And Today, I Will Next…

And Today, I Will Next…

Are you starting to wonder, as I am, what other creative activity you can come up with to keep the day rolling and interesting? I have cleaned cupboards, closets, baked, cooked, written, read, made calls to others, sudoku, scrambled words, worked in the garden when the weather cooperates, worked out daily, walks on nice days, played the piano…….I have found it valuable to keep myself updated on both the national and local news. I have attempted to avoid overexposure to TV news as this can prove counterproductive in my efforts to remain resolute in the face of such extreme tragedy. The TV comes on at night to check the news and then that is it.

Ellen Lenox Smith

I try to stay calm and positive in the face of having most of my ordinary bearing being shredded by this pernicious disease. I make every effort to focus on living with purpose and direction which, to say the least, is no small task. But that challenge to hold on and be positive does not work every day. Some days, the horror of this pandemic does penetrate my soul despite my best efforts to keep it at bay and I suddenly am not feeling the happy person I like to be. For instance, the notice of my friend’s husband dying of Parkinson’s and her not being able to celebrate his life with those that care was just heartbreaking and I carried some intense dark feelings for a few days. And those rainy days are they pits – not being able to get outside at a time like this just makes it harder to cope.

So could these suggestions possibly help?

  • Try to stay with a schedule
  • Remember exercising is important to the body and soul
  • Get dressed and do not always just wear lounging clothes
  • Keep yourself up on the news but do not let it become your focus. Get educated on the news but don’t listen all-day
  • Try to come up with projects to take on that make you happy – cooking, organizing, coloring, sudoku, scrambled words, gardening, letter writing, exercising, etc.
  • Contact and check in on those who might be alone. Keep up with family and friends
  • Create a journal logging in the pandemic’s effect on your life that someday will be passed on to the next generation who may not believe some of what they read you have been thought.
  • Take photos that will be sharing the experience of this unusual event you are living through. Not often do we see empty streets, parking lots and so many out walking around with masks on

We are trying to endure and survive by engaging in activities that will hopefully serve to support our emotional and physical well-being. We are in this situation through no fault of our own, but we do have a stake in how we take this on. Is it easy living with chronic medical conditions and taking on the pandemic? Not at all. For those of us living with chronic medical conditions have had to learn to develop coping skills. We have been forced by our circumstances to substitute new activities and skills to replace what we have lost. So let us keep using those creative skills, continue to use our common sense, and stay safe. We may not be able to control when this pandemic ends but perhaps we can have some input into how it ends. And may all of the readers of this article continue on with life when the dust settles. Wishing you well.

May life be kind to you,

Ellen Lenox Smith

Author of: It Hurts Like Hell!: I Live With Pain– And Have a Good Life, Anyway, and My Life as a Service Dog!

The information in this column should not be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is for informational purposes only and represents the author’s opinions alone. It does not inherently express or reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of National Pain Report.

Featured image: ID 98486187 © Yuryz |

Authored by: Ellen Lenox Smith

Ellen Lenox Smith and her husband Stuart live in Rhode Island. They are co-directors for medical cannabis advocacy for the U.S. Pain Foundation, along with Ellen on the board and they both also serve as board members for the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition. For more information about medical cannabis visit their website.

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Laura Smith

I just wish I could have a couple hours a day pain free to do all these things!! I am barely able to get up in the morning, dress myself and feed my animals! I spend a lot of my day just trying to convince myself that suicide in not the answer!! Laundry, cleaning cupboards, etc are NOT in the picture for me! Only more pain!

Ellen Lenox Smith

Becky – I almost undid my wait in line when I first applied for my service dog due to the money issue but they set up the page with me and she got paid for totally by others and with the second one I am waiting to be with matched with, it was paid for by others in two weeks – Trust me if she gets accepted, things will fall in place and people love reaching out and to help you financially – go for her right match instead – it’s worth it and will give her love, support and help you can’t imagine. Look up NEADS that I use for they are just a wonderful organization

Elizabeth Rogers

Those who believe that the government is being “dictatorial” might do well to remember that, for most people, a very basic freedom is the right to continue living, if we elect to do so. Today the entire world is in daily combat with an extremely dangerous new virus (no vaccine, no effective treatment!) that has already killed almost 60,000 Americans with more to come. How many more can be largely up to what we do as individuals.

Our country is getting a constant stream of misinformation and conflicting messages at the federal level, so some governors have stepped up to defend their states’ residents. I live in WA State; although the number of new cases (and deaths) continues to rise, we have begun to flatten the curve. That is good news! We’ve been essentially locked down since mid-March and will remain at least partially so for many weeks/months to come.

I’m 83, and I suppose some would say that I’m just another old person who is entirely expendable. Maybe so, but I’d like to have a say in making that determination and I’m behaving accordingly. I’m actually not especially afraid of death (in fact, on rare occasion have considered hastening the process due to serious persistent pain), but I do NOT want to die alone in an ICU gasping for breath!

I appreciate the efforts of my state’s leaders to minimize infections and deaths. While I understand that many younger people want (and need) to get back to work and resume some semblance of normal life, the coronavirus can make them very sick and even kill them–even if they do not care about their parents, grandparents or a best friend who has cancer or lupus.

James McCay

Thank you for your kind post Ellen. I WISH I could do ANY of the things in your 1st paragraph, but I’m too bedridden; have NO FAMILY & my only friend was SO SCARED by our idiot Gov.Cu-OH-NO in NY he locked himself in his house 3-weeks ago & WON’T LEAVE! Cuomo neglects to realize that Governors NEED to put some HOPE in their speeches! The1st couple of weeks all Cuomo did was SCARE THE HELL OUT OF EVERYONE!

I’ll tell you what Homebound/mostly bedridden people can do. Get a FREE account at (Publishers Clearing House). Then they have lots of daily LOTTO games, Scratch Off tickets, games; ALL FREE & I WON $100 the 1st week I used the site!

You don’t have to BUY ANYTHING! They say things like “We hope you buy to keep your VALUED status.” but if you don’t buy nothing changes! LOL
You get different STATUS levels for playing a certain number of days in a row (which is how I’m sure I won $100). Give them your real info, BUT NEVER GIVE THEM A CREDIT CARD (unless you really want to buy something). I bought a couple of items I really use. Shipping can take a month…

Then they link to (also 100% free). You get 100,000 to 200,000 credits to start for free. Slots, Blackjack, you name it; they have it- ALL FOR FREE. I play hours a day and am up to $310,000,000 in 27-days! You can’twin REAL money there, but it’s FUN if you like that sort of thing (without remortgaging your house!). HAVE FUN!



Yes ,there isnt any differance in my life today from 2 months ago , The same struggle to balance the remenant of medication over a 24 hour period adjusting from week to week to get more comfort ,making sacrafices on parts of the day when i need to be mobile and when im willing to suffer more as the quanity of tablets hasnt been enough for a while .After writing many letters detailing the areas of suffering and with careful attention to language and respectful overtones to the apn, and Dr through the portal, ive concluded the totalitarain authoritys care less about elders, and even less those with cronic pain syndrome .The clinic i was referred to a couple of years ago, seemed helpful at first and immediatly recomended a spinal implant which i agreed to at once, hoping it would give me my life back or make it much better . The implant is equalivant to a warm towell or a good massage in the area affected which is a bonus but not even close to extinguishing the horrible pain .Day to day activitys are not affected by cervasa scare except for the interesting mainstream news and restrictions imposed on humans which totally amaze my mind as a constitutional law student ! One who listens to language, as law is a science of words, and the devil is in the details, i have concluded besides living with uncontrolled pain and suffering a differant kind of pain will be coming for all around the world, and more so for the land of the FREE & BRAVE ! After the 3/22 declaration of emergency constitution rights were suspended in the name of protection (” Ben Franklyn “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”) My ears were tickled and my mind and soul became troubled , Wasnt the writings of the Constitution contract in a time of extreme emergency ?why is the real data and information from respected DR,s censored .1st and 4th amendment violations ,and odd communist laws enforced !Is this Orwells 1984?.


Thx Ellen. Key is to not get overwhelmed.. for myself taking care of my daughter with my own issues its frightening. For her its terrifying. We are still trying to figure what doctor of what type will be able to figure how to manage her pain down to a 7. If we could just get a 7, dear God. Neurological ‘attacks’ have never been figured out, nor bone pain. Lyme on top of EDS..and our top doc in Toledo says mixed connective tissue disease.. an excellent dermatologist well versed in auto immune found a blood disorder recently which may impede getting IVIG. For those with extreme suffering, there is not much patience for the healthy people complaining who can go back to some semblance of life one day. For those like my daughter who needs help to dress many times, this virus has stopped any help to improve her life. Occupational therapy got one visit.. then covid came…. finally a doc put her in this.. but did not get farther than the cushion utensil coverings. Still waiting to be able get ramps, grab bars, stair lift, all so sorely needed for years. Finally the Dept of Health said she qualified for Home Care and has for years but we didnt know, sadly. Ellen keep doing what you are doing. If you ever get bored we could use some tips for how to find a donated service dog in future for her. I cant do this forever getting older. God bless you always