Monday, January 31, 2011

Do I cook or clean?

One of the *fun* things about having MS is never knowing how much energy you're going to have at the end of the day. Until recently, I've been operating under the assumption that I can still do everything. I push myself. In the past month, though, I've noticed that I can't. I have limits. I don't like this, but I'm learning to accept and adapt.

When I get home from work, it's usually my responsibility to cook dinner. My mother is exhausted at the end of school. My brother can't cook, and the other adult living in my home only cooks dinners that come out of a box. While having heated frozen dinners is a nice reprieve on occasion, I prefer to know all of the ingredients in my meals. I'm funny that way. (sidebar: I think I'm beginning to develop a dislike for fast food -- which is a good thing because I used to eat it WAY too much.)

The meals I cook may be simple or complex or time consuming, but once I'm done cooking, I'm usually done. Period. I have nothing left. I'm drained. The day has done me in. Especially if, before I start cooking, I have to run a load of dishes and pots and cups and silverware that has been kindly placed into the sink throughout the day to the point of overflowing but not  put into the dishwasher. (There are other two adults in my home all day. Surely one of them can take care of this. Admittedly, half of the time is. But it's not fun when I have to come home to a dirty kitchen that has to be cleaned before I can start cooking.)

Once we've eaten, I just want to get on the computer or watch TV or read, anything that doesn't involve a lot of moving or concentration. How do you explain to someone without MS the inability to put dishes in the dishwasher or wipe the stove and table because you just don't have the energy and all you want to do is sit down. And if you try, you just stand there for minutes with a complete lack of focus (what was I supposed to be doing?), willing yourself to move. And then, if you do get it done, it takes 2-3 times longer than it normally should.

Sometimes, I hate to admit, I pile all the dirty dishes into the sink and let them stay there overnight and put them in the dishwasher in the morning. Other times I push through and just get it done. And then there are days like today, where my Mom has lots of energy left, so she's cooking dinner. I still had to put dishes in the dishwasher when I got home, but since I don't have to cook or clean up, I may be able to do something else with my evening. I have a cabinet that needs organizing, so I may just tackle that tonight.

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