My hair dyeing season yesterday was interesting to say the least, I know that my arms would hurt like hell and my dexterity would cause some problems but it took me longer to clear up, than it did to apply the dye, wash it out and dry it. But it had more of an effect than just making my hair all purple rather than a washed out pinky colour with grey roots. Having naturally strawberry blond hair I have always had a problem with my roots as I favored darker colours as I have very dark brown eye, my problem therefore was the opposite of the commonly see one of dark roots and light hair, but I can confirm that grey ones show even more! It actually felt really good just to do something for myself, normally I would ask Adam to help me but when it comes to things like my hair or cutting my toenails, something else I can’t do, we always run into the same problem.
I am naturally a morning person, I have never been one for staying in bed longer than I needed, I just couldn’t lie in late and would rather go to bed early than stay up late, this has actually been compounded by my MS. I have to keep in a routine as well, my MS likes it that way, play around and I pay for it. These days it is more marked my energy levels before midday are far far higher, by the evenings I feel a bit like a walking Zombie even though I will have had a sleep during the day. Adam on the other hand has a totally different time clock, he works during the week and normally comes home and sleeps for an hour, being really active again after 8pm. He will stay up every night until 1am with ease and likes to have lie ins on the weekend. I am sure the picture is clear, when he is ready to help I am dieing or asleep and when I am ready to be helped he is at work or asleep. I am sure we are far from the only ones who have this problem as I would say in general men are more the lie in person in most couples, in a marriage were both are able bodied it isn’t a problem in fact I think it is an advantage, as it gives both side time to themselves. When you rely on you literally sleeping partner it is hard, I don’t want to stop him doing what he enjoys at weekends but I need his help with somethings, my hair is a good example as I have waited for 6 weeks in the hope I could find a couple of hours when we are both able to work on it and it didn’t happen.
It is the small things like this that make being disabled frustrating, frustration is one of the hardest things to deal with. At no point in our lives are we really taught to deal with it, as children we learn to take our time rather than bash our toys to bits when they don’t do what we want them to, but when you have taken all the time in the world and still can’t do something the temptation to smash things to bits grows. With MS that is a bad thing, because that is a stress point, stress equals pain and fatigue. The whole frustration thing is a viscous circle, my worst frustration points are when my dexterity stops me doing what I want and of course the more up tight I get the less my hands do what I want. I wish I could write here a 100% fool proof solution but I can’t, what I have found that helps is to approach the problem in a different way. When my left hand was dead I found a million things that didn’t work but I also came up with solutions. I am an analytical person so faced with a problem rather than let the frustration build I channel my energy to finding a way round it. For example making a cup of coffee, the hardest thing was opening the canister and getting a spoonful out of it once I could no longer reach the coffee with out tipping the canister, tipping it meant it. There is a rubber matting that you can buy on line from some of the disabled supplies sites, it is meant to be for putting on a tray or table to stop things slipping, I bought some and cut out 3 pieces, one to stand the canister on, the second to go between my left hand and the slippy canister side, with the extra grip surfaces it flew across the room, the third piece was to put on top so I could unscrew it. A solution and the way I now try to approach frustrating situations, thinking differently takes the stress right down and it becomes a puzzle to solve. (Click this ‘Coke’ for a solution with bottle tops)
There are no easy answers to frustration or sleeping husbands, I think he is set for life, lol, but the rest I find that trying to be logical and approaching it as a problem to solve rather than annoy helps me a lot. I can’t fix all of the sources but if it reduces any frustration or stress it is welcome.