What a Conundrum We Have Here


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.

Showing mercy is a ministry.


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10 thoughts on “What a Conundrum We Have Here

  1. lenwilliamscarver September 18, 2012 at 8:35 am Reply

    I so enjoy your post even the conundrum ones like this one. I hope things get better for you quickly. I am always amazed to see how much you have on your plate and how well you handle it, there comes a time when you just have to rest so don’t push to hard to long.I am saying prayers for you and yours dear Penny , take care.


    • Overwhelmed By Joy September 18, 2012 at 3:21 pm Reply

      Thank you so much! I think my normal boring routine is just around the corner. I am praying for you also.


  2. writerwannabe763 September 18, 2012 at 10:50 am Reply

    I can feel the terrible fatigue that you feel…One of my worst and first symptoms of my MS was this fatigue but over the years and not working and basically having the easy life….as with you my husband does a lot of the housework and cooking…while I do what I can do, the ‘fatigue’ let up… But recently in the past few weeks it is back ..that terrible tiredness that you describe has returned and I see no reason for it other than an MS flareup….It is so hard to think of it being back….Diane


    • Overwhelmed By Joy September 18, 2012 at 3:24 pm Reply

      It is a difficult symptom to manage because it comes on so suddenly, in my case. When this occurs for an extended time, I have a medication called Provigil that does wonders. It was created for narcolepsy. I would recommend a call to a physician for anyone looking for something prescription-strength. Other things like sublingual B-Complex, etc have also had some benefit. I will pray yours does not last long.


      • writerwannabe763 September 18, 2012 at 3:38 pm

        Thank you for the suggestion re the medications I might try…Diane


  3. Cara Olsen September 18, 2012 at 12:41 pm Reply

    First off, I am thankful your son walked away from that auto-accident with his life!

    Our lives seem to be mirror-images at the moment. Usually, by the time the “end” of the day rolls around, I can hardly remember all that I did, or who I spoke to. I’m sure I’ve been to one doctor’s appt. or the other, taken a host of medication, and fought off the desire to lay down and take a nap in favor of a full night of sleep at bedtime. Trials are never easy — especially when you tack-on the “Why” factor. You have my empathy and I am lifting you up in prayer right now. I pray our faith is stretched, and as a result of trusting in Him, we make Him a proud Father.

    ~ Cara


    • Overwhelmed By Joy September 18, 2012 at 3:30 pm Reply

      I am so thankful that my son walked away from that accident also! He may be tired of me telling him what a miracle it is by now. It does sound like our lives are mirroring each others’. Thank you so much for your prayers, and I will pray for you as well.


  4. jtelusma September 18, 2012 at 8:44 pm Reply

    One word…… “Hallelujah”


  5. ansuyo September 22, 2012 at 3:54 pm Reply

    Amen! I am not in quite as bad of shape as you are, but I do have chronic problems that make life difficult. I understand completely!!!! People, even those that live with you, often don’t understand how things that don’t phase others make one overly tired and unable to keep going. I am fighting to get my health back, but it’s a long, slow process that keeps getting knocked off the track. Gonna keep on getting back on though till God takes me home. It’s funny we have so much in common. I don’t have MS. I do have other issues, along with an aging father and mother-in-law… Thank God for husbands who willingly step up when we can’t. I’m glad you stopped by and I found your blog. 🙂 Angie


    • Overwhelmed By Joy September 24, 2012 at 9:20 am Reply

      I’m glad to hear of your attitude to keep fighting! Thank you for your comments and insight.


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