No matter how tired and out of breath you get, don’t throw in the towel… That just means more laundry for you to do! (Roll your eyes if you must. You know you chuckled.)
Sorry… today was laundry day. I’ve done my own laundry for most of my adult life and personally, I believe I’m pretty good at it. I’ve yet to turn anything pink and rarely lose a sock.
Thinking I might write this post, I had the camera out ready to take pics of myself folding laundry. But, then figured, people don’t tend to enjoy seeing their own laundry. Let along want to see a picture of goofy ‘ol me folding laundry incorrectly.
That’s right… Incorrectly. Washing and folding. Two totally different talents.
If being required to fold a dress shirt properly before getting new lungs was a thing, the surgical team would still be waiting on me to get it right.
Laundry was one of the few choirs I tried my hardest to keep doing at the height of my illness, despite my lack of breath and inability to fold even half as well as a drunken butler.
Unable to mow the lawn, unable to walk the dog… I stubbornly continued doing my own laundry.
One of the worst things about having I.P.F is the slow slipping away of being able to take care of oneself. The simplest task seem to take forethought, planning, and a whole slew of mental preparation to motivate oneself.
For me, doing the laundry was a small victory.
Sure it was at a snails pass, required breaks, and left me tired afterwards. But, I got ‘er done.
So today while transferring clothes from the washing machine to the dryer, I couldn’t help but be grateful for the stage I am at in my treatment. Looking back at how hard it was. Compared to how much easier it it is now. Leaves me so thankful to the doctors, nurses, techs, pharmacist, nutritionist, physical therapist, family and friends, etc who got me here.
So if you’re one of those people and reading this now. Thank you.
A few tips to hopefully help you if you’re having a hard time with the laundry.
- Keep the laundry basket where you toss soiled items, close to the washing machine.
- Load a little as a time. Armfuls can be heavy and heavy can be tiring.
- Coordinate your breathing with your movements, just like exercising.
- Pace yourself. They won’t come out any cleaner if you load them faster.
- Listen to your body and rest as you need to.
- Buy a couple small bottles of detergent, rather than one large bottle.
- Try bending over as little as possible.
- Talk with your doctor about your Oxygen usage while doing chores.
- Don’t focus on what you can’t do, congratulate yourself on what your able to do.