As I write this I feel an overwhelming need to sleep! I’ve done a lot over the last few days as I was feeling ok but am obviously paying the price today as fatigue threatens to claim me. I’ve dragged myself to an upright position to think about good days and bad days.
When I was first diagnosed with MS in 2008 I read a lot of information online about managing fatigue. A lot of the advice seems to be to conserve energy wherever possible but when I’m having a good day I want to cram as much in as possible. This may mean that I’m a mess the following day but at least I had 1 day of activity rather than 2 days doing not a lot but feeling like I want to do more. I don’t know what the answer is, especially as there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it.
A few days ago I wanted to make an appointment to have some threading done on my face as I was beginning to resemble The Yeti! My friend does it at her flat and she was going on Holiday so I needed to go before she went away. I made the appointment as I was going out anyway; I had a physio appointment at the hospital at 1.00. As I was feeling pretty good when I made the appointment it didn’t occur to me that all this activity might finish me off! I parked just outside her block, hobbled through the courtyard, into the lift and up to her floor. All was going well so far and I emerged 20 minutes later looking much less hirsute as when I went it. I hobbled back across her courtyard and into my car where I rested for a few minutes before driving across town to the hospital.
Although there are disabled parking bays just outside the entrance to the hospital, the walk to the physio department seems unnecessarily long and always leaves me exhausted by the time I get there. Luckily there are chairs strategically placed along the way so I had a tactical sit (and wee) on the way. The appointment went ok except I was completely hopeless at all the exercises we were trying as fatigue had weakened everything. Sitting up was a challenge! I then had the long walk back to the car to contend with and was so pleased when I eventually made it back that I forgot about how I was going to get from the car to the house when I got home! Anyway, I spent the rest of the afternoon on the sofa looking forward to bed time and feeling an overwhelming sense of achievement that I hadn’t cancelled either appointment.
I fully expected to pay for all this exertion the following day but I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed, springing out of bed and dong my exercises without complaint! I skipped along to a dentist appointment (including negotiating a steep flight of stairs) and then spent the afternoon having a treatment with Anthony Coyne (see previous post “Pialtes and exercise”) I then spent an hour with a client discussing mentoring for his Life Coaching business. My brother and his family came round for a couple of hours after this and I was thoroughly exhausted by the time I went to bed.
I have woken up this morning a shadow of my former self! Was it 2 days of activity that has finished me off? Should I have taken it easy yesterday even though I felt full of beans? If that is true, which activity should I have cancelled, the dentist, the treatment, work or seeing my family? Social activities are usually the first to be binned, especially as they often take place in the evening. I have lost touch with lots of friends over the past few years due to cancelling engagements or just not feeling up to making them in the first place. This doesn’t do a lot for my self-esteem or feelings of isolation.
I have also made changes recently to my diet, cutting out processed food and eating much more fruit and vegetables. I’ve also cut down wine consumption to one night a week so should be feeling armour plated what with all the exercise I’ve also incorporated into my daily routine.
Luckily I have a lazy day today and will put my feet up when I’ve finished my ramblings! I still feel that cramming as much in when you feel good means you can have some semblance of a “life” a few days a week so will continue to overdo it when I can.