Living with a Disability: Why I Just Keep Moving

I’ve had this bone disorder my whole life. I’ve always known pain, and my pain tolerance is pretty high. It has to be, when you have a chronic pain disorder.

That being said, it’s still incredibly exhausting. Before becoming a parent, I spent a lot of my bad pain days in bed, barely able to move. That changed after having kids…it was no longer an option for me (despite the fact that I so wish it could be some days).

I’ve learned something here. The best thing I can do is keep moving.

I’m not the only way who feels this way. My next door neighbour suffers from chronic pain as well. She agrees with me. We’ve had many discussions about it, and we’ve reached the same conclusion…even on those days where we choose to take it easy (and it’s perfectly acceptable to take it easy), we’re still in pain. It’s somehow almost worse when we don’t do anything.

We have the same tactic….and it’s try to keep moving. This is a motto I live by each day, because if I stop moving I will still be in pain and then the things I have to do that I avoided doing will just be all that harder to do, because they will have piled up.

I’m not saying everyone with a chronic pain disorder should keep moving and never take it easy, I’m just more or less sharing how I cope with things. I keep moving because I need to. Even if I move slowly, even if I cut corners and take the easy way out.

It’s all a crazy act of “balancing spoons”. My pain is typically at its worst first thing in the morning and late at night. I allow myself a morning coffee before I literally force myself up to start cleaning and making breakfast. I don’t do heavy cleaning, just tidying of the kitchen and what not.

Still, I’ll admit I still have plenty of days when all I want to do is crawl into the warmth of bed and allow my aching bones a complete 24 hour rest…but alas, that just isn’t an option for me.

When someone says to me; “I don’t know how you do it!”, all I can really say is…I just do. You just have to.

It’s worth it, too. Even IF I was used as a basin for vomit this morning by my 5 year old. It’s still worth it.

And this doesn’t just apply to parenting smalls when you have a chronic pain disorder, it applies to everything that you enjoy doing that takes a physical toll on your body. I love to go on walks, I love camping and swimming, I love spending the day riding four-wheelers on bumpy trails, and I love to garden. Doing all of those things makes my pain worse, but it also makes me feel better because I’m still doing the things that I love to do. Maybe not all the time, but often enough to feed my soul.

I am trying to throw away my excuse of but I can’t do that. I sort of grew up thinking I couldn’t do things like water ski or snowboard. I know those things would hurt more than anything to do, but I also still want to [one day] try it, if only to show my kids that anything they want to do or try is within their reach. It may hurt their bodies, and they may not be able to do it all the time….but they still can. I want them to try it all, all the things I was too scared of trying. You only live once, so why not live, even if it hurts? Take some spoons from somewhere else and use them up on something that you love doing?

It’s funny how having kids has changed my perspective. I’ve gone from living in fear to pushing the boundaries. I’ve gone from the bubblewrapped girl to the dive in and pay up later, and the memories I’m creating are worth it. I want that for them too.


About J.C. Hannigan

25. Mother. Wife. Lover of words. Weaver of stories. My first book, Collide, is available in e-book for Amazon Kindle and Kobo.
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9 Responses to Living with a Disability: Why I Just Keep Moving

  1. tierney says:

    As a fellow chronic pain sufferer, I handle it similarly to you. For me, my pain gets worse as the day goes on. That means that I like to sleep until I need to go to work/start my day and get as much done as possible right away. It means I take advantage of crock pot meals to avoid cooking after a long day. It means I take a lot of naps late afternoon when possible. I’m absolutely all for pushing myself to do new things (as you mentioned, water skiing, boarding, etc.). My standpoint is, I’ll absolutely try something like that, but if I’m not good enough to excel or enjoy it enough to keep up with it, I won’t do it again because of the pain it causes. I’ve been snowboarding say 3 times and each were terrible and wiped me out- not worth the aftermath of pain. I sacrifice my spoons in other ways. I absolutely love love loveee to travel but the plane kills me. It’s something I’ll sacrifice for because to me, it’s a huge part of who I am. Snowboarding, just not worth it for me. Good for you in showing your boys that yes, pain sucks so freaking badly, but it doesn’t have to define everything about you!

    • Jess says:

      I’ve never actually been snowboarding so my goal is to try and weigh out the pros and cons. I’ll probably hate it, but I want to try it anyway…you know? Traveling is something I also want to do. šŸ™‚

      • tierney says:

        Absolutely try it. Try anything once! Just stick to the bunny hill, it’s a lot harder than it looks haha! I found skiing and snow blading to be wayyy easier so maybe consider either of those options too!

      • Jess says:

        That’s true! I’d like to try it all!

  2. I am going to be one of those that say, “I don’t know how you do it.” I understand that you have to, especially with kiddos. I’ve been horribly sick, Mr had to work and no one to help and I just had to keep going. But, some days, I am a wimp and even sore thighs, knees, etc. make me give up pretty easily.

    The whole time I was reading this, I was thinking about the movie Meet the Robinsons–the motto in it is “Keep Moving Forward”.

    You are one amazing lady!

  3. I was originally diagnoses with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 2– and I have the same “keep moving” mentality. I think you appreciate doing things more when your body regularly reminds you that being able to do them is not guaranteed šŸ™‚

  4. Pingback: Shut Off | The Fevered Pen

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