Managing Frustrations When Fatigue Gets in the Way

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by Young Lee |

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When I started cleaning my place, I thought I’d finish in one evening. I didn’t think that was an unreasonable expectation. An evening is how long it usually takes.

However, after vacuuming just my bedroom that Saturday evening, a sense of exhaustion came over me. My feet ached, and when I looked at my bed, I figured I’d relax and listen to the radio a bit. I sat down, I think I blinked, and when I next opened my eyes, it was morning. I had slept straight through the night.

This happens to me more often than I’d like. Instead of it being only one Saturday evening’s worth of work, I didn’t get my house cleaning completed until Thursday.

This is perhaps just a reality of living with something like Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT). Among the many symptoms of CMT are foot pain, clumsiness, and fatigue — symptoms that generally don’t vibe well with trying to be productive. Sometimes tasks that feel fairly simple get checked off the to-do list with ease. Other times, that same task takes considerably longer.

It’s frustrating and oftentimes discouraging. In the past, there were times when CMT symptoms really got to me and prompted a bit of a fatalistic response. What’s the point? Why bother trying if I can’t always see things through?

I like to think I’ve mellowed out a bit with age. I do my best to keep in mind that a step forward, no matter how small, is a step forward nonetheless. My father long ago encouraged me to “not let perfect be the enemy of good.”

These are important lessons for me to remember when I have the will to get stuff done, but my body isn’t cooperating and demands rest.

I tell myself every bit counts for something. Some days I don’t make it to the gym for my workout, but I can at least be proud if I took my time and enjoyed a quick walk around the block.

Other days I mow my lawn, trim the bushes, make dinner, and feel awesome. I treasure those moments. But I know that I can be the same person with the same worth, even on the days I come up short despite my best efforts.

Such is the case with house cleaning. It might have taken me almost a week, but it’s off the to-do list all the same.


Note: Charcot-Marie-Tooth News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Charcot-Marie-Tooth News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Charcot-Marie-Tooth.


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