timer for 20 minutes. Every 20 minutes I take a visual and walking break. I learned the importance of giving my eyes a rest at VT – after 9+ months with them I’m really into visual hygiene, especially because taking appropriate breaks, although it seems rather often and is annoying in that I get absorbed in the task at hand and don’t like to stop, lets me work longer and more effectively in the long run. I also had to pile my folders (in 2 trips) on Willow (my rollator/rolling walker) in order to transport them down the hall to my designated drawer. I locked the walker when not in motion (something I was strictly charged to do in rehab), and used it to balance as I put my folders away alphabetically.
Filing is one of the tasks that always overwhelmed me, and it feels great to have a system in place that’s ready to receive incoming documents. As I sorted through my papers I recalled the events since I got sick, pieced together by the invoices and correspondence related to my recovery. 2 things became the takeaway:
- My Dad took his role as my legal guardian etc. very seriously and advocated for me at every opportunity. (Mommy does the same, but Daddy leaves a paper trail.
- My recovery has cost a LOT of moolah ($).
I am very thankful for both things. I am blessed that my parents take such great care of me, and I am also blessed that my recovery thus far has largely been paid for by insurance.
As things begin to change and I am beginning to face more out-of-pocket charges as a long-term disabled person, I am very much aware that I received a LOT of therapy (physical, speech, occupational, vision), acupuncture, MRI’s, and medical visits at little or no cost. (Not to mention my inpatient life!)
These are big things that I’m thankful for, but I’m grateful for the little things, too. Another praise report: After I joined The Gym, Tanpo and I had lunch. FYI, Pho 75 on Rockville Pike has vegetable pho. I ate the whole bowl using utensils in both hands. It is common to hold the chopsticks in your right hand and then place noodles etc. into your soup spoon, which is held with the left hand. I have struggled with this since I got sick. Soup is not an easy thing to eat, and I usually end up very splattered. This time it was still difficult, but I ate my bowl of noodle soup using my right and left hands normally without even thinking. YAY!!