Ever had too much to drink and not realised until you’re beyond drunk and found sprawled out on the floor with mascara streaming down your face and dribble running down your chin? Or perhaps you’ve had too much sun at some point and not realised until you’re lying in bed the colour of a lobster and screaming in agony anytime your clothes brush against your skin? The resulting hangover after drink or sunburn after sun reveals the real damage done; so it is with MS. Fatigue is a crafty one; you never quite realise how much you’re overdoing it until you’ve overdone it and of course by then it is too late.
The solution, according to all health experts, friends, family and self-help books, is to ‘listen to your body’. Have you ever tried listening to your body? It is soooo boring! Mine certainly never has anything positive to say – it’s all whinges and moans; and if there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s whinging.
“My arms hurt, my legs hurt, my hands and my feet hurt,
My eyes ache, my thighs ache; I just need a wee break,
Stand up, shake a leg, now sit down, please I beg,
I can’t walk, I can’t talk, and I can’t hold a fork,
Close your eyes, rest your head, I feel ill, call a med,
I need sleep, for a week; oh I just feel so meek…”
Seriously. What. A. Bore.
Trouble is there’s a heck of a lot to be said for listening to your body. On the very rare occasion that I do listen the whinging ceases for a moment or two. Annoyingly I often find that I’ll be forced to listen – my body will simply stop working altogether. It’s not quite so easy to ignore when that happens.