Living With A Chronic Illness Life Hacks

Okay, so if you, like me, are living with a chronic illness then you’ll know that there are times when you just can’t do all the things you want to do when you want to do them. Add on to that the fact that your illness is “invisible”, as in not apparent to someone looking at you, then it can get even more complicated explaining it to folks.

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So, what do you do? Spend your precious energy repeating ad nauseam to all and sundry what your illness is, how it affects you, why you can’t do something and no you don’t mean to hurt their feelings, nope you aren’t “just tired” – heck no! I found this great brief explanation whilst surfing the web, I can’t remember where to credit whoever originally came up with it but it goes like this…

“Myalgic Encephalomyelitis is a complex illness, it affects the brain, heart, immune, neuroendocrine and circulatory systems. It causes dysregulation of other body systems, so that my endocrine system, immune system and autonomic nervous system all don’t work right. So my body doesn’t work the same way as a normal persons does.”

Hopefully these tongue in cheek life hacks will put a smile on your face and brighten your day (hell you may even find one of them useful, but I wouldn’t hold your breath).

Life Hack Number 1: How to wash when shower or bath is beyond you.

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Alcohol free, fragrance free body wipes ~ perfect
These handy hand and face wipes are perfect for those days when you just can’t get your carcass into the shower, no matter that the flies are circling and you feel that you are working the odour of baked beans. All you do to feel fresh and clean is pull out a wipe and start washing – working from head to toe (depending on energy levels and stench levels you could just stick to the essentials, face, pits, privates!).

If like me you are allergic to almost everything then these are great as they are alcohol and fragrance free – available to purchase from most on-line stores. There are all kinds of brands and so something to suit every skin type. 


Life Hack Number 2: Body now clean what about your teeth

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Disposable Toothbrushes
So, you are having a rough day, you’ve managed to wash your stinky parts with the wet wipes but now you’re running your tongue over your teeth and they feel claggy, your mouth feels like a parrots cage and your breath could strip paint. What do you do? Well, got the perfect answer – disposable toothbrushes. These little beauties need no water but have tooth gel impregnated in them for the perfect clean. These ones are Colgate Wisp but there are plenty of other makes out there and they are available from Amazon, Ebay and other online markets.

Life Hack Number 3: Dressed for Comfort.

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Me & Middle Born modelling some of our Lounge Wear
Now you are wipe washed and have cleaned your teeth with the disposable toothbrush, meaning the excursion to the bathroom has been avoided. Now to get dressed – you want to be comfortable – so need soft, stretchy clothing. You have a few options; lounge wear, leggings or onesie. Now for me my preference is for the lounge wear and if I HAVE to go out it’s simple ~ just pop on a pair of long boots/flip flops if summer (and roll bottoms up to look as if you have some fashion style) and add a hoody if it’s chilly out. Bish, bash, bosh ~ Bob’s your Uncle, Fanny’s your Aunt you’re good to go! Obviously the same goes for the leggings combo and if you really can’t be bother a onesie is the perfect solution, they come in summer and winter weight fabrics and nothing other than foot wear is a necessary addition. 

Life Hack Number 4: What to do with unruly hair?

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For those bad hair days cover up with a hat, bandanna or hair band/elastic.
Okay, we’re washed, teeth cleaned and dressed but it looks as if a bird has nested in our hair! What do we do?

Option 1 ~ Rub in some dry shampoo to absorb the grease. Comb and good to go.

Option 2 ~ Cover up hair with a broad bandanna (if you are any good at putting them on – I’m not!).

Option 3 ~ Wear a hat! One of my favoured options, especially when going out.

Option 4 ~ Tie back hair and/or pull back with hair band.

Life Hack Number 5: Food.

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Fast Food in an instant!
I have to admit, our cereal cupboard is almost bursting at the seams, if having a really poop day it’s a bowl of cereal and a banana, easy, quick and no fuss. Other great foods are soups, noodles, instant rice, microwave meals and something that is always in our fridge ~ hummus and crackers!

Basically, stock up your fruit bowl and freezer. Fill cupboards with cans and pastas, noodles and rice and you pretty much have your food sorted. Frozen fruit is excellent as you can make really lovely filling and nutritious smoothies quickly, expending very little energy. If you have a good day then batch cook your favourite foods and freeze in microwavable containers – another top tip.

Life Hack Number 6: Responding to Ignorance.

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T-shirts save you speaking, this one’s from Zazzle.co.uk
If you, like me, get ticked off by people telling you that all you need is to get some fresh air and exercise, to man up, go get some therapy etc then wearing t-shirts reflecting your mood are great. I have several which I wear as and when I feel necessary. There are many different types of t-shirts you can buy and then you can also design your own. Zazzle have several designs as do Cafepress.

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Finally, my last piece of advice is if in doubt, laugh it out! Although, admittedly sometimes my laughter comes out rather manic and scary causing folk to slowly back away, turn and run as a little bit of wee trickles down my inner thigh, so on that note, I shall leave you for now…

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