Snow days can be super fun days for the chronically ill. Okay, so maybe not if you live in Alaska. I am talking about those of us who get the rare snow days. During chronic illness, that kind of contrast can create a really fun experience. It is the change, the excitement, that can get our attention. Anyone who has been ill for years knows how monotonous it gets. Just when we want to scream of boredom from the illness situation, a winter storm can be one of the most fun things to happen all year. And it takes no effort to experience it. You can do this one from bed if need be.
Chronic illness has got to be one of the most boring experiences I have ever endured. When my kids were little I would not allow them to use the word bored. If you are bored, do something about it. Well, that works pretty well for little kids, not so well for the chronically ill who literally cannot do a ton about all those totally boring days, weeks, months, years.
I will admit, I had too many boring days during illness. I finally created my own fun and distractions. Sure, the chronic pain from Lyme and inflammation kept me incredibly limited on a physical level. There were a few years that the snow days were enjoyed from my bed looking through the window. But I still enjoyed them.
As I worked through the bedridden years, I was able to move around more. So when those snow days arrived in Texas, you better believe I was right there at my front door with my toes in the snow.
Then as my health continued to improve, I would venture out into the winter wonderland. I love slipping and sliding on our icy roads during Texas snow and ice storms. Not on busy streets, but on isolated sideroads where no one will get hurt.
Last night I was reminded of all those years of pain and boredom and having to create my own fun. Texas had a snow and ice storm again. We might get one every year or two so they are a big deal here. Texans have NO clue how to drive in snow, so they shut down all the businesses, they send kids home from school, not even the local Dairy Queen stays open. Streets are cleared of traffic because no one knows how to drive in it, it becomes quite hazardous.
After living in New Jersey for 6 years, I know how to drive in snow. I know that NO one can drive on ice. We can all SLIDE on ice, but technically no one can drive on it. That is where slipping and sliding come in.
If you live in rural Texas and a snowstorm hits, the roads are bare. This is the time to roll. In the past, I had to do this from bed. Last winter I still had to do enjoy the snow day from my front porch. This year, last night, I actually got to roll down the streets of my hometown in the snow and ice.
Just simply feeling the freezing temperatures on my face was fun. The tiny snowflakes melted quickly on my cheeks, but I could feel them. Those cheeks have been so ill and so numb for so many years that in the past I could not even feel that. What a treat. And of course, I had to go slipping and sliding when the opportunity presented itself.
Living in Texas, we lean towards warmer weather. So when the snow and ice storm arrived, the contrast always gets my attention. Most people consider it a “down day.” I see it exactly the opposite. Those rare days are my UP days, my days to roll. In the past, deep in the heat of illness, those were the days to break the trance. To wake up and create more movement, no matter how bad I felt.
Sit up in bed so you can look at the snow out the window.
Step on to your porch for the first time in months.
Walk around in your front yard in the snow.
Take a drive and slip and slide just for giggles, move your smile muscles.
Okay, so I still don’t have the balance to get on a bike and roll that way. But the concept remains – we can always keep rolling through chronic illness.
It does not matter where we are in the chronic illness journey or even the wellness journey, it is our choice if we keep rolling or if we get totally stuck. Even when it feels like we are stuck we can create movement in our minds. It helps us see hope and keep reaching for solutions.
Cycology = psychology on wheels
Rolling through chronic illness the very best we can!!