The Economics of Chronic Illness…

I’ve alluded to it before.  Many times.

It’s called “Opportunity Cost”…and it’s an economics term.

I didn’t do so hot shit in economics.

I digress…

Pulled off of Wikipedia:

“Opportunity cost is the cost of any activity measured in terms of the value of the best alternative that is not chosen (that is foregone). It is the sacrifice related to the second best choice available to someone who has picked among several mutually exclusive choices.”

Now, however, I can tell you precisely what this term means.

It means, if I’m having a shitty day, and can’t get stuff done, it waits…because I’ve chosen to not push through the pain and/or limitations and do whatever it is that is required.  By waiting, however, my taskload is that much larger when I am able to attend to it…

Example.  Your laundry.  You can do it, or you can go out and grab a coffee.  Maybe even do your groceries.  You spent an hour at the cafe, meander around the grocery store and then need to put it all away upon your return.  By this time, you’re tired, kids might be coming home from, or going to, activities or school….

…but the laundry is still there…PLUS.  The plus is directly proportionate to how many days it gets “foregone.” I know you know this.  It’s really not a novel concept.  Everyone makes a choice.

However.  If I can’t move for a day, and I chose to remain still…that one choice leads to a backup of gargantuan proportions.

Why?

Because I do not always have the physical capacity to actually be able to play “catch-up.”

I try my very best to make the proper choices…to forego the right things…to prioritize…but in the end, I’m always playing catch-up.   Whereas I used to be able to haul ass all day, now I can’t.  I hate it.

LOATHE. IT.

Take, for example, last week.  I endearingly call it my “ADHD” week, because I swear if my head wasn’t attached, it would have popped right off.  Then I would have tripped over it with my Go, Go Spazzy legs and fallen flat on my I’ve-earned-this-ass.  I had 10+ things to do at any given moment.  And yes, I prioritized.  And yes, I had anxiety about having “foregone” the wrong things.    And yes, I am most assuredly “paying” for it this week.  And HELL yes, I am backlogged to my wondertits in cleaning and home maintenance tasks.

Why?

I chose to push right through the pain and cognitive impairments to run a harvest celebration this past Saturday.  What made the majority of the tasks so very backlogged was the intense, INSANE amount of hours I spent learning and practicing something that was very important to me regarding this celebration…

…that I spoke the language of my ancestors and did some of the key components IN OLD ENGLISH.

For this formula, you may substitute the term “Holy crap on a cracker” to it’s derivative, “Holy. Shit.”

Thus,

IN OLD ENGLISH = Holy. Shit.

So here was Go, Go Spazzy Wondergirl trying to just get out of BED on Saturday, but to haul ass (Read: vertical. Read: not sitting for a lengthy period of time. Read: according to someone with multiple chronic afflictions.)…and overcome the riDONKulous brain fog that still accompanies my stupid #$%#$% (oh, that one was so bad I couldn’t even bear to type it) medication.  I overcame my anxiety, which was at a level SO retarded, I can’t even find an appropriate equivalent on Thesaurus.com.

Oh, yes!! It was SO important to me to do this…SO important, that anything that had to be done, or that I’d wanted to be done…or, hell, could have even pondered to have WISHED to be done…

…wasn’t.

Opportunity Cost.

Because by now I could very likely be able to take a world cruise had I $1 for every task on my plate THIS week.

Ordinarily…as in, before…as in, when I was “normally healthy”…catch-up would probably have taken me 2…3 days at the most.

Now?  Who knows. *shrug*

So, no…I not only live at the rate of several “wtf’s” an hour…each “wtf” is it’s own player in the daily Herald of the economics of my life.

But you know what?  I did it.  I did the impossible and made it visible.  The resulting effect on my esteem is gargantuan and I am STILL on a high from that eve’.

Listen, my body might crap out frequently (Read: This ass makes frequent stops.)…but that doesn’t mean I can’t DO things.   This experience on Saturday gave me the incentive and esteem boost to do things that I might not ordinarily understand as being “doing”…learning, for example.  I freakin’ learned about an ancestral language!!! I….well…you know what I did??

I took Impossible Invisibilities and turned them into Possible Visibilities.

I’d like to see THAT formula in the next issue of The Economist Magazine.  ;o)

4 responses to “The Economics of Chronic Illness…

  1. Thank you for this. Been stuck in bed all day with horrific back pain, feeling depressed about never being able to catch up…

    • It most certainly never ends…buggernackles!! Sending you strength to manage through your pain xoxo Thank you for taking a moment from your own day to partake in a little bit of mine ;o)

  2. My hubby & I occasionally joke about sticking our three cats in the car and setting the house on fire, we feel like we’ll never catch up on stuff….

    But I so hear you! Those days, weeks, even just moments when we actually ROCK something, well, they make the other stuff sort of fade a bit. =)

  3. I truly hate the guilt that comes with not getting things done. I am never caught up, ever. It drives me crazy. I try not to let it bother me and my SO says that it doesn’t bother him at all. “Honey leave the laundry in the baskets … we can live out of the baskets, I don’t care.”

    I’m lucky, but sometimes I walk around looking and the dusty ceiling fans and corners of my house … and feel miserable.

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