Chronic Fatigue and Energy Management Tips
I never grew up with a cleaner, in fact the first time I was introduced to this was in 1996, when I lived in New Zealand. My Great Aunt Pam had a lady who would come each week to clean, dust and vacuum and I was able to see the benefits of such a service.
Becoming unwell caused me to seriously consider getting a cleaner in to help me out. I’ve always been the type to budget and generally do not like to waste money on the things I can do for myself. However life changes and I’ve have had a fortnightly cleaner in for the last six months. This is due to my Chronic fatigue (ME) and Adrenal Insufficiency.
Every second Wednesday, our family prepares for our cleaner. Sylvia tidy’s her bedroom and collects all the rubbish throughout the house. I make sure the bathroom is in order. John tidy’s the lounge and Yoda’s things. (Yoda’s toys end up everywhere!). We make sure the Kitchen is cleared and dishes are done.
By tidying up and putting away, the house is ready for cleaning Thursday morning. Although I do much less (housework wise) than before, I am usually extra exhausted and in much more pain on a Thursday. I make sure I have a nap in the afternoon once the cleaner has gone, before Sylvia arrives home from school.
It’s such a wonderful feeling when the house is clean. Mata, our cleaner (who happens to do an amazing job), wipes all the surfaces, she dusts and polishes, cleans and disinfects the bathroom and kitchen, vacuums and mops the floors.
I have noticed that since getting a cleaner…I have had less sickness bugs and viruses which can easily lead to an adrenal crisis and hospital admission. A germ free home along with my daily glass of Cranberry Juice works wonders. It does the trick for me!
Friday’s is laundry day for our family and Saturday is spent having fun. Sometimes John and Sylvia go out for the afternoon, so I can have a rest. One Saturday they went to Worden Park in Leyland. I guess moving to Lancashire has it’s benefits such as discovering new places. Sylvia loves the parks and John enjoys the chance to practice his photography. Yoda just loves running around and chasing the ducks.
I really do have to rest on Saturdays otherwise I’ll be too sick to attend church on Sunday. I personally love going to church. It’s an important part of my life and is generally the only place I aim to go every week. Attendance of course depends on how well I am. One thing for sure is, If I attend church, I’m going to be ill the next day. This is guaranteed. It’s the way my illness works. On Monday’s Sylvia is back at school and this gives me the chance to rest all day and recover.
I’m grateful that Sylvia attends a really good school. She loves her teacher and enjoys learning. Before illness, I used school time to tidy, do housework and all that needed to be done. These days I use the time to rest so I can give my all to Sylvia when she is home. I sometimes think about home schooling. As a qualified teacher I might have gone down this road with Sylvia. However I need my rest, so I use my education and teaching skills to supplement and support Sylvia’s learning.
Tuesday is usually the best day of my week. I rest in bed and don’t go out. This helps me to further recover and prepares me for Wednesday when we tidy up. Sometimes If I have enough energy John and I might go on a sneaky drive to the local charity shops. I love charity shopping. I can’t stay long, but it’s fun to have a quick look. I really do have to be quite strict, pace myself and stick to the routine I have, otherwise I’d end up even more burnt out and unable to keep to my baseline. A baseline which really is quite sucky!
Sometimes people question why do you need a cleaner? Where is your husband? Why cant he clean?
John does so much. His work load is quite huge. John takes me to all my appointments, every week. He helps care for Sylvia. Takes her to school and drops her off. John helps organise the shopping and we work together on the meals, unless I am too well, then he has to take over completely. John pay the bills, organises utilities and does the banking. He does the dishes, the laundry and any other task I ask him. He is very patient and kind. John has become the hairdresser in the home. He washes both mine and Sylvia’s hair. Sylvia needs the help due to her age and I need the help due to the weakness in my arms. I can type okay on the computer (thank goodness) but have lost my upper arm strength.
I’m very grateful for all my husband does and having a cleaner benefits both me and him.
Ive asked myself, would I get a cleaner if I wasn’t sick? Probably not! Unless of course I was loaded with money and in that case, I’d have someone clean for me so I could use my time to help others, go to work and spend quality time with Sylvia.
Do I regret having a cleaner?
Absolutely not. It was a great decision and is worth every penny. This allows me to manage my energy levels better and focus on Sylvia and her needs.
The biggest difficulty is when I have extra hospital appointments or places that I need to go. It makes me more ill. I cannot do more, I have to sacrifice one thing for another. For example, going to an appointment in my pyjamas or skipping a shower to have the energy I need.
We also have other energy savers, such as microwave food. This is not the ideal. We prefer not to eat non processed meals, but a favourite of mine is, Youngs Fish in Parsley sauce, with microwave veg and steamed rice. I love Birds Eye Steam Fresh Mediterranean Rice. It has courgettes and peppers and tastes so delicious. It’s one of our “cheat meals” and always comes in handy when we are physically exhausted.
Another thing we do from time to time is have “paper plate and plastic cup day”. This reduces the amount of dishes. It is not as eco friendly as i’d like, however it really helps on the worst of days, when I’m physically exhausted and John’s work load doubled.
Being ill requires me to pace and manage my physical energy levels very carefully and having a cleaner to help in the home, though expensive is one of the ways that I can cope with and not worsen the symptoms I suffer on a daily basis.
Thanks to my cleaner, I can stick to a routine, one that allows me to spend time with Sylvia. I love to read with her and help her complete homework. I love watching her dance and making small movies together. I like to chat and teach her new things but most of all just sitting together and having a cuddle. That is the best and thanks to the help i have in the home, I can do these small but most important things!