When Household Chores Become Too Much with CMT

Jill Price avatar

by Jill Price |

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I cleaned the bathroom yesterday and it now shines and looks and smells great. The downside? I needed a nap after cleaning the tiny room. I am slowly finding that household chores are becoming more and more tiring.

I have Charcot-Marie-Tooth, and the disease is slowly progressing. Although I knew it would happen, I guess I just thought it would take longer or not really happen at all. Now, I am dealing with some symptoms becoming worse and the impact that it has on my everyday life. Most days it is not a huge impact, but on cleaning days, I notice it.

I had put off cleaning the bathroom for too long, and then I decided I would try to make it as easy as possible. I used a spray mop to clean the shower wall. I sprayed the walls and tub with cleaner, then I used the mop to scrub them. This method eliminated the bending and balancing needed to clean the tub. Despite doing that, I was still exhausted, but I eventually finished cleaning the rest of the bathroom, and while the floor was drying, I took a short nap.

The kitchen needs to be cleaned, but it will have to wait for another day. I’m learning that I can’t do too much or I will be too tired to do anything else. I used to be able to clean the entire apartment in one day, but not anymore. I try to tidy up one room each night, which helps to keep it under control. The kitchen and bathroom tend to get a good, deep cleaning on alternating weeks. Usually, after cleaning one of those rooms, I need a nap. My son does have chores: He vacuums, takes out the trash, and is completely responsible for his own room and laundry. He tries to help out when he can.

I am seriously considering hiring a cleaning service to come once or twice a month to do the major cleaning tasks. It is a struggle because I often like to clean and organize most of the rooms, but I’m finding it harder to do it all. I know if the bigger tasks are done, I can handle maintaining it. It is all about balance, and not overdoing it.

I would love to know what tricks and tips you have for making cleaning easier. Comment below or on this column’s Facebook post.


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.


LynneK avatar


I found that it helps to really stretch your muscles out before doing anything and to always wear the best shoes you have for support and not to go barefoot. It gets terribly wobbly for me at times, sometimes not so much, and some days I have more energy than others. I try to use the Swiffer Duster almost every day, so dust doesn't become a problem. It's amazing what those Swiffer Dusters can accomplish w/ its long wand because I can get the sides of the toilet, behind it, and it really catches dirt and grime, too. & I use the Rocket vacuum cleaner because it's lightweight (takes less energy) and gets way under couches and beds. For the things that are easier for me like cleaning the tub on my knees while bending over the tub, I use as much muscle as possible, so I can get a bit of a workout with the muscles I do have. Play music a lot to keep my spirit up.

I am a believer in if you don't use it, you lose it. So be careful. I had a third-shift job sitting with a patient, and I basically never moved sitting in a chair while she slept at night. I had to quit the job because my muscles started to get so cramped and weak, I could hardly lift my feet to get to my car to go home. For me at my stage w/ CMT, it's about balancing as much as you can possibly do -- like you're pointing out -- without under doing or over doing.

& for some reason I found myself fatigued all the time until I started taking a vitamin called Women's Ultra Mega. For me they seem to help with energy. I try to stay as thin as possible and work on core muscles. I'm in a more optimistic state as far as my emotions with this disorder. I used to be hateful at times and frustrated, but now I'm more real, accepting and positive, and I seem to be getting around a little better. :)

Jill Price avatar

Jill Price

Thank you for the tips and suggestion about the Swiffer duster and lightweight vacuum. I will look into the vitamin. Thanks.

Lizz avatar


I would like to know how everyone maintains their weight. I have gained 20 lbs this year, and I m sure its the Gabapentin. Any suggestions for weight control would help. This disease is wearing me out that's for sure. Im 54 and trying to stayed employed as long as possible. Anyone here gone for disability??

Sarah Billiot avatar

Sarah Billiot

49 and on disability here

Jill Price avatar

Jill Price

It is not easy.

Mellisa avatar



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