Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Motivation And Energy

My total dietary intake yesterday consisted of a large piece of Carrot Cake, an orange, six pitted prunes, and two cups of coffee. By the time I finally got out of bed yesterday, it was past dinnertime. I didn't really feel like preparing any food, a situation I find myself in quite often when I am alone. It takes energy to prepare a proper meal, energy which must come from somewhere.

I usually have about 6 good hours in a typical day. By "good hours", I mean hours in which I have both the motivation and energy to do something. After that, I need to rest, sometimes for the rest of the day, other times only for an hour or so. It depends on the activity level of the day. If I am doing something intense, like going through a museum or making a big dinner, I need more rest. If I am doing light duty activity, like driving my truck, I can go for longer and rest a bit less.

Today is a good example of how all of this works. This morning I was awake at 10:30 AM; Home Care was here to help me with my shower and to do my Range of Motion Exercises, typically finishing at about 12:30 or so. This two hour window is half consumed by my getting up, going to the bathroom, having a shower, and getting dressed. This is a high energy use time for me; it takes a lot out of me. The other half is my exercises, a sort of combination low intensity and high intensity set of exercise. What this means is that by the time I am done, I've used at least one of my good hours.

Then there is breakfast, a low energy process in most cases, as I avoid cooking in this process. Cooking takes a lot out of me, so I save it for when I really want to do it. By the time I am done breakfast, and writing, it's usually about 2:00 PM or so. In my usual day, this means I have about 4 hours where I will be active enough, with enough energy, to get something done.

Let's say I have laundry to do. That takes at least a couple of hours, but it's not all energy consuming. Then there is grocery shopping. That takes a few hours, and consumes a lot of energy. So on a typical day if I go shopping then come home and do laundry, I am exhausted by 6:00 PM. I need dinner and a nap.

At that point, I'll transfer to the couch, often falling asleep for an hour or two. When I wake up, I don't want to transfer off of the couch. That takes energy, and my well is nearly dry. I need a few hours of rest before I really feel I can move. If I have to, I will, but my preference at this point is to stay put. I just sit there, like a lump, and watch TV until I finally get up enough energy to make the transfer to my wheelchair and go to bed.

I sleep. I wake up the next day. I start all over again, only with ever so slightly less energy than yesterday. Every few days I need an exhaustion day, whether or not I am active in between. It all just wears me out. It takes a lot of motivation and energy to keep going. Yet I seem to be doing it.


  1. Have you tried Amazon app only Prime Now for some groceries or not in Canada? Or is there another grocery shopper service that delivers to your door?

    1. Grocery shopping is one of those "life affirming" activities I need to do. It makes my life more normal.