Physical exhaustion is hard but emotional exhaustion brings my fatigue to a whole new level. Frustration, upset, any sort of hard emotional knock brings me down hard and fast.
Yesterday I went to the "new" therapist for my first session. I arrived 5 min ahead of time (after being totally freaked out by the weird area of town they are in. I'd never been in that particular place before and it is confusing and difficult and it left me shaken and more than a little upset. I hate driving and I really hate driving in a place that is new. emotionally I was rattled.
I got in to the office and then wound up waiting for 45 min... during which time, they seemed to have no record of my appointment. At the 45 min mark, when the receptionist finally said "I'm going to go see what the hold up is." I waved toodle loo and walked out.
I was frustrated, freaked out by getting there and then getting out of there, and depressed because this is the third therapist who has been a total wash out.
I took my son to lunch, we were both famished. We snooped around and I got the stuff to make a cool MS awareness bracelet. We bought groceries (Walmart will drain anyone) and then I drove 40 min home.
I was sick the rest of the day. I lay down as soon as groceries were put up. I wrapped my cooling towel around my neck, stuffed my cooling pad into my pillow and collapsed. I had a "death nap" for about 2 hours! I was nauseous and dragging for the rest of the evening. I had had too much and it should not have been like that.
But I realized it was the emotional part of yesterday. The sense of helplessness and depression as well as anxiety over trying to find the place and then find a parking place (that took ten min by itself) that pushed me over.
I can do a lot physically. As long as I am cheerful and happy, I get tired but not that sick feeling that the MS fatigue brings with it. I rest and I am ok. If I get emotionally and physically worn out, I'm toast.
Anyone else familiar with this?
I have found that stressfull things happening can bring me down immediately. I discovered that fairly early on after diagnosis. My solution has been to work at not letting things get to me. I know, easier said than done, but if someone is doing something to stress me out, I have to find a way to put it aside or let it go (whichever is appropriate for the situation). In other words, I try to let stressful things roll off of me and not cause me physical problems. It makes a huge difference for me. It also tells me that emotions can be significant in how my MS affects me.
I don't know of any such studies, but I can speak for my own experiences. My suggestion is to take control mentally, and don't let someone else turn your day into a miserable one. Stress is something we do have some amount of control over, so I try to minimize it whenever possible. It's really about how we react to things that will make the difference. There is a lot at stake when a reaction a bad as your was, is a possibility.
Thank you so much! I am finding that emotional stress is harder on me than physical. Yesterday just collapsed me. I'm still coming back from it today. I am going to work toward making sure I avoid unncessary stress as much as possible. I cannot afford to go down like I did yesterday.
Emotional exhaustion can take an even bigger toll than anything our bodies put us through. Case in point: when I was working as a crossing guard pre-diagnosis I received the word that my mother-in-law had passed away during the night. I was dragging all day, even though I'd slept pretty well the night before. Because it takes energy to keep yourself upbeat it stands to reason that bad emotions take a toll as well.
Don't let that throw you off. Everyone has good days and bad days. It's how you react to those off days that dictate what you get out of it. It's like that part in The Lion King when Simba gets whacked upside the head by Rafiki and Rafiki simply says, "Ah, yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it you can either run from it...or...learn from it." Good luck, silverfeather, and here's hoping for better days ahead for you.
Thank you Jennifer! (my oldest niece is a Jennifer!) I appreciate it!
I agree with Rhonda and Jennifer that emotional exhaustion can be much worse than physical exhaustion, as you are unfortunately learning from first hand experience. Combined they are a powerful, daunting force. My previous employment was not physically demanding (aside from eye strain looking at computers) but was emotionally exhausting to say the least. In the last couple few years prior to my departure, I was having many issues that I now know are symptoms of MS. Since leaving many (not all) are rarely if ever experienced. I've been physically exhausted but emotionally fine and I have been emotionally exhausted but physically fine; the emotional exhaustion but physically fine had much more impact than the other. I can't imagine what it would be like to experience both at once.
Hi Bill! I experience both together on a rather frequent basis. Being the single parent of a handicapped child and being well below poverty level, many things can emotionally stress me out and my daily life requires I put out quite a bit of energy on a daily basis. It gets to be too much fast.
Silverfeather, It is time to turn this around. That you are at the effect of others is not the place to be. It makes you a victim. Repeat after me: I REFUSE TO BE A VICTIM, I REFUSE TO BE A VICTIM, I REFUSE TO BE A VICTIM. There, no that is fixed. From now on, they better watch out, you now have the power to wreak havoc on anyone who gets in your way.!!!###$%^&*
It is now their turn to watch out for you.
You are now empowered to be responsibile for how you feel, all the time. And to reinforce that power, wear red when you go to the dr, or store, or anywhere outside your home, and when you need to make a phone call of import wear red too, that we be your steel plated armour. Watch out world SILVERFEATHER is on the warpath. Start practicing your warchants. You own your own home free and clear, nothing will get in your way.
You have now joined the 'pitbull club'.
I too am toast if I get physically and emotionally worn out. I've finally made the decision to evaluate a situation ahead of me; will I be too stressed, what can I do to minimize the stress, & if the answer is that I'll be too stressed for what it's worth then maybe it's not necessary. For example, I too had an appointment where I had to drive in unfamiliar territory, & I knew I'd get frustrated & stressed the morning of the appt, so I drove a 80 min round trip the day before the appt & it was so worth it!!! I had a relaxing drive & getting to my appt in the morning rush hour traffic didn't phase me a bit. It's ok to burn a little gas, it was worth every penny & I will do it again for future appts, sounds crazy but I don't care :)
I've realized something too, it's ok to do what's necessary to de-stress, even if it seems odd to the rest of the world. I'm perfectly fine being weird me :)
Take care & God bless you today!
thank you Jen