“To err is human, but when the eraser wears out ahead of the pencil, you’re overdoing it.” – Josh Jenkins
Once again, my body has convinced me that it knows more than my will. I have always been a go-getter. When I want to get something done, I will push myself to get it done. In my previous life, this was useful. It helped me to achieve a lot by an early age in my career. I managed to travel a vast amount of the world, and seemed to have unending energy. Twenty-one years into dealing with my MS diagnosis, things have changed. Unfortunately, my will has not.
I wrote last week about feeling like I was finding my way out of the frozen state I have been in lately by learning the new hobby of knitting. Last week, I was determined to get a move on with my life. I wanted to return to doing what I wanted when I wanted to do it. Friday, I decided I would start to clean my house. It was a mess after having my infusion the week before that caused me to have very little energy. What I should have done, was to pick a room and clean that one room. I think that was my intent when I started. However, I ended up cleaning my whole house. Vacuuming, mopping, dusting, windows and bathrooms. All in one day. I was so tired and cranky by the end of the day. In my mind, I tell myself “Good job. Now I can rest for the rest of the weekend.”
However, the next morning, that voice seemed to have been silenced. I woke up and it was a nice day out. We have had few and far between of nice days. It has been rainy for so much of our summer. I decided it would be a good day to work in the garden. If I had done a bit of weeding or a bit of pruning, it would have been OK. I love working in my garden and it brings me so much joy. When I overdo it though, it just becomes frustrating. My balance is really affected by my MS. Trying to stay steady on uneven ground and bending down repeatedly are not parts of a positive equation for me. Add on to that, it was a warm day which always makes things worse. Again, midway through the day, I was a sloppy mess again. Physically and emotionally.
Then starts another cycle. I start to berate myself for doing too much. Why didn’t I stop earlier? Why is a little never enough for me? Trying to get my life back, usually means I am going to overdo it and be a disaster for a few days. It is worth adding that I have been dealing with sciatica as of late. On Sunday, I woke up with a brutal bout with it. Of course, I had overdone it and now I am paying the price. I could not even walk upright when I woke up and spent most of the day sitting and reading. It is times like this that I wish I would listen to my body before it screeched and forced me to stop.
The other day I had gone in to the city to return a purchase I had made and then picked up coffees and brought them to a friends to sit outside of her building for a chat. She started talking about that she had been doing too much and wondered when she would get the hang of needing to pace herself. I had grim news for her. I have been diagnosed for three times as long as her and I let her know that in my opinion, some people just have a personality that fights against pacing ourselves. Unfortunately for her, she seems to be similar to me and seems to like to push herself. I am not making that statement as a badge of honour. I genuinely hope that I can figure this out without having to go the next 21 years living in this vicious cycle. What am I going to do today? Sit with a heating pad on my leg and read by blog entry from two years ago on pacing yourself and hope that some of it sinks in. Driving at 70