We all know the saying;
“When life gives you lemons, use them to make lemonade”
It conjures up the notion of strength, determination, optimism, resourcefulness, resilience.
All characteristics I’ve drawn on to deal with the “chronic illness lemons” continuously thrown at me.
My lemons often feel like tennis balls in one of those practice machines. You know the ones where the balls keep pumping out, so you can practice your forehand or backhand.
I also feel I could open a factory to produce my own brand of lemonade given the number of lemons I’m juggling.
I know I’m not alone and I can feel many of my readers nodding with great understanding.
There are days when my lemons all come at once. I need to be a circus juggler.
I often talk about my bone pain, from my broken bones and bone disease, as it’s generally all consuming. However, I also have a Colostomy, niggling Trigeminal Neuralgia, Chronic Sinusitis, Bladder Issues, Significant Hair Loss, Gastroparesis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and more recently Anaemia has been added to the list.
These are my main lemons.
Additional lemons are often thrown in like vertigo, nausea, chronic fatigue or just unexpected life events.
These lemons sometimes, no actually often, all play up at once. They don’t care if I’m tired or have to get ready for an appointment. They don’t care if I’d like to relax while watching a movie or a favourite TV show.
These lemons love to interrupt, disturb, poke, prod and generally misbehave, when I definitely have no desire to make lemonade!!
So, what can I, or any of us do, on lemon juggling days?
We can only try to find a way to make lemonade!!
My Brand Of Lemonade
We are all unique, so my brand of lemonade will likely look a little different to yours.
I want mine to be clear, not cloudy.
I want it to be a little sweet but not sugary.
I want it to be soothing, comforting, refreshing.
I want it to have ingredients that will complement the lemons and remove the sour, acidic taste they have if left raw.
There is the key. A range of ingredients all working together, will help manage my lemons and make my lemonade special, unique and right for me.
My Lemonade Ingredients
There are a few key elements to my Lemonade. Some are tangible and some intangible.
My intangible lemonade ingredients are so important:
- Faith – not just my faith in God but faith in my medical team;
- Hope – tomorrow will be a better day;
- Love – a great reason to push through. Love for my husband, family and friends;
- Trust – in medical advice, carers;
- Courage – ability to not give up;
- Patience – realistic expectations of myself, of others and of processes;
- Determination – resolve to push through pain and achieve goals (even basic hygiene needs);
- Peace – keeping stress levels under control;
- Optimism – always finding a reason to smile and be grateful.
Each of these intangible ingredients help me move through the barrage of lemons trying to prevent me from achieving a goal.
Each of them help me find reasons to keep going, when there is every reason to stay in bed and pull the covers over my head.
My tangible lemonade ingredients include:
- Bed Rest
- Gentle Exercise
- Good Diet
- Relaxation Time
- Fresh Air
- Connecting with family and friends
- Good Hygiene
- Grooming – Nice Clothes, Hair or Headwear and a little makeup
- Tidy Home
- Schedule of all tasks/ appointments/ birthdays/ special events etc in my phone
All of the above are crutches to lean on to keep me organised and give me a sense of control and well being. When life’s lemons are pounding you from every direction, these ingredients, both tangible and intangible, will provide a navigation map.
If you have them in place and ready to mix, they will ensure you can create a lemonade to drink, in your time of need, and conquer what seems insurmountable.
How’s Your Lemonade Tasting?
If you feel like the lemons are being fired at you from every direction, take a break. Breathe. Cancel all activities. Make some time to just sit for a while.
It’s then time to make some lemonade.
What are your intangible ingredients? What do you need to give you emotional well-being. This is an important starting point. When we don’t feel strong emotionally, it’s makes it so much harder to deal with the physical issues.
What are your tangible ingredients? Write them down, even the ones you know you need, but don’t have yet or aren’t doing yet.
This lemonade needs to contain all the things you know are good for you.
Once you’ve got your ingredients sorted, it’s time to gather them together so you can make your lemonade.
It’s a process, it may take time, weeks or months maybe. It’s your recipe and it’s a roadmap to get you to where you need to be, to handle the lemons that life throws at you.
Let’s raise a glass together!
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak
If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding & friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum Medical Musings with Friends. It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic & complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.
I’m a Contributor at “The Mighty”. You can check out my published articles at My Author Page
I also write @ Blogs by Christian Women
If you would like to read a little more about my journey, here’s the link to My Story