Schnoodles, fatigue and need for naps
Meet Mitzi, a one year-old Schnoodle. Pretty cool for a little girl. I'm more familiar with larger dogs, mainly hound dogs that have been trained to track bears and such. In fact, this little girl is about the size of a gray fox we treed once, but that is another story, from many lives ago.
For now, I'm watching a one year old schnoodle chase lizards throughout the yard while sipping Yogi tea from Eugene, Oregon. The tea which I have forgotten so many times to actually pour into my mug and is now tepid but quite flavorful.
Mitzi has quite a bit more energy then myself these days. She is a great example of understanding the necessity of naps. And I think I can speak for the entire MS population as to how embarrassing it can be to have to say you need to take a nap. One year your an executive vice president and the next you have to ask for a nap. But you have your life, right? could be worse. could always be worse...
We don't hear the dogs say, "well, now, I'm a bit tired because I....blah, blah, blah..". The fact is that they get tired and they take naps. Dogs don't need to make excuses or reasons why they are fatigued. They just go to sleep. How nice would that be for MSers? To be able to just go take a nap when needed or to say, "I'm a bit spent, I'll do that at another time" without being given that look. You know the one, the one that says, "you lazy sack ...".
Interesting that many MSers are over-achieving, multi-tasking, people-pleasing people who know how to cowboy up better than most. The fact is, MSer's have to learn how to chill out. And try to chill out without people giving you that look. Folks just don't understand MS or what the fatigue can be like. Unseen on the outside so must be fine on the inside. If we wore our fatigue like a rash across our faces then folks would understand.
I was fortunate that my illness debilitated me to the point of losing my ability to see or walk unassisted. My friends saw the results of this horrific attack and we were all relieved that I was not stricken with something worse. We were collectively grateful for my diagnosis. With that in mind, I wasn't judged by my close friends as they saw me go from a jello jiggler to a somewhat functioning human being.
But many MSers carry around the fatigue that is seen only on the inside. The public doesn't see it. Their co-workers don't see it. Their friends don't see it. And if it's not seen, well then, we know it doesn't exist. Forbid we should actually look healthy because than the doubt really comes into their eyes. Shouldn't we all be in wheelchairs?
I was fortunate. I ventured back into the corporate world relatively soon after my diagnosis. My vision and balance were still at about the 3- martini level, but the rest of me was coming back. And my brain was in need of some major stimulation. So back to work I went. With one caveat: Nap time.
I did. I literally asked for nap time in my job description. Heck, they were getting me as a blue-light special and they were taking a chance. But it worked out. It was the necessary next step in my life, and it included mandatory nap times. I would lock my office door, lay down on the floor and set my Handspring's alarm (this was some eight years ago). "WUP" is how the date entry was listed. Wake - UP. WUP.
Now I get to WUP pretty much anytime I want. An absolute treat for MSers. Even if it's a 20 minute meditation of quieting the mind. It's all good for learning how to chill, thus becoming healthier by the day.
In fact, I'm off to wup right now. My fingers are fatigued. Mind, eyes, and body quickly following...
We only come around once - it's our life we are talking about. So listen to me: No apologies. If you even think the word nap. Take a nap!
Posted by Caroline Craven