Friday, March 27, 2009
I confess, I do not have MS, I got this for a close relative. But I do have fatigue issues for other reasons and thought it would be a good guide anyway. Besides, I got it from LibraryThing for free and I'm a sucker for a free book.
I was impressed by the practical nature of the book. So many self-help or medical books just give advice and leave the mental and practical applications to be worked out by the reader. But the reader needs help, that is why he/she got the book in the first place.
This book breaks down the things that need to be done into small and manageable items. There are multiple charts that help a reader, even one who is suffering from debilitating fatigue, to make changes.
The author also acknowledges that changing routines is fatiguing in and of itself, so offers advice in how to change a bit at a time.
There is also some mental help, helping the reader to give themselves permission to slow down. Making changes and taking naps is not giving in to the disease and does not mean you are weaker or less of a person.
She also writes about the notion that what we accomplish is a defining part of our identity. If we are defined by what we get done in a given day, who are we if we have to decrease those accomplishments? That idea really resonated with me. What is the question you ask when you meet someone; "What do you do?" It is a question that already causes difficulty with most stay-at-home moms. Add a medical problem and the only honest answer is "Not much."
Surely we are more than what we do. We are children of Heavenly Father. We each have the seeds of divinity within us. Whether or not we did the dishes does not change that.
Fighting Fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis: Practical Ways to Create New Habits and Increase Your Energy. Nancy Lowenstein. Demos Medical Publishing. 2009