Fibronaut At Home

Slow and Steady-Tips for Grocery Shopping without Killing Yourself

on September 4, 2013

As I limped through the grocery store today, I realized something.  I have yet to do a post about grocery shopping with Fibro and CFS.  I’ve mentioned that I don’t do it, but that has changed somewhat in the last year.  I occasionally go to the grocery store.  I am more apt to go when I have the kids to help me or my husband to drive me.  I usually try not to do anything else, especially if I’m by myself.  Today, I had other ideas.  The stupid, I-think-I’m-invincible kind of ideas that only lead to pain and muscle spasms.  I can probably look forward to a headache later as a “special” bonus.

I had my annual woman’s appointment today.  Thankfully, the Physician’s Assistant was very experienced, friendly and forgetful.  Despite having my chart, with my age and number of children I’ve had, and despite asking me if I have children and saying that she was almost twice my age, she was very gentle with me.  Normally, these exams are very painful for me, but today was not too bad.  Having expected to be in a horrible mood after the groping by a stranger that I pay them to do to me, I agreed to have lunch with the hubby so he could cheer me up.  Then I thought, “I really need a couple of things from the grocery store”.  Why I even attempted this is beyond me.  Clearly, I needed the reminder of how I’m not the old me.  Hopefully, my helpful tips with not only help you all, but will also stick in my mind, so I don’t attempt the self-torture I subjected myself to today, again.

  • Don’t drive yourself to the store.  Especially if you are in a flare or if you are doing other errands on the same trip.  If you do have to drive yourself, make sure you conserve energy and park as close as possible to the entrance.
  • Slow and steady wins the race.  Do not walk fast at any time.  I get into this mode, especially when I have a list and I end up hurting before I’m to the first item.
  • Plan on your trip taking twice as much time as you think it will.
  • When you are by the restroom, use it.  If you have children with you, make them use it too.
  • Make a good list.  Put items that you know are close together in the store, next to each other on the list.
  • Ignore the starers.  People always stare at the person limping through the store.  Or, if you really want to freak them out, say “Hello”.  Most rude starers get flustered by this.
  • Walk to one side of the isle.  This allows you to walk at your pace and gives the “tailgaters” a chance to pass you.
  • Ask for help if you need it.  Don’t attempt any heavy lifting.  If you wouldn’t lift it at home, find another shopper or a store employee to help you.
  • When u-turning your cart, walk to the end and pull your cart around.  This is much easier than trying to push it that way.
  • Groceries don’t mind being left in the bags.  When you get home, if you are too exhausted or in to much pain, only bring in the things that can’t sit in your car.  Leave them in their bags, shove them in the refrigerator and the freezer and rest for a while.
  • Remember that even the motorized carts require you to have your arms elevated to push the buttons and you have to stand up to get most items.  The backs are so far back from the handles, you may end up hunched over, causing back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain and headaches.  I have found that using the carts takes just as much energy and makes my muscles hurt worse than walking through the store.  At least when I’m pushing the cart, I can use it as a walker.  I also didn’t like the looks I got when I was in the cart.  I was always so tense because I felt people judging me and because I am not coordinated and would run into shelves and my children and I had many near misses with the people who automatically ignore someone in a motorized chair.
  • Stay alert in the parking lot.  Today, when I was taking my cart back, I was almost hit by a car.  Not my fault.  The girl backing up didn’t even look before she started out of the spot.

I am sure there are many other tips for grocery shopping successfully, but I’m almost dozing off as I type this.  Maybe I’ll add more later or if there are things you do, please comment.

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3 responses to “Slow and Steady-Tips for Grocery Shopping without Killing Yourself

  1. Wow, this parallels my life! I also have found over the years that it’s easier on me if I make frequent small trips to the store rather than doing the entire weeks shopping at once. Inconvenient for some but the short trips are more tolerable to me and don’t wipe me out for the rest of the day.

    • csgomez79 says:

      It is especially inconvenient for me because the closest Wal-Mart is a 20 minute drive. I used to have my husband go to the store after work for me, but he has been leaving work so late that I feel badly doing that all the time. That was why I even attempted the trip. As long as I was that way, I figured I better take advantage of it. Not good, especially with not kids to grab stuff or help push the cart.

  2. Jumping_Jenny_444 says:

    Those are some good tips! I wish there was a supermarket close to me, but all of them are at least 20 minutes away. My family has been kind enough to get my groceries because if I were to drive myself to the store, I’m afraid that I won’t have the energy to drive myself back home.

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