The Day In The Life of a VA – with chronic illnesses.
Posted on 25th April 2021 at 17:55
I’ve been asked to write this blog a number of times but never really got round to it and any information I did give out wasn’t actually personal, so I thought I’d let you know how my average day goes.
I’m a VA. I sit at my desk most of the day but even some days that is a struggle. Why? Well, because I have a number of “issues”. I’m not looking for sympathy or attention. I’m just telling you how it is, to run a busy business with Epilepsy, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, and Accessory Navicular (extra bones in my feet).
The days are painful and I’m usually exhausted before I get out of bed. This will tend to explain why I’m a miserable f@rt most of the time. This day is a full-on day so you can see what I get up to from the best angle.
7am – Alarm goes off.
Urgh! I’ve probably been in bed 9-11 hours at this point. I don’t sleep too well, and my body likes to rest in a vertical position so if you’ve spoken to me after about 8pm on a school night I’ve probably been in bed.
I check all 15+ email accounts from my phone and organise them into trash, to do, or action them immediately. This not only allows me to get ahead of things but gives me time to wake my body up and stretch out my already aching muscles. I’ll take any medication I need that day and start to think about getting up. Once I’ve had a quick check of my social channels… Obvs.
8am – Time to get up.
I have my showers in the evening as it’s just easier for me. I’m not in the mood to go through all the palaver of showers and hair washing at 7-8am. No thank-you. I head off downstairs for my first cup of tea of the day. There is no Dee without Tea. I’ll spend the next hour eat breakfast, staring at the wall (I like to zone out and meditate when possible), and getting ready for the day.
I’m already tired and the likelihood is I’m already start to build up on the pain levels. It’s a pain in the ar… well it’s everywhere.
9am – 12noon– Go Go Go!
It’s time to #BeMoreHippo. Hippo mode kicks in and I’m head down catching up on the emails I set aside to be actioned earlier that morning. I like to get ahead of the day. Confirmations for the day will be done, social posts will be posted for the day (if they haven’t been scheduled already). I’ll usually have a client call or two, if not full-blown zooms. If I do any sales calls for clients these will be done in the morning.
<Insert tea break>
I clear my Trello boards of any task’s clients have sent me. I’m not particularly creative in the mornings so any blog writing, graphic creation, podcast editing, will happen later in the day. I constantly check my emails throughout the day and prioritise things as they come through the door.
12noon – Lunch and Meds.
I usually have about 15minutes for lunch so I may have prepared it the night before or it’ll be something quick like a salad or sandwich. If I’m not coping well with my pain that day, then I’ll sort some pain meds out. This can be anything from Paracetamol, to Co-codamol, to tramadol. I have a whole range as I never know how bad the pain is going to be. Will I be aching all day, or will I be sitting at my desk crying? Who knows! It’s chronic pain roulette woohoo!
<Insert tea break >
12:15pm – 3pm
Then I’m back up to the computer. I tend to work 12-3pm most days for a particular client of mine in the fashion industry. I look after their customer service portal, process payments & refunds, communicate with the worldwide shipping companies and keep an eye on their social media.
3pm – 6pm
This section of the day will usually be filled with client meetings / training and lots more general VA related tasks such as social media, graphic creation, blog writing, and podcast production. I’ll also tie up loose ends, fire off any last-minute emails, tidy my office ready for tomorrow and also get tomorrows to do list ready. A tidy desk and planned tomorrow helps with not only my stress levels but generally with my mental health too.
6pm – 8pm
Dinner time! Depending on the day I’ll either be cooking or am cooked for. We’ve tried to keep takeaways to a minimum especially during the week. If I haven’t been sleeping well, I’ll take some super-duper sleeping tablets that take a couple of hours to kick in. This will probably be the first time of the day that I’ve drank any water. Apart from the sips for medication, I’m a camel.
Whilst dinner is cooking, I’ll usually spend 20-30 minutes on my weighted hula-hoop. It’s really easy on my joints and was probably one of the best invests I’m bought in the last few months.
I’ll eat dinner whilst catching up on my social platforms or watching TV. I’ll then have a quick shower and get ready for bed.
Depending on the day this may or may not involve injections. I have to take Anti-TNF injections because of my auto-immune diseases. They’re amazing at what they do – ultimately keeping me out of a wheelchair but they hurt to do, and they also wipe out the immune system response. They also have other hefty side effects such as potential for skin cancer, Blood pressure problems, effecting my organs but it’s all relative. I opted for this course of treatment and so far, it’s done me well. I’m just grateful I could get the funding from the NHS. Each injection costs about £250 and it took years of going through other treatments and getting funding to get to this point.
Bedtime! I’m now in bed. I’ll take my epilepsy meds, pain killers, vitamins and minerals, oils and whatever I have to. I’ll then read, meditate, and try to turn my brain off for the night. This rarely takes less than two hours as due to some seizures a few years back my brain doesn’t turn off like a normal person. I try not to rely on sleeping meds but sometimes I just need to sleep. Even when I’m asleep I’ll sleepwalk and sleep talk so I’m never fully relaxed.
I’ll eventually fall asleep, and it’ll all start again tomorrow.
I love my job and I’m grateful for lots in my life. I’m used to how I have to live, and I understand my bodies needs and requirements. Most of the time I listen but sometimes I’ll throw in some crazy adventure, like climbing a mountain, to help me feel alive again.
I’d love to hear about your average day. Ping me a message on socials and let’s hear all about them!
Until next time,
Tagged as: #BeMoreHippo, Ankylosing Spondilytis, Arthritis, AutoImmune, business, Epilepsy, Health, Mental Health, MMIH, UK, Virtual Assistant, work
Share this post: