Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cleaning with Chronic Pain

Living with chronic pain makes even the smallest tasks difficult sometimes. Anything that involves bending, squatting, lifting, standing for long periods, or using heavy equipment can flare my pain. With my husband and daughter gone I really wanted to get some good cleaning done. I am not a meticulous housekeeper by any means and despite being a "type A" personality I do not have any organization to my cleaning. I know some people who dust on Monday, vacuum on Tuesday, wash clothes on Wednesday, etc. But I have no idea how I will feel each day so that kind of schedule doesn't work for me. I basically just have to do the best I can.

Our vacuum cleaner quit working this year so we invested in a new lightweight one. It only weighs 11 lbs! So this has helped greatly in my cleaning efforts, but I still cannot vacuum the whole house in one day or I will pay for it.  I also try not to do  more than one or two loads of laundry a day. It's not the washing that is difficult, but the folding. I have to stand to fold because I can't sit and after being up all day taking care of daughter and just making it through the day my feet are usually killing me so standing to fold clothes is difficult. Changing my sheets is also challenging for me especially putting on the fitted sheets so I usually wait to do that when my husband is home or I have help. Dusting just honestly doesn't happen that often and the bathrooms, well let's just say they leave something to be desired.  Cleaning the tub is quite difficult for me so I usually let hubby do that.  We have a dog that we allow in the part of the house that is not carpeted but I unfortunately cannot mop it like I should. Mopping and scrubbing really engages one's core muscles and anything that overworks my core can increase my pelvic pain.
I read once on The National Fibromyalgia Association (I do not have fibromyalgia, but my central nervous system widespread pain is similar to that of fibromyalgia) that it is recommended to pace activities. So you vacuum for 20 minutes and then rest for 20 minutes and then get up and wash dishes for 20 minutes and then read a book for 20 minutes, etc. They even recommend using a timer to remind yourself. 20 minutes however, is not very long, especially when you have an almost 2 year old running around!

So there's a little picture into my life concerning household chores and dealing with pain. What about you? If you suffer from a chronic illness, how do you manage your household responsibilities? And if you do not have a chronic condition, any advice one how to better keep my house clean?


  1. I just found your blog. I never thought of doing one myself, all those years living with Pudendal Neuralgia, simply out of embarressment. symptoms were devistating. This condition is devistating. Have you heard of Dr Hibner. He gave me pudendal nerve decompression surgery in 2008. It was 85 % successful, although I still have full blown pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. I had PN from 2001 on. My symptoms got worse the more damanged the nerve got, to where I could hardly sit anymore. If you need anything, please let me know. There's always hope :)

  2. Anoymous I had surgery with Hibner in 2010, please visit my blog I need some encouragement.

  3. Hi Anonymous,

    Thanks for your comment! I am actually going to see Dr. Hibner in about 3 1/2 weeks (been waiting 7 months). I am happy to hear your surgery was 85% successful. What exactly do you mean by you still have full blown pelvic floor dysfunction? What are your current symptoms? If you want, please feel free to email me at