A Trip to the Store: Now vs Then

Today I was faced with a great realization of how many things in my life have changed that I may not have been aware of before. Little things that you would take for granted, that you wouldn’t even think of when you live a normal day to day life.
Sure I’ve been aware for some time that showering has become a real circus act. The different ways I’ve coaxed the shampoo and body wash out of their bottles should be immortalized on film. Washing my hair with my loofah, shaving my legs by holding my razor between my wrists, shivering through an air-dry, courtesy of my bedroom fan. The list goes on, and that’s just bathroom related!

My life has changed drastically in some areas. Although today I realized how much I miss being able to take a quick trip to the grocery store. Gosh, I miss those days where I could say “I’m popping out for milk”, and actually mean it. As in I leave and come back within a half hour hauling a carton of milk, and more often than not, a packet of Oreos. But the days of a ‘quick’ anything are gone. Now everything must be planned around my pain, fatigue, transportation etc.

Three years ago if I wanted to go to the grocery store I would have grabbed my purse and headed out the door. Back then I lived pretty close to where I am now, so it would have been a ten minute walk to the store. I’d have grabbed what I needed and either walked back home, or taken a taxi, depending on how much I had to carry. The whole ordeal would never have taken longer than 45 minutes to an hour.

And then there was today…

Around 12:30pm today I glanced at the clock and thought that maybe I should hit the grocery store, just as soon as I finished coloring the page I was working on.

At 1:12pm I opened my eyes to find I had dozed off at some point. Luckily this time I hadn’t accidentally drawn across the page since a pencil was still in my hand. I packed up my coloring things and went into my room to change out of my loose fitting lounge wear and into a pair of shorts. I sat on the bed and took my afternoon dose of medications, and then laid back on my pillow for a moment.

2:48pm was when I awoke the second time. Determined to not fall back asleep, I quickly got dressed, gathered my reusable grocery bags, brushed my teeth, and was out the door.

Gosh it was hot outside. The sun was really beaming down. My feet were slightly swollen but since the next bus down the street didn’t come for another 15 minutes I decided to walk it. After all, when was the last time I got my six thousand steps in? Not this week, that was for sure. I made it to my local shopping center in good time and the bus I could have taken rolled past as I entered the drugstore.

After waiting in a ten minute line to pick up my prescriptions, I perused the Red Box kiosk, got a free movie, and headed to the supermarket next door. God I love free Red Box!

Have you ever noticed that supermarkets don’t have anywhere to sit? With the exception of the Signature Cafe area at Safeway, chairs are scarce. I find that strange with so many senior citizens around. I’m sure they get tired and might like to rest a moment, I know I sure would. And by the time I’d reached the grocery store I had been on my feet for close to an hour and I was exhausted. A stool would have been so appreciated.

As I started to wander slowly down the aisles, my feet were indeed quite swollen now, I became so aware of my surroundings and the other shoppers, especially the elderly. While they used to bother me with their slowness in the past, I was now aware of their need to take their time. I needed it too. The more my sore and tired feet would ache, the slower I became, and the whole grocery shopping experience turned into this awful chore that I couldn’t wait to be done with. I used to love perusing the aisles, taking my time, looking at everything. Now I was all business. Except I couldn’t move quicker because everything hurt, and the freezing air they were pumping through the vents wasn’t making it any easier.

By the time I made it through the checkout and hobbled over to the bus stop to go home I was shocked at the time. It was 5:26pm! I’d left my house at 3! How could that much time have possibly passed? Had my movements really become that slow??

After waiting a few minutes I hopped on a bus and rode down 4 stops before ringing the bell and getting off at my street. Putting away my groceries was almost too much work. I was so tired. I could barely keep my eyes open. For once, it wasn’t pain that made me long for bed, but sheer and utter exhaustion. 6pm. Really? It takes three hours to pick up groceries? Ugh. Talk about feeling like an invalid.

What a great topic for a blog, I thought. So as soon as my groceries were put away I headed into my room, sat down on the bed and pulled out my tablet. I was able to turn it on and queue my website before fatigue gripped me and I passed out again.

7:15pm Is when I woke again and finished the account of my day. Man, this narcolepsy business is no joke.

8pm now and I’m hungry. I better make dinner and eat it before my next eyelid closure has me waking up on a different day…

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About sixthousandsteps

In March of 2013, I was diagnosed with chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis and was told my disease was very aggressive. Every day since then has been an ongoing struggle and life lesson on how to stay positive and keep fighting. This blog is a glimpse of how it all came to be, and who knows what the future holds.

Posted on January 9, 2016, in The Journey and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Oh yes! I envy people that do that quick, “I’m just ducking down the street to grab xyz”. They pop down the street, and they’re back in ten minutes.

    Me – I’m too unwell to drive a car. So I have a mobility scooter. Yep. It’s what all the 26 year olds wish they were driving…
    Capped at a speed of 10kms (6 miles) an hour, there is no “quickly popping down the street”.

    And that’s just to GET there. Once I’ve parked outside the store, and grab a trolley to lean on, I’ve still got to co-ordinate my foggy brain and tired body around the store. Then somehow pack it all onto my scooter, putt-putt back home, unpack everything… and then lay on the kitchen floor, wondering how long I can stretch the groceries out before I have to face the store again.

    It’s amazing what can be taken for granted: stowering, grocery shopping, driving, cooking, walking someplace… little basic things that you don’t notice until it’s something you struggle to do (or can’t do at all).

    xx S.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand completely. I slept so hard that night due to the exhaustion of my grocery shopping and woke up with two very mad swollen feet!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s hard when necessary things cause such trouble. I mean, hiking up a mountain is going to cause ridiculous payback for me (if I could even make it up there!), so I’ll avoid that.

        But I can’t avoid showering. Or eating. Or putting clothes on. It’s hard when meeting basic, everyday needs is like climbing a mountain!

        (And then people wonder why I don’t have children?!)

        Like

  2. Oh yes! I envy people that do that quick, “I’m just ducking down the street to grab xyz”. They pop down the street, and they’re back in ten minutes.

    Me – I’m too unwell to drive a car. So I have a mobility scooter. Yep. It’s what all the 26 year olds wish they were driving…
    Capped at a speed of 10kms (6 miles) an hour, there is no “quickly popping down the street”.

    And that’s just to GET there. Once I’ve parked outside the store, and grab a trolley to lean on, I’ve still got to co-ordinate my foggy brain and tired body around the store. Then somehow pack it all onto my scooter, putt-putt back home, unpack everything… and then lay on the kitchen floor, wondering how long I can stretch the groceries out before I have to face the store again.

    It’s amazing what can be taken for granted: showering, grocery shopping, driving, cooking, walking someplace… little basic things that you don’t notice until it’s something you struggle to do (or can’t do at all).

    xx S.

    Like

  3. I’m lucky to have my own scooter. Things are much easier with it. As for showering I’m always nervous of falling and need to rest afterwards. 🚿

    Like

    • I haven’t fallen yet, but I have dozed due to my narcolepsy. So I’m sure falling into the wall will happen eventually. But luckily I have a small square shower, so I don’t think it would do too much harm

      Like

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