Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Life with a Disability and a Deployed Spouse

Holidays 2016- Crestview, FL
Having a spouse that deploys is difficult. Having a spouse that deploys up to 75% of the year, every year is challenging, and adding a disability into the mix is down right demanding at times. Here are a few things I've picked up a long the way of managing my life, and disability while my husband is deployed

Neuromyelitis Optica has taken so much from me. It has taken my ability to see out of my right eye, my ability to walk or stand for short periods, my ability to cognitively think quickly, and my ability to let my guard down and let loose. However, Neuromyelitis Optica hasn’t taken my ability to strive to be a better person each and every day, it hasn’t taken my ability to be optimistic and hopeful, and it hasn’t taken my drive for a better life.

While Wil is deployed I’ve lived by few tricks and tips to manage self-care when I’m by myself and the closest family members are 5+ hours away.

1. Get to know how many spoons you have in a day and what you can truly manage without feeling defeated, exhausted, and upset by nighttime. Over the past 10 years I’ve discovered that I have 25 spoons each day and work takes about anywhere from 10-15 spoons from me. Realistically, that means Monday- Friday I am left with 10-15 spoons after work. Simple tasks like walking up/down 3 flights of stairs to take my dogs outside to use the restroom and get a short walk in can cost me up to 5 spoons. Each day I complete the daily tasks that make me feel accomplished and prepared.

2. Meal prepping on Sundays. This makes my life so much simpler and I don’t have to worry about spoons. Usually, on my lazy Sunday I will reserve that day to prep my meals for the following week and toss them in the microwave to heat up throughout the work week.

3. Reserve a day or two for you! I choose Saturday for my deep cleaning, shopping, and activities for me. I do what I want, when I want, and when I can. I have plenty of rest, and take my time completing tasks. Sunday is usually a lazy day for me which I do meal prep. I can also use this day as a relaxation day before the hustle and bustle of Monday morning.

4. If you get sick, hurt, or go into the hospital- call some of your local friends in the area to help you out immediately. Then focus on contacting your family and/or your spouse’s family for help after your friends have settled you in.

5. Take it easy. Know your limits. Know your body. Don’t overdo it and send yourself to the doctor’s office or hospital. I might not be able to complete everything on my list that I want, and I’ve learned its okay. I’ve learned to pace myself and to take the offered help from your friends.

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