Isn’t it the height of irony that I had to delay this post by a week because I wasn’t well?
But it does prompt a good question or at least topic of discussion:
How do we deal with good and bad days?
I say ‘we’, I mean those who have a chronic illness. And it stands to reason that our good days can vary. Either in how ‘good’ they are to us, and how many we can have total or in succession. The same goes for bad days too.
A good day can mean very many different things; from being able to experience less pain, more appetite, no issues or problems arising or just not thinking too much about your condition. As it can mean such a wide spectrum, I’ve tried to be ‘general’ in my examples and explanations but unfortunately can’t express every experience. So please know these are the common ones as well as how I’ve experienced them.
Bad days, likewise, can be the same; varied and different to everyone. But common things could be; issues popping up you were expecting or ready for (who is ever ready for a bad day though, eh?), being unable to eat, experiencing onset or sudden strong pain, unable to keep hydrated, unable to take medication, needing to rest more than normal or needing to seek medical attention.
Both good and bad days can come and go without warning, rhyme or reason.
So we learn to appreciate those good days and accept those bad days.
What is a good day and a bad day to me?
So as you can see, this is how my conditions affect me. This could be different for you, it could be less or more, depending on your own situation.
But what do I choose to do on good days?
- Take my medications
- Eat a good and filling breakfast
- Drink plently of water
- Enjoy some ME time – reading, a film, a project, baking or cooking.
- If im haivng a rrally good day, I do some housework! This usually tires the heck out of me, but the accomplaishment of completing this is total good vibes! It could be something real simple or a list of tasks, but this helps me feel ‘normal’.
- I go for a walk or take a trip into town for coffee, a wander or just to be outside. Being couped up inside after a run of bad days leave me with a cloud of gloom which being outside really helps blow away.
- Plan and make a good dinner. Happy food makes me happy.
What about the bad days?
- Listen to my body
- I have a coujple of essential tasks and thats all I do – medication, hydrate and eat.
- If I have energy, I change my stoma bad and shower.
- I rest. Sit down, relax, get cosy and comfy with a blanket, heating pad, whatever I might need.
- If I feel really bad, I go back to bed. Usually the cat will join me.
- I try to not nap, as that makes falling asleep at night harder.
- Be kind to my mind. I tell myself it is okay to rest. It is okay to take a day off and relax. My health is important. Pushing myself when I don’t feel great will only hurt me more in the long run. And i don’t have anything to prove to anyone. Not even me.
Recently, the bad days have been coming around a bit sooner than I’d really like. When I notice a change like this – because let’s face it, I usually wouldn’t do much, I’d keep pushing on – I do a little checklist run through:
- Am I expereincing anymore pain that usual?
- Is there any new or returning symptoms – ie abdominal pain, increased output, high or low BG readings
- Have I changed anything in my diet? (usually if this is a yes, I will stop here and come back to it 24 hrs later to allow this to be gone)
- Any big changes to my lifestyle? Stress? Grief?
- How long has it been going on? If its longer than 4 days or so, I usually talk to someone in my medical team.
I’ve honed this ‘checklist’ over many years and throughout the ups and downs of my own journey with IBD.
Please remember that any information shared here is personal but could be a ‘lightbulb’ moment for you or someone close to you with a chronic illness. It can be a lot of mental energy to keep thinking about your condition but it does get easier. And hopefully, good days far outweigh the bad days!
Until next time,
Do you have any questions or queries? Or just want to share your own experiences? You can leave me a reply here or leave comments via my social media accounts – on Twitter, find my blog page on Facebook and over on Instagram