We’ve entered the eighth month of dealing with my neck and shoulder issues. Although I’m much better than I was before, we’re still having to make accommodations throughout the day.
As I look back on the past several months, I can say without a doubt that there is almost nothing simple or frugal about being ill. Although my illness forced us to say no to almost everything except the very basics of life (eat, sleep, laundry, care for Caroline, work, medical appointments), I can’t say it simplified our lives. The disruption to your normal way of living is not simplicity, no matter how many things you eliminate from day to day life.
There is also almost nothing frugal about being ill. Even with “very good” insurance that we purchase ourselves, it has been very draining financially. This has included not just the medical bills themselves, but all of the lost work time for both David and myself. On top of that is not shopping as well, not planning meals as well, etc. The peripheral costs of being ill are substantial.
There have been a couple of benefits. It has almost completely eliminated eating out from our lives. We don’t eat out that much, but the past few months we have eliminated eating out almost completely. For the first few months I didn’t have the strength to go out and then we didn’t have the money to do so. As a consequence, we’ve been weaned off eating out and the results have been interesting. My body has apparently lost its tolerance to sit down restaurant food because the two times we have recently tried to eat out, I have felt horrible afterward. So now eating out is really not appealing. After being away from restaurant food, it usually isn’t even all that enjoyable. And I can see how I feel so much better when I eat home cooked food.
One of the other “benefits” of being sick is that I’ve lost about 15 pounds. My appetite has changed and so I’m not inclined to eat as much as before. I’m sure eating out less has helped as well.
I also had a good reminder of just how important getting enough sleep really is. During the spring when I couldn’t do much of anything, I would just go to bed early. I couldn’t read or sit at the computer very long. I watched quite a bit on DVD during the day and I can only sit and watch them so long. So I would go to bed. And, ironically enough, even though I was ill and felt horrible in some ways, I actually felt much better in other ways. I know a large part of this was due to getting eight plus hours of sleep a night, something I rarely get since we have had Caroline. It was a reminder that sleep is not a luxury, but something God created our bodies to need.
So it has been an educational experience. Even though there is nothing simple or frugal about what we are going through, it has been instructive in how it helped us step back and look at our lives in terms of better choices we could make as I’m on the road to recovery and beyond.