The Cluttered Consequences of Multiple Sclerosis Fatigue
Multiple sclerosis causes debilitating fatigue. The following photographs show, without censorship, what my fatigue leaves undone.
The homes of everyone I know have living rooms without sweaters tossed over the back of chairs. Their floors are not an obstacle course. They do not have piles of mail, notes, drills, and partially opened packages cluttering every flat surface.
My normal casual lifestyle deteriorated dramatically over the past several months due to severe fatigue. I get little bursts of energy that propel me to take action, but that barely makes a dent now.
These photographs illustrate the consequences of my multiple sclerosis fatigue.
SOFA VIEW. Jeans and a sweater that need mending cover the footstool. To do the mending, I must first move the sofa. My sewing desk is being used as an end table. (Seemed like a good idea at the time.) My cat likes paper bags. Don’t really need three.
POTENTIAL OPEN SPACE
I must repair broken table at back. The white column lamp sits where I finally finished assembling. The effort of vacuuming prevented me from putting it away. The once-clear table requires more mental effort to identify, sort, and then find a place to put its contents. Just looking at the photo makes me want to take a nap.
My dining room table (really, it is there). The empty bin on the chair actually represents success because it is EMPTY! Now I just have to decide where to put it, or maybe reuse it to eliminate some other clutter.
The counter gets cleared once a week, only to repopulate shortly thereafter. The clock needed replacement batteries, but then I decided I wanted to hang it somewhere else, but haven’t decided where. This also requires finding a nail, my hammer, and ambition. The foreground shows a container of twinkle lights I bought for a photography project. That was after the 2015 Christmas when they were on sale. I don’t want to put them away because that would mean admitting defeat.
KITCHEN TO LIVING ROOM
The view from the kitchen to the living room. I bought cat food and supplements online, but MS fatigue prevents me from putting it away. It also would require bending over, rearranging things and lifting things. I just couldn’t do it. Other things are from a now randomly stuffed closet where I can’t find anything.
DINING AREA FROM KITCHEN
The kitchen, looking toward the dining table. The step ladder represents my efforts to fix my fluorescent light fixture in the kitchen since at least December 2016. First, this required I have the energy to go to the local hardware store and buy replacement bulbs. I had a friend come to help in case I fell from the ladder because of my balance problems. It was a struggle to get the bulbs out, but I managed while she held the ladder. She worried about breaking the bulbs. Then she got on the ladder to replace the bulbs. Lack of arm strength meant I couldn’t hold the bulbs. Severe double vision prevented me from seeing where to insert the bulb. The light fixture still doesn’t work. I intend to do something about it, eventually, so I do not want to put the ladder away yet.
The island from the living room. More cat food that I managed to get as far as the stool (used when I need to hand-wash dishes).
My dishwasher broke last year. I had to buy a new dishwasher. I decided to get one with two drawers so that I could have one for clean dishes and one for dirty dishes. A friend recently suggested I do not leave any dishes in the sink, but rinse and put in dishwasher immediately. That was the plan. But somehow, by the time I get to the sink, I just can’t. I REALLY CAN’T find the energy to rinse and put the dishes in the dishwasher.
I berate myself for being lazy, for not putting things away immediately. I blame myself for letting it progress to this state (as if I really have a choice).
Multiple sclerosis fatigue is the real culprit.
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