One of the biggest ongoing symptoms of MS is extreme exhaustion. This, I have suffered with for many years. Even pre-kids, I would often want to spend my time napping - or not have enough energy for simple things.
Now, with 2 kids, plus the diagnosis, I find myself asking "Am I tired because I have 2 young, busy kids or I am tired because of the MS?" It is this revolving door of symptoms, and for me, a lack of explanation. Back and forth from Motherhood to multiple sclerosis. Ironically enough - some of MS's biggies are also a typical young Mom's life - exhaustion, baby-brain forgetfulness and Mommy-bladder. It's a double-whammy of fun.
Sitting here right now... one kid is at school, the other is napping. And I just woke up from a nap. Nice and rested now? Nope. Now I am having some tea (going full-force caffeinated and not my usual anti-inflammatory green) in hopes of some energy. Maybe stick my head out the front door - fresh air has gotta help, right?
And I think of how to explain it. It's not an "I've been at work for 10 hours today" kind of tired, or a "I have a new baby and only get to sleep in 45 minute spurts" kind of tired. It's a "I feel like my entire body is encased in armour and I physically have to focus on pushing through the weight and sheer exhaustion to do anything." And I suppose the word "tired" doesn't cut it.... it's exhaustion. It's fatigue.
I used to think this was normal. I was a Mom. I was supposed to feel like this all the time. But now I know that this is different. So, so incredibly different. It is physical and mental. And it is, for the most part, always there.
I know that lifestyle choices are going to help this. I have started with diet changes and the introduction of supplements. I am trying to de-stress and relax more. Honestly - the best decision I have made (and never in a million years did I think I'd be saying this) was quitting my job. It wasn't because of the MS - but coincided exactly with the diagnosis. As much as I still love it, and do miss it - there is no more rushing, no more commuting, and finally - finally - I have some time to put myself first. To have some selfish time to listen to my body and not tell it to shut-up. I am so appreciative of that.
"The quieter you become, the more you can hear." - Ram Dass