A few weeks ago, I talked about organizing your home when you have children with special needs.
A reader asked me to write about how to organize if you are the adult with special needs, a long term illness or battling for your life. Each of those situations requires a different strategy. So, this is the first post in response to that question.
How do you stay organized or get organized when you are fighting for your life?
I have watched a few women battle through cancer. It’s a tough road. All had children. Two had spouses.
I would love to hear in the comments from women who have lived this life. Here are my observations as a friend.
#1 In the beginning, the patient worries about the state of their home.
With so many people coming and going, the clutter is frustrating. If you have the gift of time to donate, helping your friend get the main living areas organized is a blessing.
#2 Quickly, the attention turns to treatments, medications, bills and schedules.
The Kids: It is SO important to WRITE out your kids’ schedules, important phone numbers, favorite foods and favorite places to play. When you are feeling terrible, a friend can read your lists and give you needed rest.
The Patient: So, I haven’t “been there,” and I don’t presume to know, but here is what I have learned with my kids. Medications, treatment plans and side effects change SO often. You need a designated basket or box to compile all of your notes. I prefer a laundry basket.
If you are feeling bad – just dump the latest papers in the top of the bin and let them sit. If you have a spouse, family member or close friend you trust, ask that person to help you go through your basket weekly and keep you organized.
#3 Organizing the basket.
Having a big basket like a laundry basket is perfect, because it is portable and big enough to add prescription bottles, books and even a chemo bag!
1. Make a filing system:
- Diagnosis paperwork
- Medical bills
- Insurance statements
2. To-Do Weekly
- Add all appointments to a digital group calendar
- Pay or submit medical bills
- Fill prescriptions.
- File the new papers into the file.
- Schedule who will be with the kids and what’s for dinner for the week.
#4 Organizing a legacy.
You are in a FIGHT, so FIGHT!! If you have any extra strength and time… leave a legacy.
Now is the time to put down in words how you feel about your husband, parents, kids and friends. Everyone does this differently. For years, I was a scrapbook consultant and helped people make albums that told their family story.
Use the time your friends are with you to have them make scrapbooks and you write the stories. Or, you just tell the stories and let them write them down.
Too much? Take a box of photos and just write on the back little thoughts like:
“You were such a Tom boy!”
“Mama’s handsome boy.”
“I love your smile.”
“You look just like your dad.”
“You worked so hard on that school project. I am so proud of you.”
#5 Accept the help.
I know you “can do it yourself,” but let people help you.
The more you can let people help you, the better they will feel – crazy huh? But you know what – the more you can focus on you and REST, the more you can FIGHT!
Yes, you need to be organized so you can DELEGATE to those who love you and want to help. Getting help with cleaning, meals and kids are the first thoughts. But I bet you have a friend who is great with scrapbooks and would love to help you. And another one you would trust with your paperwork to take the stress off you and your husband. She may not pay the bills, but she can keep them filed and update your Google calendar for you.
I hope these ideas are helpful I have NOT been there so I don’t know. If you have – PLEASE leave share your tips below!!