Over the past month and a half, with the exception of last Monday, I had not posted anything. Nada. And while I have a tonne of explanations to offer for why that happened, I know that for most people those would just sound like an excuse to being lazy.
But, here goes anyhow. I mean, one of the reasons I started this blog is to raise awareness on MS and how people with this condition continue to live fruitful lives. Another reason was fun. And while I could have written a post about nothing, I’ve already done that.
For one thing I was tired. Not physically tired, but mentally tired. I could not focus on anything, much less focus enough to think of something, or even worse verbalise what I wanted to write. Fog does not even begin to describe the feeling. While I did follow my own advice, and do try to keep a notebook with my thoughts so I can transfer them to my posts later on, even that has not been particularly helpful. This notebook (on which I even stuck an Apple sticker on so I can call it my “other iPad,” an idea I got from my former boss a few years ago) is filled with my scribbles. Random thoughts on various topics, not just MS and health but also life in general, politics, economics, you name it.
This inability to focus also has another side effect. Something to which I guess I have been guilty since I was a kid. And that is being easily distracted, and at times amused or even intrigued with things that others might find trivial. Not to the point of breaking off a conversation to say “ooh, look a kitty,” but the kind of distraction where you go online because you want to read an article or catch up on the news and two hours later you find yourself with 15 tabs open in your browser and watching Larry Bird highlights (an awesome player by the way) and have yet to do what you started out to do.
And then comes the physical fatigue, something that many around me refuse to accept. I get tired way too easily. Period. And it’s been getting progressively worse over the past few months. I lose my balance, or my hand eye coordination. My limit in walking distance these days is about a kilometre (oh, about 6/10 of a Mile). And after that I need rest. Not 5 or 10 minutes of rest, but a good hour or more. On exceptional case I have been able to push this range by about another 50%, but the toll when I do that is too great to do on a frequent basis. I mean, I even get tired doing archery, where I need to remain standing or walk the short distance to the target, retrieve my arrows, and back, several times in the span of an hour.
By the way, and this is very important to understand for any person with a chronic illness, just because it is possible and within our capacity to do something, it doesn’t mean we should. Stop and think that our recovery time (and even the “healthy” need recovery time) is way longer, and appreciate that we do things that will exasperate our condition – perhaps temporarily or perhaps permanently, perhaps immediately or perhaps in the long-run – knowingly and willingly, and because we want to do those things with you, we want to feel “normal.”
Personally, I am trying to work on all of the above. I try to consciously make myself focus, exercise, eat healthier, try and recognise and circumvent distractions, remain calm. And most importantly, I have learned to say that I cannot do something (instead of trying and exhausting myself), and accepting that there is still a lot of unique qualities I can offer. And in doing so, I am trying to claw my way out of this hole. The alternative would be to keep digging deeper and deeper. Instead I chose to set a goal, a realistic life goal, and fight towards it. I know there will be twists and turns, but I have a goal.
All images except featured image from unsplash.com.