Guest post by Willow
Can you sit? Can you walk? Can you drive a car? Can you take care of a cat?
If anyone asks if you can you do something, don’t just answer the question they ask. Answer by telling them both what you can and can’t do.
Talk About Repercussions
How much you can you lift… “I can lift x pounds before causing pain or injury.”
How far can you walk… “I can walk x feet before needing to pause and rest.”
How long can you sit… “I can sit up for x minutes before I start to have y symptom”
Talk About “Yes, But”
Do you take care of children?… “I care for my daughter, but my mother comes over every day because I can’t watch her alone for more than 30 minutes… but I cannot bath or dress her or lift her onto the changing table… but I can no longer drive her to school or daycare…”
Can you cook meals?… “I make meals, but only soup from a can or a frozen microwave dinner… but only if my sister helps me and I lie down in the middle… but only if I use a rolling chair in the kitchen and make light snacks… but only one time per month….”
Talk About Worst Days
How long can you stand… “When my symptoms are bad, no more than x minutes.”
How far can you walk… “When I am in pain, no more than x feet/blocks”
Talk About What You Can’t Do
If you can do things sometimes and not others:
Can You Tie Your Shoes?…. “It depends. There are many times that I don’t put on shoes because I can’t bend down to tie my shoes…. because I get dizzy… because I can’t see straight… because my fingers don’t work… because I’m too fatigued to sit up…..”
Can you use the computer?…. “It depends. There are many times I want to use the computer but can’t… because I have pain in my hands…. because I have headaches and can’t look at the screen… because I’m too weak to sit up… because I can’t focus on it for more then 20 minutes… ”
Great Video by Jonathan Ginsberg. Watch me!!