I’ve been dealing with it for 41 years now. Originally, it was just me getting tired quickly, mostly in the summertime. A few episodes of brain fog at school during hot weather, and I could no longer take really hot baths. After about 6 years, I had to start avoiding direct sunlight on hot days. Aside from relapses every few years, the deterioration was so gradual that I just adapted as it came along.
I went to trade school, married, had children, worked full time for 34 years and then part time for a couple after that. I got tired more easily than most people, but I still managed to do what needed to be done. There were days when the laundry basket felt like it weighed a ton, but I was also lugging it up and down 2 flights of stairs. Sometimes I had to stop and sit for a minute in between washing dishes.
But I looked after a 4 1/2-acre yard, mowing most of it myself, planting flower beds, growing berries. We always had a dog. For 16 years, I had to drive 56 kilometers each way to work. My husband wasn’t much good, so I had full responsibility for the house and yard.
I finally had to quit working about 18 months ago, but I still live alone and look after myself. I use a cane once in a while, but unless I’m having a relapse I don’t need it around the house. I still mow about an acre of grass, and I planted a small vegetable garden this year. I don’t clean as often as I should, but I don’t have insects or rodents, just giant dust bunnies! I rarely drive any more, but that’s more of a personal preference.
I have had a couple bad relapses over the years. Back in 2007, there were times when my legs would stop working altogether for a few minutes. I’d fall asleep at the supper table, and there were days when my daughter fed me through a straw. That only lasted a couple months, and then I was back to my normal self!
After this last one, I’m just really tired all the time. Sometimes a single load of laundry takes me 3 days, because it’s so difficult to get in and out of my cellar. I either take a nap every afternoon or doze off in my armchair while watching TV. If I have to go shopping, I rest up the day before and again the day after.
But I’m really enjoying the time I have now! I indulge in my hobbies, sit outside watching nature, and get caught up on my reading. It’s a peaceful life.