Kelly Clarkson rocks!!
Check out her cover of
Walkin After Midnight.
Patsy Cline is still one of my favorite artists and
Video is no longer up.... if anyone knows where this can be located let me know!!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Whatcha dooooin?, Part deux!

Ok, when last you left your intrepid blogger he was lamenting over the fact that he had to start thinking about things before he did them. Well, that might be a bit of a stretch but whatever.

I had mentioned that we, the collective we; the we with MS, need to take a look at the things we are currently doing and those things we want to do. When we look we need to be honest and look at what the impact will be at the start, during, and at the end of the activity. Since each person is unique the answers for a given task set (i.e. getting up, taking a shower, brushing your teeth, and getting dressed) might be vastly different. We all have some basic idea of how difficult that task is for ourselves and how much effort we must expend to accomplish it.

For myself it is not terribly difficult. Assuming I am not too cramped/stiff/lazy to get up in the morning the process is fairly smooth and doesn't take too much time. It does not come back to haunt me later in the day. If you apply the same task set to someone confined to a wheelchair then the effort goes up considerably. If you take this person and apply only the most basic of restrictions you still have a huge amount of effort to accomplish a task I barely think about. This person will likely be troubled by the expenditure of effort later in the day, possibly even as soon as a few hours.

If you break your day into these task sets you can then break down these sets into areas based on effort put in versus possible issues later. The example I used is one that all people go through daily (well, I hope daily). There are a lot and I will certainly not try to list them here but some of the more obvious ones are:

- Preparing breakfast

- Checking the mail

- Attending a doctor appointment

- Mowing the lawn

As you can see these are ordinary task sets and each one will be different to one degree or another for each person with MS. The extent to which the disease has taken hold, house vs. apartment, single (with or without caregiver) or significant other, summer or winter, and the list goes on and on. No one person could make a comprehensive list of these sets for anyone other than themselves and certainly could not begin to guess at how easy or difficult a given task, much less the entire set, might be.

I started making a list of the things I do on a daily basis and then began separating them into task sets. Now to be honest the set I used as an example is not complete for myself (I have making coffee, taking out the garbage, and a few others listed) but I thought it was general enough to apply to the population as a whole. I will not bore you with the list I have thus far but I would strongly suggest you do this for yourself. While you are at it, list the things you do on occasion (Do you weed the garden or mow the grass every day?) and create a category for them. Pretty much all of us knows how we are likely to feel after doing something particularly rough (Fixing the cement driveway over the weekend tore me up for Sunday). With this list we can better plan for things or possibly better track if continuing to perform these activities gets any easier with time. Or if they get worse.

Will this work for everyone? Nope. It doesn't mean that you should not still be asking yourself the question. You might find some surprising answers that help you to have a less stressful, painful, or tiring day. As a side note you could pass this along to your normal friends. Let them do this for themselves and then compare it to yours. It might help them to better understand just what you go through to simply live each day.

I find it quite interesting that since my hospitalization and subsequent diagnosis I pay more attention to what it is I am doing. The one bad point is that with many things I am having to just do them and then see what the effect is. Sometimes it is ok and other times the sucktitude meter is off the scale. But that's the way it is going to be. Trial and error. Mix and Match. The list, while never ever really complete, will help me be more careful of those things I know have a price.... or if I am willing to pay the price.

Much thanks to Isabella for asking, "Whatcha doooin?"

and remember;

The quickest way to a man's heart is through his chest.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled internet.


GypsyFox said...

Well I applaud you for seeming to take on your daily tasks with such effort. I am sorry to hear about your MS. I have had a lot of health issues myself & I find it hard to not beat myself up for having horrible knees that both will end up in surgery & having to run after my kids, bein so young..etc. I applaud your strengh & admire it greatly. PS admit is, you love Twilight!

Denver Refashionista said...

Indeed. This reminds me of the Spoon Theory. I agree, everyone has to figure out their list for themselves. I can do lots of little things every day but only three big things.

Thanks for coming by and commenting on my blog.

Have Myelin? said...

I have to wait until "normal life" returns (whatever that means) before I know what daily life means. I applaud you for tackling this issue tho! It is a major one for those with MS.