It’s been a hard week. Or maybe two. I’ve been feeling a lot more fatigued lately. And my recovery periods have had to be longer.
On Monday I went for my swim as usual. But because of the fatigue I got out of the pool a little early. The pool where I go has a zero depth entry. Which means it has stairs that go from deck level down to the pool bottom. They are wide and have a railing. Otherwise I don’t think I’d be able to get into the pool. Recently I’m having trouble getting out of the pool at the steps after my swim.
It was my mother’s 90th birthday on Monday, so I drove to Durham (the city where Duke is located) to meet my older brother and his wife. With a quick stop for lunch and filling up with gas, and it took about 4 1/2 hours. We had a nice dinner out, spent the night, and then I drove back the next day. I normally go to the pool on Wednesday morning, but I was too wiped out to go. I did teach my Bible study that morning. Afterwards, I spent a very quiet afternoon.
Thursday was supposed to be MS self-help group. But the Denny’s where we hold our meeting, was closed for remodeling. So instead I went to Walmart. And you know that the health and beauty section is in one corner and the milk and dairy is in the far corner on the other side of the store. And of course you need things on multiple aisles so there’s a lot of walking back and forth. I was so exhausted when I was through, I had to sit in my car for a bit before I had the strength to go home. And then because my right leg is my weak side, I literally had to pick up my leg with my left arm to get it from the brake to the accelerator and back again.
That afternoon I played with my mah-jongg group for a couple hours. That is always a fun distraction!
Again I was so wiped out, I did not swim today, because I knew I had a therapy appointment. I haven’t done much of my home physical therapy this week either. But I did have a good therapy session this morning. My back is feeling much better, which I really appreciate! However, I am now totally wiped out.
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, “fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of MS, occurring in about 80 percent of people. It can significantly interfere with a person’s ability to function at home and work, and is one of the primary causes of early departure from the workforce. Fatigue may be the most prominent symptom in a person who otherwise has minimal activity limitations.
Generally occurs on a daily basis
May occur early in the morning, even after a restful night’s sleep
Tends to worsen as the day progresses
Tends to be aggravated by heat and humidity
Comes on easily and suddenly
Is generally more severe than normal fatigue
Is more likely to interfere with daily responsibilities”
I’ve heard it said that people with multiple sclerosis use five times the energy of other people to do every little task. I know there’s a lot of discussion about the spoon theory. Which basically says that you have so many spoons when you get up in the morning and then as you do activities you use up the spoons along the way.
Lately, it has seems to take 10 times as much energy, and I’m waking up with less and less spoons every morning. I have a very busy week coming up next week, and I’m hoping that I can make it through.
I will definitely share this with my neurologist. But I’m afraid I’ll hear the dreaded words of “it’s the progression of the disease”. As a former athlete and one has had a very active lifestyle, I think that the fatigue is the worst symptom that I have. I believe my other symptoms would be less severe if it were not for the fatigue.
And on top of all that, I received my Medicare card in the mail. I’ll be turning 65 later this year, and I’ll be making some important decisions on medical coverage because of it. Agh!!
My mind says that I’m still 35, but my body these last couple weeks is telling me I’m 100.