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Well, now that I can't work and have to spend a lot of the day laying down, I was wondering what types of interesting hobbies or past times people have found easy to do given our limitations?


  • Thank you for the great subject. I'm really interested in seeing peoples answers, this could be so helpful for lots of us. I'm a very obsessive person so I need to be obsessing as much as possible...on ANYTHING other than my pain! A number of years ago my husband bought me an iPad. I've never really been into computers, much to my husbands disappointment (he's a super geek!) but this little devise has been a life saver. I play with it a lot more than I should, I chat to family in the UK & friends & I research my hobbies.

    For the last couple of years I've really been into Art Journaling. There's a great community of people. You can basically do whatever you want with whatever mediums you like & there are lots of 'toys' to research. I watch a lot of YouTube vids to study mixed media techniques. The great thing for me is it can even be done in bed!! But if you're not 'arty' it's not for you, unless you like the idea of a writing journal...

    I'm making a 'Family History' book documenting stories, characters, events, collecting old photographs etc. This was inspired by my concerns with my mortality & loosing family members. I've always loved listening to my family telling family stories & thought it tragic that so many will be lost to the abyss of history when those people pass. I also include Mummy & Daddy stories for my kids..it's all for my kids really. ;-)

    I also wrack my brains for fun activities to do with my kids while I'm on my side..not sitting or standing still..Ugh!
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Thses are such great ideas! Tell me more about Art Journaling. It sounds like it involves actually making art (which I'm not so great at), but what is the related Journaling aspect? Writing about art?

    It's so funny you mentioned the iPad because my husband just bought me one as an early bay present yesterday! It is much better than doing the Internet on my phone and easier/lighter to deal with than a laptop! .

    How old are your kids? Mine are 6 and 8 and I have really had a hard time with feeling guilty I can't do so many of the normal mommy things with them. That is such a positive thing to do...spending time coming up with things we CAN do with them. <3
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  • I have to confess that I'm an artist so yes! Art Journaling can be very 'arty' but it doesn't have to be, that's the great thing it can be anything you want it to be. There are groups that use it as art therapy, a way to privately get your feelings out then cover it up with a lovely painty mess. There are those who do very structured beautiful art & others who just collage anything that grabs their attention from magazines etc. then add a bit of paint, pastel, anything! Kids crayons if you like! It's private, it's just for you so it doesn't matter if you're an artist, you don't have to draw, very few do. Just google 'Art journal pages images' click on images & see if you like it...

    Just Journaling - just scribble and write 'stuff', again ANYTHING! If scrawling "Pain Sucks" over & over on a page & it makes you feel good..do it! Writing, even stressing & thinking about what to write (not that you should be doing that) means that you're thinking about that & not thinking about your pain for those minutes. I've really found that thinking about anything, any distraction is the best way for me to deal with my unrelenting pain. I've been through the 'Oh poor me' pity party before & it just made me feel even worse. Getting depressed leaves me with no motivation to do stretches, relaxation exercises, not to mention sleep & diet...when I can't sleep I eat & cry & eat and I try to keep as lean as possible because that's something that also adds to my pain.. This whole chronic pain thing is so much fun isn't it?!? ;-)

    My kids are 4 & 6 so I'm right where you are with the exhaustion, elation, frustration & fears. Chronic pain sucks! All we can do is promise ourselves that we'll do better tomorrow. We owe it to them & to ourselves to really work at pushing the whole pain thing behind us, out of view (I still keep catching mine in the corner of my eye) & move forward. I choose not to steal valuable time from being present with my kids & husband just to feel sorry for myself. I hate saying 'there are still so many things we can do', that sounds so pittyful! We can do fantastic, fun, meaningful things with our kids because unlike many parents, we can take time to be creative, think of amazing projects no-ones ever done before! ...Well that's the idea! Ha ha ha! We spent the day laughing at my husbands attempts to cook carrot cake, thinking of fun names for the bugs my daughter collected, lying on the sofa, doing the voices of various stuffed animals who are visiting the vets...my daughter then 'bandages' them with tape while my son invents bizarre scenarios in which the animals got hurt & watching movies & playing Wii. ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • I am teaching myself the piano at the moment. I like it because it only takes a few minutes to play a piece so I don't have to sit for too long. I just play a piece here and there. Sometimes sitting upright is painful but I wear my TENS machine or use a soft lumbar brace to strap a gel heat pack to my back which helps.

    I also use a regular chair with a backrest rather than a piano stool and often put a lumbar cushion there for extra support.
  • Great! My Dad learnt to play the saxophone when he was 70. Learning an instrument is supposed to be one of the best things you can do for your mind.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
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  • Sandi, the mod here is learning guitar. We've been thinking of getting a piano for the kids. I played as a child. Trying to remember things in detail that I've long since forgotten is a great mental exercise to avoid thinking about pain. Ok to be honest the piano wouldn't just be for the kids ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • I am interested to hear others answers as well! I do a lot of reading. To make this into something that is not isolating, I have joined different book clubs. For those that have issues with traveling, there are online book clubs that set a time and chat about the book.
    2000- spinal fusion, complete spine due to scoliosis
    2012- pain began, started treatment for chronic pain
    2013- install of pain pump, procedures to address complications
    2014-blood patch, spinal fluid leak
  • I've joined some art clubs. Having a dead-line really helps with motivation. Nothing beats total mind absorption in something for pain management.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • I too am unable to travel much. Like online coursework. TV. Documentaries, movies,artwork. Making home videos of my children. Writing, music. There are new things for me to learn. Silver linings!
  • I have turned to container gardening as it is much easier to do than in the ground. I have some fantasitc displayes going right now. I put a pond in about 5 years ago, have to have help in cleaning it but the gold fish and koi and other wild life is awsome for watching. Of course on rainy nights when the frogs come a courting my neighbors hate me....
    I also have a tablet and got hooked on playing words with friends. they sent me a a summary at the end of last year and I had played 188 games, keeps the mind occupied.
    For those that are OCD you can always put up a bird feeder and spend all day trying to keep the squirrels out of it. I gave up on the feeder, but do feed the humming birds.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
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