Catherine Dubé, intervenante psychosociale
What a difficult morning. I hardly slept from my back pain and my medications make me sluggish. I don’t know how I’m going to get through the day with the kids.
How can I tell them about how I’m feeling without making a big deal out of it? I can’t think straight, I don’t feel capable of taking care of them today, but I don’t want them spending their day glued to a screen. It’s sunny out, but I have no energy…. Hmm maybe it’s time to try one of the tips I recently learned. (1)
I hear noise, they’re awake. I grab my yellow scarf and I explain to them what it signifies for me: when I wear this yellow scarf, it means that I’m in pain. This visual reminder helps me avoid having to explain myself time and time again, which makes me irritable and impatient, especially when I’m in pain. Using this visual cue will help them understand what I’m going through.
Despite my struggles, I suggest we head out for a picnic in park next to the house. I give them carte blanche to pick food from the pantry. At eight and ten years old, they’re old enough to participate in planning and executing an activity. These initiatives make them feel good about themselves. I turn a blind eye on some things. I’m not going to nitpick at everything today. The fun they’re having makes it worth it.
I’ve finally regained my energy. I think the fun and smiles from my kids are what helped me through the day. And the picnic was surprisingly tasty.
I’m happy with our day. I expressed my pain and my need to my children, I chose to let loose and stop trying to be a perfectionist and my day was much better than I had anticipated.
Inspired by the self-management of chronic conditions program from Stanford University in California, and offered throughout Quebec.
LORIG, Katie. Vivre en santé avec une maladie chronique : pour des problèmes de santé physique ou mentale de longue durée, 4e édition, Boulder Colorado, Bull Publishing, 2014, 372 p.