You know how they say "It's the little things in life?" For EDS and other painful conditions, it can be simply the little things that are the most challenging. These little things I'm talking about are the things most people don't think twice about doing. They seem pathetic if you think about them too hard. But these simple, everyday things like chores, movements are often the toughest.
For me, the top three hardest 'little things' are:
- Hanging up clothes - It seems so pathetic, but the lifting motion for me is like torture, especially when trying to grip a small plastic/wire hanger. Every time I raise my shoulder a bit too high, it pops. And the heavier clothes like coats and jeans aren't really that heavy, but the imbalance from the way they fold over the hanger weighs me down. See? It's pathetic. It takes me forever to hang my clothes, and I usually just shove them in my drawers to try and avoid it. Until I can't open my drawers and exploratory surgery on my furniture is required.
- Pouring milk- First step: opening the fridge. Second step: taking the milk off the shelf. Inevitably a finger, wrist, or elbow will slide out of place. Third step: putting the milk on the counter because my arms are too weak to hold it. Fourth step: taking off the lid. Fifth step: lifting the milk up again. Sixth step: Pouring the milk INTO the glass... I frequently spill because my wrists are so shaky and limp. Seventh step: Lifting the milk again to stop it from overflowing. Eighth step: Putting it down on the counter again. Ninth step: Putting the lid back on. Tenth step: Lifting the milk and putting it back on the shelf. TADA! Let's hope I don't get thirsty again. I prefer to just drink water to avoid these ten steps, but water is "empty calories" and I need all the calories I can get! (And tap water of course...opening bottles is an evil maneuver I avoid as often as I can.)
- Applauding/clapping - Again, I know it's sad. But I'm a zebra! I am that annoying person who claps at every ceremony until no one else is applauding anymore. I don't shout and scream (very much) but I like to show my recognition. However, forcefully slapping your hands together is not very clever when you have loose hand joints (fingers and wrists). Occasionally I just end up clapping lightly and slowly...stealthy way of avoiding sore hands.. :)
The strange thing is that we come across these actions every day, and they become part of our "normality." So even with all the pain they cause me, I don't stop and say "Ouch!" while I'm doing them, because my "normal" is carrying on. And because of the recurring theme of an invisible disease, you would never know these things are so hard for me. It's easy to hide, but not easy to ignore.
However, there are the little things in life that makes us all smile. They can be as simple as finding a penny on the ground, or as gleeful as only paying for a tall drink at Starbucks and having them give you a venti instead. (Happened to my friend years ago and I still hear about it today).
These are the top three "gleeful little things" in life that make me smile.
- Bubbles. Call me childish, but I love bubbles. I love how you can see every color of the rainbow in one, how they quiver as they dance across the sky, and how, when one pops, it rains clean glittery confetti to the ground.
- Clothes that just came out of the dryer. The smell, the warmth, the happiness that follows... sometimes there is nothing better than putting on a pair of clean, warm socks and curling up with a clean warm blanket.
- The Ocean. I'm sure that related posts will come up about my love for the sea in the future.