“What does an average day look like for you and what challenges do you face on a day to day basis that you’ve just gotten used to?”
I always feel strange answering questions like this because I’m not sure what people are looking for in an answer. However it’s a common question that comes to my mind when I think of other people’s abilities/disabilities. So I’ll try and answer it in a way I’d like someone else to answer it.
On average I work about 20 hours a week evenings/nights and once during the day. Some weeks feel really long some feel short, but as far as my work life goes things are predictably chaotic. I hear that’s what happens when you work with other people.
I go to the gym for an hour to an hour and a half three times a week. I usually do my warm-up/cardio on my own until whichever trainer I’m seeing that day is available. My warm up these days is the treadmill. In the past it’s been the elliptical. I’ve also used the Stairmaster or recumbent bicycle, with assistance.
My one on one sessions with a trainer are usually pretty varied but machine work, gait training, strength and flexibility are always included. I usually have one on one sessions with the same people and they’re in constant contact with each other as well as my PM&R, surgeon, & PT.
I try to keep my weekly errands down to one day a week, as much as possible, typically before my work week starts. For one main reason, once it starts I have limited free time. I hate rushing and I tend to be forgetful when I am rushed so having an “errand day” really helps.
I also try to have one full day to myself, usually at the end of my work week. I’m an introvert so I value time to myself. In fact I need it mentally as much as physically. I like spending my free time during the day watching a movie (or a current TV on DVD) or reading a book.
As for a social life, because that’s what most people really want to know about; I don’t have much of one. It’s what happens when most people have day jobs and you work evenings/nights, at least in the same time zone.
I have friends all over the world so I do have the time for a social life, technically. However I learned pretty quickly that if I wanted to get a good night’s sleep I had to unwind after work and anything technological just winds me up. So I usually check my email in the parking lot before heading home and maybe send a text or two.
Even on days I don’t work I try to turn everything technological off around 8 or 9pm. I’m a reformed night owl so it really does help achieve as little as an “OK” night sleep, of course my goal is always a good to great night, or else I’m a complete mess the next day. I function best on 8-10 hours or sleep. I’m no stranger to an afternoon nap.
My social life basically consists of emails, texts, and the occasional phone call. I am learning to video chat, I’m hoping to start catching up with people that way and actually getting to see them without worrying about time off work and travel. I also write friends in religious life the old fashioned way once or twice a month. The highlight of my social life is usually hearing from them, since it doesn’t happen very often.
Any time off I get to spend socializing, for whatever reason, is always cherished because it doesn’t happen very often.
I often have trouble sitting or standing for long periods. Luckily with improved posture, physical strengthening, and a variety of daily working duties I can work around any major problems, if that doesn’t work there’s always ibuprofen and valium.
I also have trouble walking long distances and/or walking on cement floors for long periods of time. The only way to work with this is to plan either by using my wheels or keeping the trip as short as possible, if not there’s ibuprofen and valium.
As for the challenges I face on a daily basis its pretty much one thing stairs (or even a curb). This is from tightness in my quads, for the most past. I can’t avoid stairs every day so it’s something I work on at the gym (Botox was supposed to help). Railings on staircases help a great deal but if I ever come to a particularly high curb it’s not uncommon for me to take a few attempts to get up it, even when leading with my left side (which is stronger than the right).