This morning I was talking to a colleague about how tired I am by the time I get to work in the mornings. This made me do a mental checklist in my head and I calculated how long it takes for me to get ready in the morning.
Usually I set my alarm for 6am but sometimes I am quite weak and find it hard to get out of bed, so I get out at 6:30am or 7am. But before I get out I take my medication and that can take me about 10 minutes because it can cause spluttering and choking and I need to watch TV to calm myself down. This process alone can end up taking 30 – 45 minutes or just 5, depending on how I’m feeling.
Getting out of bed may take several attempts. It involves sitting up, placing my feet firmly on the floor and finding my centre before even getting up. When I get up I have to grasp the wall to find my centre again. Once this is done I can make my way down to the kitchen – 5 minutes all up.
Having breakfast can take up to 30 minutes because sometimes I feel nauseous and I need to let my stomach settle (not even pregnant, just another side-effect of having FD). Also, walking back and forth from the kitchen to the table takes a little time and manoeuvring.
Don’t get me started on having a shower! Starting off with standing on one leg when getting undressed and then stepping out of the shower and slipping because my foot missed the mat. Luckily I have a handrail in the shower, so I have them for support. This part of the morning takes 20 odd minutes.
Getting dressed and making the bed takes a lot of shuffling around, making sure I don’t trip when I put my socks on. Bending down to put my shoes on and getting back up takes a moment or two. All up, 15 minutes. Once I’m dressed I’m still not ready to go, as I have to do some last minute packing. This can take 5-10 minutes as if I rush I will definitely fall.
When I close my front door I have to walk downstairs, unlock the frame and move it onto a weird angle so that I can open the front gate. Walking to the car and making sure I don’t drop my bag or slip in a puddle takes a lot of time and care and then throwing the frame onto the backseat of the car takes a bit of stamina as well. This takes about 10 minutes.
So, let’s add it up, shall we?
45 minutes for waking up and taking my meds; 5 mins for getting out of bed and going to the kitchen; 30 minutes for breakfast and 20 minutes for the bathroom. 15 minutes for getting dressed and 10 for finishing up. Lastly, 10 minutes for getting into the car.
115 minutes on a bad day. That’s nearly two hours. On a good day it would probably take an hour and a half. Now you can understand that by the time I get to work I am tired and hungry for my second breakfast. It may not seem like a lot to you, but to me it’s exhausting and I haven’t even started my day yet!
This may seem like complaining to you, but I thought it would be a good idea to share this experience with you so that you can understand why people with a disability tend to get a little tired.
When you have your coffee in the morning, take a little moment to enjoy it and realise how lucky you are.