housebound and bored to tears

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Tantallon, Dec 11, 2005.

  1. Tantallon

    Tantallon New Member

    I've always been focused and knew where I was going but now I feel like I've lost my way. I've been signed off again for 6 months and I feel like I'm going out of my head with boredom.

    I just want to go back to work but I can't walk more than a few yards but there's nothing wrong with my mind. I got the brain fog initially but now it's gone only the fatigue is bad now.

    If you're housebound, or have been, what did you do to fill in the endless time?

    Hoping that I get some replies, love Sue.
  2. Rene

    Rene New Member

    Well yes I've been there and still am. Plus I live alone and for the first yr of CFS I only slept for 3 1/2 hours and unable to take naps.

    Well reading, and writing down all the things I was thankful for, everyday. Mine would be to be able to take a shower, a good show on TV, Sunshine ect. It looks like you have people around you so thats good. I have 98% complete isolation (going on 6 yrs).

    I guess the best thing to share is you will get used to it. Its awful and I hope you get better but it will get easier. Maybe since your memory came back your energy will too.

  3. ilovecats94

    ilovecats94 New Member

    Then I watch a tape of my favorite soap. Then I get on the computer for a few hours and then I have stuff like laundry to do or just to read the paper. I have very few bored moments.

    I have a lot of friends and get a lot of email so have that to answer.

    I usually go to sleep around 10 PM and don't get up until 11 AM. So you can see most of my time is sleeping. But that is me. I would probably be bored too if I got up at 6 AM and was up all day and evening.

    Seems like I always have stuff to do.


    LEFTYGG Member



  5. AnneTheresa

    AnneTheresa Member

    I've been off work for five years and housebound much of that time. For the first while, it was WONDERFUL- to be away from a stressful workplace, able to putter around the house and allow my body to rest and recoup - but after the honeymoon period - I began to feel severely bored, restless and aimless.

    Not being able to contribute to the community through work or meaningful projects is the worse of it for me. It can lead me to question my self-worth and this questioning can adversely effect my self-esteem and level of confidence. Housebound, I feel more vulnerable to depression.

    A typical day for me consists of light housework, spending time on the computer, watching television & caring for my pets. During the nice weather, I go for a walk everyday but in the winter I can't manage (I use a walker and can't navigate through the snow).

    I wish I had some good advice for you but the most I can do at this point is commiserate. The truth is, being unwell and housebound can make for a dull life. I hope others who are housebound will respond to this thread with advice and suggestions. This would be a help for me as well.

    Take care, Sue. I hope you find your way.

    God bless,
    Anne Theresa
  6. fibrohugslife

    fibrohugslife New Member

    I am housebound myself. I lost my job in June of this year and decided to give up working entirely as I am just not able to hold down any type of the job. I am 29 years old and just feel I am too young to have to give all of this stuff up. That has been a very hard thing for me to accept.

    It has been hard though, and I miss working so much but I can't do anything in a job related situation to save my life.

    What I have been doing is that I started going back to school and getting my bachelor's degree, and hoping to also go to graduate school as well.

    I watch some of my favorite shows which mostly consist of comedies, funny reality shows, etc as I need something to make me laugh and keep my interest.

    I used to do my crafts of rubber stamping, bookmaking and scrapbooking but lost some of the interest as I could not sit for very long to do those.

    So I spent time reading, and reading online/research, doing research on my illnesses and finding out what more can I do.

    I am single so I try to go out on a few dates here and there. I also like to just go outside and walk a little bit, which is mostly to the mailbox and back. Sometimes I just force myself to go somewhere like the craft store, dollar store, bookstore, etc.

    I am mostly resting during the day and afternoons and now go to bed early sometimes.

    I just try to find some things that I can to pass the time, and keep my mind off of my illness if possible.

    I hope this helps,

    [This Message was Edited on 12/11/2005]
  7. minimonkey

    minimonkey New Member

    I'm not housebound (thank you God!) -- but I wonder if there is some hobby or activity you can find that you are able to physically handle (in short bursts, mind you) ?

    Whether it is reading up on a certain subject and becoming an expert, taking up drawing or painting or learning to play an instrument -- something along those lines. If you can tolerate being on the computer for even short stretches of time, why not give a go at writing a book?

    I think these things can be really helpful -- something, anything, that gives you a sense of purpose. Especially since you are not suffering cognitively, using your mind may help keep you engaged and combat the boredom.

    I'll keep you in my prayers for a more complete recovery, and a return to work....

  8. blizzybear

    blizzybear New Member

  9. roseylisa

    roseylisa New Member

    I know excatly how you feel! I feel like I'm going insane not working! Even though I know I can't right now the pain got to be to much. Pain is down with not working but depression is much worse not being around people and feeling like somebody! Roseylisa
  10. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    I've been housebound for several years now. I can get out to my acupuncture once a week, but that's all the excitement for me! Before that, I couldn't go out at all.

    I like to read. I've always liked reading, and now I have all the time I want. I get books that are the start of a series, so that if I like it I can read the whole series. And I go to websites that sell books to read reviews and find more things I would like to read. Books that reccomend other books (Like 'Book Lust') are fun and easy to read.

    I come here most days, and use the chat rooms here too. Chatting makes time fly. In the evening I watch TV. On a better day, I like to phone people (this doesn't happen very often!!!). I keep a list of phone buddies I can call in the back of my journal, because I wouldn't remember who to call otherwise. I'm lucky to be able to do the dishes most nights, so that takes up some time. I also like to do a little cooking. The time spent waiting for something to bake seems short!

    Sometimes I look up questions on the internet. Just anything I can think of, little questions I wonder about. When a research topic pops into my head, I jot it down into my symptom journal, which I always have with me.

    Another thing I like is this chess program I have on my computer. And I keep my Gameboy with Tetris handy.

    One way I pass the time is to make music tapes from the radio, and order free catalogs and samples of things over the internet. Meditation or relaxation tapes can kill an hour or so, and leave you feeling more settled. For the extra creative soul, you can even make your own meditation tapes to try out.

    A favorite thing of mine when I first got sick was burning taper candles. I would get a long nail and, as the candle was burning, mark a little notch in the top so that the wax would trickle down the side in a pretty pattern. They can get looking pretty cool like that. Sometimes I would use a white candle as a base, and get colored candle wax to run down the sides. Highly absorbing.

    Long baths are good, especially if you put fun ingredients in there, like essential oils or molasses and spices, and scrub your skin with a loofa sponge. Once I made a shampoo out of molasses and pumpkin pie spice and left it in for a few minutes. My hair smelled like gingerbread for days! Fun to experiment with stuff like that. Leave the lights off, and light the room with candles. For extra warmth in the bath, draw the shower curtain closed on the outside of the tub to hold in the heat and steam.

    Looking at catalogs is good, especially for the really tired days. Look at each page and think, 'What on here would I like to have?' A little make believe. :) Chewing slowly is another good one, really stretches out the eating time, which is the best part of the day. ;)

    If you have a window facing the street, you can look at people as they walk past. I play a game with it. I try to immagine who the person is, what their name is, what they do. Or I look at their clothes, thinking about what I like about the outfit and hairdo, and what I would change.

    Doodling is fun, especially if you have one of those big boxes of crayons. Just doodle anything at all without thinking about it. Then sign and date it on the back. Something to be proud of.

    Reflexology can give you something to do with your hands. Find a book on hand reflexology.

    Ordering books from your library over its web site is great. You can go through the catalog online and select books you might like to read, and then they will be delivered to your local branch and set aside for you. They can have a volunteer bring them to your house for you if you can't get out. You can even get library volunteers to select books you might like based on a questionaire you fill out. You can never tell exactly what the book will be like from the website, so it's always a surprise when they get to you.

    Call the crisis line when you want to. It's a good way to get out the stresses, and it's always available any time of day. Even if you're just feeling crummy physically, that's something you can call about. It helps with lonliness too.

    Come here often. :)

    Try playing the recorder. You know those little plastic flute things we all had to play in elementary school? That kind of recorder. It's like the easiest instrument there is. It's easy to use physically, and the fingering is so simple you can learn it in no time. It's good for those times when you're standing around the kitchen waiting for something to boil. And recorders sound really good in kitchens, with all the echo. You can play them by ear, any tune at all.

    When I'm really bored and restless, I call businesses in the phone book. It sounds silly, but it's a kind of busywork that really makes you feel good. Call charity societies and ask them what they do. Call stores and ask the hours they are open. Call a college and aak about their courses. Calling places like this gets off the tension. It gives your self-confidence a boost to call people out of the blue. It doesn't use much brainpower. Having a pleasant conversation with a total stranger can give you a boost.

    If you are able to, slow stretches take up some time and help you feel better too.

    Try watching TV shows you wouldn't normally watch, just to see what they are. Kids shows are very funny to watch whether you're under the influence of childhood or not. And shows made by people of differnt cultures are a good getaway.

    Look in the mirror several times a day and say how great you look! Smile at your relection and see it smile back.

    Try keeping a houseplant alive.

    Well, that's some of the things I've been doing. The best advice I could give is, whatever you're doing, get really absorbed into it. Notice all the sensations you are getting. Like, if you're drawing, notice the scent of the crayon in your hand, the way your fingers curl around it, the whiteness of the paper, the testure of your clothes against your skin, the feel of your arm as it moves above the page. Life is so much richer when taking in the details.

    Don't worry, Tant. If your mind still works okay, there's a lot you can do. And even on the days when it doesn't, there are still things to try.
    ((((((( )))))))
  11. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    Because of my years of being housebound from fibro, several months ago, I began some rather compulsive behavior.

    No matter how I feel, I get dressed and get out of the house every day.

    I put clothes and shoes out the night before and have my make-up handy so it is easy to dress.

    I go somewhere where you can just sit and be around people if nothing else. You could go sit in a mall, or visit a local (large) medical center where they have a cafeteria. At the medical center, you can eat, and sit in the lounge area and read. (If you go to a medical center/hospital - don't sit near anyone sick). You could also go to a library and read. Keep moving, but rest in between.

    At these places, if you are sitting and doze off, no one will pay any attention, especially at a hospital. You can also visit the hospital gift shop and buy magazines to read.

    I take a tote bag that contains water, meds, crossword puzzle book, magazine, etc.

    I also take my cell phone to call people. Even a transistor radio. I have a pad of paper so I can sit and make notes about things I need to accomplish etc. At the end of the day, I feel at least I accomplished something.

    After going through the experience of being housebound for over 5 years, I made a decision it had to stop. I will never, ever stay inside like that again. I mean that, for the rest of my life. It is not living to be cooped up inside your house like that.

    I do exactly what I have told you to do. Each day I am out of the house at 8:30 am. I am up, dressed and out the door within 30 minutes from the time I get up. I go have breakfast at the hospital cafeteria. Usually "cream of wheat and toast". I then sit down and watch people and work on a crossword book. Often, I doze off for several minutes, off and on.

    If I am feeling ok, after resting I will run a errand to deliver mail to the office and whatever else.. - then I return somewhere I can sit a rest while being out in the world.

    I stay in communcation with my office all day by phone, so I am working from that aspect also.

    My husband and I meet each evening at 7pm for dinner. We have several places we alternate eating at. (Sometimes we eat at home).

    I truly believe from what I went through that once we allow ourselves to get really sedentary, it gets worse, and it further weakens our immune system. We lose our muscle strength and get weaker by the day.

    If you are out of the house, even just sitting, you have walked quite a bit and psychologically you are not isolated. If you stay in the house, it is impossible to get any meaningful walking.

    Fortunately, I own my own business so I was always able to work by phone and computer from home but I don't want to work at home, or even be home during the day.

    With my business I do have a outside office with two people working but I rarely work there. I have a second office that is just for me in the village area of town. Lots of shops etc. My little office has blinds so if I want to doze off, no one will see me, ha ha.

    I have tried my best to live with this illness and not let it keep me inside the house. I may seem totally weird I know. I just could not go on as a housebound person.

    [This Message was Edited on 12/12/2005]
  12. Tantallon

    Tantallon New Member

    I was feeling so isolated and so down before I posted, but you all have uplifted me. I have made a note of all your suggestions and realise that just sitting and feeling sorry for myself is not the way to go.

    I have read all your profiles but yours Shannon tugged at my heart especially. I hope that one day you will get a chance to experience life and that there is a special man waiting for you out there.

    The world seems a much smaller place to me now,
    With love, Sue.
  13. Sheila1366

    Sheila1366 New Member

    I like to think of things to make,or fantasies about a book I am writing making the top ten sellers.I am writing about my life for my own sanity and to give to my children one day.I just started sewing.I can't do alot of walking or sitting at the sewing machine for too long cause it hurts too much later but I do try and keep busy in spurts.I think hobbies are good.Try and think of something you can do_Or sit down and write some letters to friends or family you have lost touch with.I stoppped watching tv as much,it just depresses me even more.I would rather listen to the radio or to a cd.While life is still reconnect to who you are.When we are still we can hear ourselves speak.Take time to heal you wether in be physical or emotionally.
    I hope this helps,
  14. Sheila1366

    Sheila1366 New Member

    I just read the post about getting dressed and getting out.My daughter is handicapped and is homebound with me.I don't care if we just get dressed and ride around in the car and listen to music , it gets us out of this house.Now I may feel like crap doing it but I refuse to stop living for myself and my family.This illness just makes me very angry and determined to not let it control my life.Now by the end of the day I am hurting really bad but I can atleast think of the fun stuff my daughter and I got to do.I am fortunate that I do have my daughter with me 24/7.having a constant companion does help.
    ANyway I just wanted to say how much I agreed with the getting dressed and getting outside.
  15. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    If you used to like gardening, how about growing some indoor plants. Herbs for cooking and teas can be grown indoors. I currently have a parsley plant amount my houseplants. When the days get longer, I am going to try to start some salad greens in a pot. Maybe try your hand at growing orchids.

    Computer games of the puzzle or strategy type (not the shoot-em-up type) consume a lot of time, but accomplish little beyond entertainment.

    Charity craft work makes you feel still a useful member of society. There is a post about knitting for hurricane refugees that I think is still on the first few pages of the board. You can also knit or crochet items for nursing homes and hospitals. I you are just learning, you can make ‘comforters’ for animals in shelters.

    Coloring is calming and relaxing (really). If your too tired for anything else, try listening to books on tape. Most public libraries have them. Most libraries also have videos and CDs, including game CDs.
  16. caroleye

    caroleye New Member

    Just want to say what a joy it is to see such "creative" & talented people out there, who are doing the best they can with what they've got.


  17. MamaR

    MamaR New Member

    I read your post and see myself about two years ago...and before. I fought SO VERY hard to continue to work. I beat myself up over and over about it, but in last few months I think I have finally excepted that I can't work anymore. I am going to apply for disability.

    Of course, I am in such bad shape with FIBRO, COPD, OA, discs in upper and lower back keep me down...have to see a surgeon after Jan 1. Plus, waiting for results back on my heart tests.

    I'm sure that you are younger than not as many hopefully you are in a flare and will get better...and can go back to work!!

    I had to do hobbies...when I can without too much pain! I love crocheting and I have a few house plants. Hope to be able to do more in yard soon! I just refuse to give up completely.

    If you can sit at the computer for awhile at a time....have you ever been interested in genealogy? I started mine and have traced my mother's family back to 1830. They came from the Cherokee/Creek Indian grandmothers at least. They married into Irish, English, & French.

    Just a thought for you. It is so rewarding!

  18. Highlandrose

    Highlandrose New Member

    I know where you are. I was stuck there several years ago. Terrified to drive, hurting all the time and bored out of my little pea brain. I wracked my mind, chatted online until I thought my head would explode (it was really scary...I'd be online for 5-7 hrs at a time in a chat room).

    After talking to my mom I decided I'd do something that would keep my mind active even if I was sitting in a chair at home. I took up Genealogy research. In the space of a year, I'd documented one side of my family back to the 1600' But at least my mind wasn't going stale. Called my local library and asked the librarians if they'd help out by doing interlibrary loans for me and dropping books by or picking them up. I'd been a steady "customer" for years before this. They went so far as to have the Bookmobile come to my house! That was totally so totally unexpected!! They brought my books by, plus kept a list of what I liked to read and had those on board as well. Couldn't have asked for a better group of friends.

    Friends would drive me to the grocery store so that wasn't a problem. They'd pick me up if they had errands to run and were going by my place. They even drove me to the drs when my husband had to work. Once I got to the point where I was willing to try driving, they'd take me out in my car just in case I started to lose it. From there it's been nonstop for the last 2yrs :) They were terrific.

    My dogs and birds were a great help, too. I lived in a trailer park where we had to walk the dogs. They couldn't be put out on a line or live outside. So at least 4 times a day I had to get out and walk them. No easy task with 2 big dogs...but I did it! Even trained them both to stand steady if I had to sit down and then needed their help to get up. The birds would chatter to me, do silly things when I was down and made me laugh.

    Hope this brightens your day and gives you some ideas for ways to reach out and find things to keep your mind going.

  19. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    for your kind reply. I just started reading Dr. Phil's new how-to-get-a-man book, "Love Smart," so that when I get out there, I'll be ready!

    I liked someone's idea about the knitting for charity things.

    Take care everyone! No cabin fever in this group!
    (((love)))) Shannon
  20. catsmeow369mi

    catsmeow369mi New Member

    I love to make bracelets(that I try to sell), I love to read(when I don't have brain fog), and I absolutely love my cats.

    I hope this helps.