Multiple sclerosis, Struggles

From push to pace

I’m what you’d call a bit of a workaholic.

I regularly put in 50-hour-and-above weeks before winding up an MS patient, working odd shifts and split schedules. I’m such a nerd in that my idea of leisure time involved learning how to get better at my job by taking on projects in coding, video editing and design.

I even tried to go back to work two days after leaving the hospital.

It’s why that whole “slow down” mantra hasn’t quite sunk in yet.

Except that it has — if not in my brain then in my body.

Energy conservation is a big concept among MSers and others with auto-immune diseases. There is a spot-on way of looking at this called The Spoon Theory, which has nothing to do with The Matrix and essentially says that we start off each day with an allotment of spoons (energy). Certain tasks normal folk take for granted (getting ready for work, for instance) are actually energy-zapping activities for us that use up some of our spoons before the day has even truly begun.

And to continue the analogy, I thought for the longest time I had more spoons than I actually did.

I was pushing myself and not pacing myself, and it was becoming obvious.

At work, who hasn’t entertained the idea of taking a mid-afternoon nap? The difference is, I now actually have fallen asleep at my desk. I’ve had to leave early and adjust my schedule so as to not overdo it. Luckily for me, I have understanding bosses and the flexibility to work from home when needed.

This week was interesting in that it demanded more than usual from me – Election Day is like that. I haven’t rebounded from Tuesday like I had expected, hence the lack of posts.

One of my biggest fears with MS is that there will come a time when I can’t work and I have to go on permanent disability.

One of my biggest hopes is that it will never happen, that I’ll be one of the good stories, that I’ll always have enough spoons.

I’m working on it. But not too hard.

4 thoughts on “From push to pace”

  1. Hi, Jenn. What an awesome post! Yeah, 10 years into it, I’m sill working on it. But as long as I can keep dishing it out, I’ll spoon feed this disease with everything I’ve got! Pace yourself, but by all means, dig it! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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