It is true, and it is no secret, I am so bad at pacing!

I know how to pace, I know about pacing and why it is important and yet time and time again I ignore what I know and end up paying for it.

My garden

Quite often it is during Spring and Summer when I can’t resist doing the jobs in the garden.

Even when I am laid on the lounger as in the above photo, just watching the bees come and go, I am thinking of the jobs that need doing and then, I am off!

The past week I have done a lot of weeding, repotting up some plants and taking cuttings to grow on for other people.

I have made life easier by leaving a lot of the plants or rather weeds (a weed is just an unwanted plant) and it means less weeding for me and also the amount of insects and bugs in our garden has boomed.

We even leave areas of the lawn unmown which makes life easier for my wife & provides habitat for bugs.

I am so bad at pacing. In this photo I am sat on the area of the lawn that is not being cut and I am planting bulbs with my 2 year old granddaughter.

It was in one area that we are now not mowing that I was sat yesterday with my two year old granddaughter. We were planting some bulbs (Bluebells) that I spotted hanging in the shed that I had forgotten about.

I should have been resting because I was already feeling the result of the past week on my body, but moments like this are valuable. It was half hour of time spent with Mia and that made the pain that I was in last night and now today, worth it.

It is Thursday, I now have no choice but to lay up on the settee because of the pain and also because I need to be okay for Saturday evening when I will be going live for Disability Horizons TV with Mik & Dan to discuss Chronic Pain.

Suffering with Chronic Pain, Chronic fatigue or what ever reason due to poor health and or disability means you have to make choices, sometimes very tough choices!

It means resting up before a planned task or event and it means resting up after because of the effects it has on our bodies.

It is hard, it is something I hate because my brain still tells me that I am capable, I am convinced that I can still do a lot of things that are either just not possible or they will cause a lot of pain and fatigue.

Pacing means learning to say “No”, we have to say no to ourselves and no to other people.

We are unreliable because we never know when a flare up will hit. Yes we can rest to make sure we are okay for a task or event, but that is still no guarantee that we will manage it. We can rest for days and still be hit with a flare up!

Sat in wheelchair in garden, trousers covered in horse manure.
Just finished gardening, trousers are covered in horse manure.

Also people need to understand that we can, and we will take part in activities that will make us feel unwell for days or even weeks. It is our decision, it is our body.

People also need to understand that just because we do something like in my case gardening, just because we have managed it, it doesn’t mean we are okay, we haven’t been faking it, and therefore okay to get a job. You don’t see what happens after we over do it!

Me in bed trying to finish editing a video when I am unwell
In bed trying to finish editing a video during a flare up!

We post photos on social media of us doing things, of us taking part in things, but we will very rarely then post a photo of the outcome. You won’t see us laid on the settee or in bed looking our worst and not being able to do very much for the next week.

I am so bad at pacing!

By Zechariah Richardson

Over 50, disabled, husband, father and gramps who reviews products and writes blog posts about his life, beekeeping, gardening and whatever pops into his brain!

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