We could stop right there with the article title and begin delving into the woes of shopping while listless, weary, and exhausted from lupus. But, that sounds way too depressing! With your permission, our musings can head in a different direction. This idea is little about fatigue and completely about trusting my memory!
Recently, my husband consented to go along on a trip to Costco to buy many giant-sized packages of groceries to feed the five grandchildren (and their mom and dad) who are temporarily living with us. Then, a quiet little “how can I possibly do that” panic overtook me when he responded, “okay, let’s go right now”. There was no shopping list, and I didn’t have time to write one! What mattered most was having a willing cart pusher and muscular package lifter to help.
Shopping listlessly (is that really a word?) with lupus is never a very good idea, mostly because of the well-confirmed short-term memory failures in my past. Listlessness made me too likely to purchase items already on my shelf at home while forgetting to buy the things that are needed the most. With my short term memory in a somewhat challenged state due to impacts of CNS lupus involvement, shopping with a well thought out list is usually a much better idea!
A nifty high tech solution suddenly popped into an otherwise not so clear brain. Why not go through the kitchen and just take pictures of what IS in the cupboards, and then check the pictures on my cell phone if we cannot remember whether we need an item. So, my husband patiently waited, smirked and chuckled a little while I went through the cupboards speedily snapping photos with my cell camera, and even held the fridge door for me for my impromptu visual inventory. So after a quick dash around the kitchen, it was time to set out for some listless grocery shopping. Had we stumbled upon a great new technique to simplify shopping? Maybe not, but perhaps we could spend the grocery dollars a little more wisely than without the photos.
As we headed out in my husband’s pickup truck, there were a few minutes between home and Costco for glancing at the photos to see what might have been on a list if one actually was written. Soon, we were walking up and down the Costco aisles filling the cart. Believe it or not, the “listless method” actually worked well. During those moments of matrimonial debate about what we should buy, a photo became the final judge. Why had this not occurred to me before? There is nothing like virtually taking the kitchen along to remove uncertainty. In one instance, mustard was at issue, but the picture of an unopened bottle on the shelf solved the question quite nicely.
While it is unlikely list writing will stop completely at our house, perhaps once in a while I will pull out this newly minted approach when time to plan is at a premium. I can count on the perfect recall of my digital record in those moments when recall by my lupus challenged memory cannot be trusted. We will put this idea on the “one more use for a cellphone” list!