Moving onward

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I have a limited amount of energy now–I have long been aware of this physical limit, and yet this fact surprises me at regular moments. I can do one big activity a day; for instance an outing with a friend of lunch out with a friend or going to work, or writing for a few hours. But often, I’ll forget and hit the wall–oops, I did too much. I’m a zombie now.

After about one large activity a day, I’m just very ineffective. No matter what I do, I can’t get traction on further activities–my mind is slippery, and I can’t get the words right on the page, or keep up a discussion. I fade. Like right now. (I spent the day running errands with my husband). Writing these words feels so unnatural, and the sentences look so jagged and ugly.

But still, I tell myself, keep going. You’ll see a distinct different in my blog posts written in the morning and ones written late in the day. This is one of those posts written late in the day, my mind tired, the words coming uneasily, the thoughts not so cohesive.

I’m not sure if this is a permanent thing, or something that is transitional. But despite my fighting it, my exhaustion is a real thing. I can barely keep up with my email spool and I feel so awful about the phone calls that I have yet to return (there are so many, and phone calls are challenging for me)!

I’m loathe to put things in my calendar because then I know there is very little else I can do that day. So the things I do put in my calendar are things that are of great value to me, and I find myself really picking and choosing my activities and how I am spending my time.

Before the stroke, I could just do anything–I was not limited in my energy, only in time. “I don’t have enough time!” I used to stammer. But now “I don’t have enough energy!” The PFO closure has nothing to do with this energy suck, and so all signs point to the stroke and another lasting effect. I can only presume my energy is being spent on healing. Soooo tirrrred. (Are you getting tired just by reading about my exhaustion?)

Still, I’m very busy! I’m planning a trip next month, and then school begins. Somehow, I’ll manage it all. I went berry picking weekend, and yesterday, I spent a day racing at the track (though I was only able to do two sessions while everyone else could easily do 4, if not 5). I spent the afternoon under the shade of a tree in the very hot summer heat, watching the cars go around. It was a dizzying effect.

And yet–where is the time to write? That is the question. For if I only have energy to do one thing a day, then my writing time becomes very precious and I do guard it when I can. Yet I’ve discovered that writing is a sharply energetic activity; one afternoon writing and my brain is mush the rest of the evening.

And then where is the time to blog? Sadly, it comes after my writing.

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6 Comments

Filed under Life, Writing

6 responses to “Moving onward

  1. Finding the motivation to write despite fatique is a challenge for all of us. Bar none I would recommend limiting distractions and find a time to write, then do just that write a bit everyday. Set aside a designated time to write and even if you are not motivated to wirte or if not inspired just the consistency of the routine will put you further along in your project than you were the day before.

  2. Andrew

    Sorry if you’ve already seen this, but if not, have a look at:

    http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/spoons.htm

    Doesn’t seem to really fit your situation, but it’s tangentially related and it’s an interesting read.

  3. I think the advice above is pretty generic and doesn’t take into account what’s been going on with you.

    I just wanted to lend some support, and say I do believe you’ll manage it, as you said. It sounds like you have so much going on! I think it’s natural to be exhausted. Rest, and I know I will be here when you’re ready for more blogging.

  4. don’t fret about the energy–this event in your life is relatively recent in the scope of things. within a year i bet you’ll say “hey, i’m back to complete me-ness.” at least, that is my hope.

    when my husband’s grandfather was 50, he had open heart surgery and INSISTED on pushing himself every day to walk. when he got home, it was four times around the dining table. after a month he was up to one time around the house… then twice, then more… and then before he knew it it was to the corner and back.

    he pushed himself to do this. and he’d sleep all afternoon after completion.

    i know it doesn’t sound like a lot — but each walk around the dining table built up to the walk to the corner. a year later, he was walking 5 miles. two and a half to the end of the road and then back.

    you’ve got to go around the dining table a few times a day before you can walk to Tuscarawas Road.

    Hang in there — you are in rehab… and you’ll be back to full strength, just not the day after tomorrow.

    don’t let it bring you down.

  5. I agree with the others. This is a process that has to play out over time in a series of baby steps. Rest is a good thing, especially given what you have gone through and are going through. Going to school this fall will present many challenges you didn’t have before but finding a balance or pace now can help. Sending you good vibes Jade!

  6. Andrew: thank you so much for the spoon story link! It really spoke to me and the ways in which I have to really “calculate” my day. In fact, I am going to print out that story, it is so super and communicates a lot of what I am going through (not exactly, because I don’t have lupus, but I empathize). Again, thank you!!!!

    nova: thank you for sticking up for me. 🙂 Yah, I will figure it out–it’s just all new territory. At first the new territory is intimidating–but soon, I hope I will make some delightful and great discoveries.

    christine: such an encouraging story–thank you for sharing it with me. It’s true. I am so much better than I was months ago. And I can’t help but think, yes, I am tired because I’m pushing myself.

    Leroy: thanks for the good vibes

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