What Did You Do Today?
Night falls and you go to bed armed with plans for the completion of tomorrow's to-do list carefully written out. When the new morning comes, you're determined to have a "go get'em," productive day. Incidentally, today was productive:
- House cleaned ✔
- Laundry started ✔
- Dinner prepped for tomorrow ✔
Tomorrow's to-do list
All of that was done to get those chores out of the way and avoid overextending yourself by trying to do everything on the same day. The new list for tomorrow features the following to be done:
- Grocery shopping
- Prescription pickup
- Going through and sorting the mail
- Putting the already prepped dinner in the oven
Easy enough, right? Fully intending to have more checkmarks on your list, you think positively, pushing to the back of your mind the lingering possibility of a flare due to the unpredictability of MS.
Ready to tackle a new day, but...
A couple of hours after the new dawn, the time has come to rise and shine. After showering and dressing, you're quite spent and haven't even gotten to the kitchen to get something in your belly yet. As you sit down with your coffee and bagel, you already see the signs. Primarily, that feeling when in just over an hour or so after waking for the day, you feel like you already experienced a strenuous eight-hour workday. (For at least half of people with MS, fatigue is the symptom that causes the most problems in daily life.) You've been here before so you are already cognizant that there may be some tasks undone on today's list.
Unpredictable fatigue derails the day
At this point, you begin to analyze what there is to do that may or may not be feasible to complete - although your desire is to just simply do everything you've planned for today. Benjamin Franklin coined the popular adage, "Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today." You really want to adhere to this apothegm, but MS fatigue has reared its ugly head and you are beyond tired. You've no idea what happened. Yesterday was a great day; you didn't overextend. This morning, you felt refreshed waking up. Breakfast was easy in order to preserve energy.
Putting your health first
Going out was not going to happen, but even trying to go through the mail was tiring. Frustrated, tired, and weak, you drag yourself to the bed and rest for the day. Early evening, you did manage to get the casserole in the oven. So, for dinner? ✔! As for the rest of the list, with no offense to Mr. Franklin, Squidward's line on an episode of Spongebob, "I thought the most important rule was why do today what you can put off 'til tomorrow?" was more appropriate when it comes to living with this MonSter. Our health, safety, and peace of mind are paramount. They come first.
We do the best we can
The answer to 'What did you do today?' from someone with multiple sclerosis may vary from day to day, person to person, stage to stage. We simply do the best we can considering the hand we've been dealt.
Some days are better, some days are worse.
Look for the blessing instead of the curse.
Be positive, stay strong, and get enough rest.
You can't do everything but you can do your best.
My message is simply this: Rest is okay. It is how we find the strength to keep fighting. If all you did today was to survive, that's fine. In fact, kudos on a job well done. See you tomorrow!
How well do people around you understand MS?