A big reason why I have been doing so well has to do with how I have been able to organize my days & keep a very low-key schedule. I would understand anyone who looked at my life and said ‘Boring!” It has been a small price to pay when I consider its benefits for a quality life.
That’s why three doctor appointments, a car that was recently totaled in an accident, a case of plantar fasciitis, and being on my own for ten straight days has me completely exhausted.
The appointments were nominal in stress. See the dermatologist, get my injection of Xolair, and a check-up for my mother. The car accident? My son was rear-ended by a young woman who was on her cell phone and hit him going 85 m.p.h. I am utterly grateful he is alive and well. Plantar fasciitis? It hurts. Being on my own for ten days? I am being whiny. My husband does all of the cooking and most household chores. I have been eating oatmeal and Kellogg’s Corn Flakes almost every meal. I recognize none of these culminate into a crisis.
They do add up to exhaustion. It is both physically and mentally exhausting for me due to the MS. After I completed yesterday morning’s appointments, I just wanted to go home. Life continues, obligations continue. Run to the bank, go to Walgreen’s, and throw in a few more unplanned stops because of the Alzheimer’s. We made visits to several stores as we discovered one item after another left off of the list. All of these are normal events, they just don’t typically collide on the same day. Other things continued on their course: trying to wrap up details of a car accident my husband was in this year, matters regarding with for my son’s college courses, arranging financing for a new car, and multiple conversations with the insurance company from last week’s rear-end collision. Does this sound confusing and disconnected as I line out the things we are juggling? I’m sure it is.
I could proofread, rewrite this several times. It would be orderly, logical, and hopefully more coherent. Instead, it reveals how jumbled my head gets with an overload of information. I relish a simple life. Chaos and unplanned events can spiral out of control so that a normal event soon becomes an emergency.
I came home from the morning’s activities, wrapped up a few phone calls, and slept. I only had three hours before I had to return for the Xolair injection. A small voice in the back of my head whispered, “You’re forgetting something.” I pushed it aside.
People often misunderstand the feeling of fatigue for someone who has MS. I describe it as that feeling you have from general anesthesia. One moment you are awake, count backwards, and you are fast asleep in no time. I have taken naps in some very interesting places. I love parking lots because I generally feel safe. Once I slept in the back of our minivan as snow fell, the temperatures in the 20’s. I have fallen asleep at friends’ homes while watching a movie. It is kind of embarrassing to have even my closest friends see me drool! I used break time and my lunch hour for a power nap when I worked. Come to think of it, I drooled in a lot of vehicles as well!
It was therefore no surprise that I received a phone call yesterday from my mother’s home care provider. Her medicine dispenser was empty. Ahh, yes. I begin mentally pleading for mercy. It is now 6:30 p.m. I am settled in, I am mentally shutting down for the day. The voice whispers, “You have to go over to her facility, you have a responsibility, it isn’t about you. Go.” The nurse provides the sweetest words, like nectar for the hummingbird. “It is okay. I can make an exception one time.”
I am so thankful for the merciful people God places in my life. Those who understand I fall asleep on them because of fatigue, not boredom. The ones who say, “Let me take care of that. You have a lot on your place.” when their daily calendar is overflowing. The email or text of encouragement that says, “I don’t walk in your shoes. I may not understand. I just want to encourage you.” I say thank you each time as I wonder if they truly understand how much I appreciate their grace. It feels like cool water running down my face on the hottest day, offering refreshment.
As long as I can remember,
good people have never
been left helpless,
and their children have never
gone begging for food. – Ps. 37:25
Who can you extend a hand of mercy to today? They probably appreciate it far more than you can imagine.