Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Low Energy Journey

For the past ten years, I have been on a journey that I did not choose to go on - I have been living with MS. These days I think of it as the "low energy journey", as my main symptom is fatigue. I feel like I am running on a quarter tank or less most of the time.

Recently I went to Lowe's for a new hose sprayer nozzle and a few other small things. Though all the items I needed were in the same general area, just walking around in this huge home improvement store sapped up my energy pretty fast. During the long walk to the checkout area, I had to stop and rest for a moment a couple of times.

It's much the same no matter where I go. The more walking I do, the more quickly I run out of gas. But you take a break, and you move on. That's how life is in a lot of ways. You just have to find a way to keep going.

Working with low energy is a challenge. It requires patience, perseverance and often some strategizing. I focus on key things like:

Prioritizing tasks. This is a must these days. I have to stay within my energy budget. I can't do as much as I'd like all in one day, so I have to decide what the most important things to do are for that day. I can only do so much and only go so fast.

Working in some down time. We all do it - try to do more, to squeeze things in. We wear ourselves out sometimes, trying to finish things or to get a jump on things we have to do the next day. I get tempted all the time to try and get more done, but in dealing with fatigue you have to know your limit and try not to push yourself past it. It's important to rest and recharge your battery, then you can get moving again.

Staying positive. I can't change the fact that my body works the way it does now. Sometimes it can be frustrating not being able to do everything I would like when I want to do it, or how fast I would like. All I can do is accept it and work with what I've got. I always remind myself how fortunate I am that I am able to do those things.

It may take me a little longer to get where I want these days, but I know I'll get there.

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