Kind of a dumb question

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Pearl D
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Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 1/26/2011 6:22 PM (GMT -6)   
redface  I can manage to work and take care of myself and my kitties but I've gotta tell you trying to keep up with the housework is the most frustrating thing I run up against. Because I live with 9 kitties, vacuuming is an almost daily task. But when I'm really hurting I just can't do all the vacuuming that I should which means the house looks terrible. I manage to keep the dishes washed and the laundry done but the rest of the housework just kind of piles up because I have no help with it. How do others handle housework and pain?

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Date Joined Jul 2009
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   Posted 1/26/2011 8:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Just like everyone else, regardless of condition, does or should do. The best I can. If I give it my best and it doesn't get done it makes it easier to sit back and relax in peace.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 291
   Posted 1/26/2011 8:51 PM (GMT -6)   
9 kitties? I love cats, I have 2, but I couldn't handle 9! :-)

Pearl D
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Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 1/26/2011 10:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Jim ... that's what I keep telling myself but I look at the house and realize that if anyone comes to visit I'm going to be making excuses for why I haven't vacuumed. And that's my issue not theirs but beat myself up because I can't get it all done.

Pearl D
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Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 1/26/2011 10:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Potsie ... the one thing I've learned about living in a multi cat household is that 9 cats don't take me any longer to care for than 2. And this is the fewest cats I've had in years. All of my kitties were feral rescues that would have been euthanized had I not kept them. Just because they weren't perfect they didn't deserve to be euthanized. Now children? I can't imagine having more than 2. It would have driven me to the looney bin.

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   Posted 1/27/2011 12:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Just to toss this out there:

Many cities or counties have volunteer organizations that will come in and help with the housework for people who are unable to do part or all of it themselves.

Typical points of contact includes social services department of the hospital, senior centers, county social services agencies and churches.

Some of these groups operate for free, others are done on an income basis, and some run on donations.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

Monty's Mom
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Date Joined Aug 2010
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   Posted 1/27/2011 7:07 AM (GMT -6)   
I just try to take things one step at a time, and not let the things I didn't get done today bother me. I am blessed with wonderful sons and fiance who help with the things I don't get done. My house is not spotless and I have dogs and cats. The people who know me understand. Also, they come to see me, not critique my housekeeping skills.
Jim is right, check with your community, churches, and assistance office and see if there are any volunteers to help around the house.

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. George Bernard Shaw

Pelvic adhesive disease, Irritable bowel syndrome, SI joint pain, arthritis, kidney stones, depression, 7 pelvic surgeries for pain, ovarian cysts, adhesions. Fentanyl patch, Vicodin, remeron, trazodone, dicyclomine, Miralax, Colace, Multivitamin

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Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 1/27/2011 4:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Try to write up a schedule for the week, and stick to it,
maybe you'll get things done better, and make sure to
put on it days just for you. Sometimes it's doing what you can for the day.
Do what you can. Hope you can get a low pain day soon.

((((((((((((((((((((((((Pearl D)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
well wishes and healing hugz
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc (Lower Lumbar S1-L3 and Cervical C5,C6, C8 and T1), Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's, Ocular Migraines, mild carpel tunnel, ect.... "Would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...


Pearl D
New Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 1/27/2011 4:42 PM (GMT -6)   
I know I need to cut myself some slack on the days when the pain is bad. The idea of a schedule is good ... at least I could get a little bit done each day instead of trying to do it all at once. Much easier to handle a small amount than a mountain! Thanks. Now to make a schedule that is do-able :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 213
   Posted 1/28/2011 9:06 AM (GMT -6)   
I am actually very blessed because I have 2 teenage boys that help out (18 & 16) and my husband has done most of all the house-cleaning and laundry and such that needs done since he lost his job in August of 2009.

I do know that the church that I belong to have several people that visit shut-ins and a group that does house cleaning to help out others in the church that need it. Have you checked into this for times when things just get out of control for you?

When I first became ill and was hospitalized for an extended period of time, my DH was working full time outside the home and the boys were quite young and just about everything to do with the household fell on my daughters shoulders, who was only 16 at the time.

Right before I was released from the hospital, the church sent the cleaning group over to my house and they cleaned and sanitized it from top to bottom for us. We were so very thankful for them! I don't know how we would have managed without the church throughout my illness!

Anyway, just another possible idea for you to try!

Trudy in Ohio
DX pyoderma gangrenosum, Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, Bone Marrow Transplant, Chronic Pain syndrome, Chronic Kidney Disease Stage 3, Major Depressive Disorder, Radiculopathy, Bilateral Hip Pain, Insomnia,Left Groin Hernia, Bulging Disk in Lumbar Spine, Tear in Lumbar Spine, Tendonitis and Bursitis in both hips.

Mrs. Dani
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Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 1/28/2011 12:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Marci,
   Not a dumb question at all. *hugg* You see I have two beautiful little bumblebees to care for. It can be quite a task to balance a busy household while dealing with pain. I have some suggestions that can make life easier...
   First on the list. What is your home environment like? I am serious. Look around the room you are in. Are daily items close to the floor? What is stored on the floor? Shoes in the closet? Are you using your bottom drawers in a dresser maybe? What does it look like under the sink? Bottles? Toilet paper and bathroom cleaners? Look, lets face it. We are not going to be pain free. Not now, not in the future. The most any of us can expect is to make our pain somewhat tolerable on the best of days. You have got to change your environment.
     You have cats? Do you get your cat littler in bulk, in the buckets? When you empty a bucket, wash it out and begin to label them and use them organize as well. We cannot keep going back and forth to get the cleaners we need. We cannot keep bending down to get individual items in lower cabinets.
For empty buckets try this..
Label one "Bathroom"
Toilet brush, bleach, glass cleaner, toilet clips...
Label "Household"
Furniture polish, general cleaner, spot remover, oven cleaner, old rags (old socks are easiest to use. Slip sock over your hand), febreeze...
"Cat Products"
brushes, clippers, scissors, shampoo, flea meds....
...just make sure that when you need these products all you have to do is pick up one bucket and get on the task. Going back and forth with arm loads of products is only going to wear you down quicker.
How does your closet look? Why not get those shoes in a shoe organizer and up off the floor. Got dressers? Why not switch your dressers over to shelves with handled containers. Just place it right inside your closet so you don't get kitty hair on the items. No reason to keep bending down to the lower drawers (even just small 3 shelf book shelves work good too). Besides hanging all your clothes and keeping your socks in a container on a high shelf will make life easier. While we are talking about clothing, why not get a collapsible laundry "basket" with handles? Light weight canvas ones go for around 5 dollars. That way you can just drag it to the laundry room. Speaking of laundry room... Get three tall containers. Sort your clothing as soon as it gets into the laundry room. Whites, colors, deep cleaning (pet items in your case). That way you are not staying bent down trying to sort through a big pile to separate your laundry. Put a small table in the laundry room too if you have space. You can put your sorted laundry baskets on it. Use "Clever Kitty" cat litter boxes for the cats restroom. That way there wont be kitty litter on the floor.
Lets talk about those floors. You have pets and I have cats too. Our floors just cant go that long with out getting vacuumed....  On the other hand your shoulders will be screaming if you try to vacuum every day. Try using a "Swiffer". Just a simple floor Swiffer for in-between times when you cannot vacuum. Speaking of vacuums, did you know that eureka has a "Pet Lover" series? It is cheap, VERY light weight, and the features for pet hair will blow your mind. Trust me, it’s a life saver.
How does your living room look? Do you have shelves? Bring those items you use the most, up to the top shelves. On the bottom shelves use large containers with handles so you just pull out the container (kitty toys maybe?). When you have more of those handled cat littler containers, buy "Tall kitchen trash bags" use those as liners for the kitty litter containers. Just pull the bag down over the sides of the bucket and use them for small trash cans through out your house. That way you are only picking up small loads of trash. Plus, by pulling the bag over the sides no one will guess they are old cat littler containers.
How does your kitchen look? Got pots and pans on the bottom shelves? Go out and get a shelving system (8 shelf ones around 20 -30 dollars), then take your pots and pans and put them up on the shelves. Lower shelves can be items you dont use as often.  No reason to bend down that often. If you want, buy one or two items at a garage sale that remind you of a "country kitchen". You make it look fashionable and no one will know you did it out of necessity. You can do the same thing you did in the living room for the bottom cabinets. Containers with handles.... cat food maybe? Kitty treats and cat nip?  In your pantry put the "heavy" items like canned goods on the top shelves. Break down your basic items like flour and sugar and rice into smaller sizes with large gallon freezer bags. Keep those items on the middle shelves. On the bottom put the light weight stuff. Same concept for your refrigerator and freezer. Heavy on top, light on bottom.
The idea is to make your days easier. Less times you need to spend bending down to get items. Instead just put like items together in containers so you bend down once and get the container with everything you need in it. Linen closets you can do same "idea". Your linens on the top shelves, small container for old rags and large container for cat towels on the bottom. Bathrooms, again, same concept. "Body container" lotions, spray, makeup. "Washroom container" Razor, wash, salts, shampoo, conditioners.....  Keep a large stock of linens in bathroom. Stack of wash rags and towels (put in a basket if you want). Can even get colored ones to match your bathroom and it will look stylish. Again, a cat container with handles (cover with bag so no one will notice) for dirty rags and towels under the sink.
I have hundreds of other things I do to keep my home as easy to manage as possible. Those are just some basics. In my kitchen for example, I even have a large kitchen island that my husband put on heavy duty wheels. I have kitchen stools cut to "hip height" so I can sit while washing, cooking, peeling....  you get the idea. I am busy mom with active and busy household. I had to change my life from the ground up.
*warm hugg*

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood

Chronic Pain Moderator

Pearl D
New Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 1/28/2011 12:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Dani ... that was a fabulous post. Amazingly I've done a lot of that even before I started having problems with chronic pain. I use the bottom drawers of dressers for things I use seldom. Bottom shelves in bathrooms and kitchen same. Shoes are stored in hanging shoe container. Slippers are left on floor because I just slip them on without bending over anyway. I don't have a lot of furniture that requires dusting thank heavens and most of that is up off the floor. The vacuuming and mopping are the only two things that are really physical. Everything else I've streamlined to make things easier. I did get a small cordless vacuum for between major vacuuming which has helped.
Sadly I don't buy kitty litter in buckets ... it's twice the price as the boxed litter at Wal-Mart. But everytime I have bought litter in buckets I've saved the buckets. Sadly they don't fit under any of my sinks (kitchen or bathroom). I live in a mobile home and there's precious little storage space and the laundry room is a postage stamp with barely room for the washer and dryer. The furnace and hot water tank are in the laundry room also.
I've really got most things set up to cut down on any bending and lifting thankfully but was so impressed with you post that I copied it so I can share it with some friends (I live in a senior mobile home park and this kind of information is applicable for many of the people living here whether suffering from chronic pain or not).
Thanks again for all the wonderful info! Would you mind if I pass it along to others here in our community? We have a community newsletter and it would be fabulous info to put out for others but won't do it unless you say it's OK.
Marci & the Camp Happy Cat gang

spinal soldier
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Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 687
   Posted 1/28/2011 12:44 PM (GMT -6)   
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