April 2018

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rationing M&Ms

It's hard to explain fatigue, but I read an article last week that did a good job of explaining it through analogy. The writer, Christine Miserandino, created an analogy for a friend who wanted to understand Miserandino's fatigue ( ).

Miserandino compared the amount of energy that one has in a day to a set of twelve spoons. You get twelve spoons in the morning, and each time you do something that requires energy, like eating breakfast or getting dressed, you give up a spoon. When you're out of spoons, there are no more.

I've started thinking of my energy like peanut M&Ms. Every time I need a shot of energy, I eat an M&M. Once they're gone, they're gone.

I get a different number of M&Ms each morning, and I don't know until I've started eating them how many I may have that day. I need one M&M to rise from the bed, one to shower, one to get dressed, one to eat breakfast, and one to go to the sidewalk to wait for my morning ride. I need to plan carefully for using each M&M, so that I don't get caught short in an awkward situation.

If I'm at work that day, I'll need one M&M to get from the parking lot to my office, one to get to a teacher's classroom, and one to be in the classroom. Debriefing with the teacher will require two M&Ms. Because the bathroom and the microwave are both in different buildings than my office, I'll need an M&M to go to the bathroom and another one to heat up my lunch.

When I get home, I can take a nap, which means that I usually get another one or two M&Ms. I'll need them. It will take me one to watch Ann fix dinner, one to eat dinner, and one to lie down on the pillowss in front of the gas fireplace, close my eyes, and listen to Ann read to me. I save one so that I can get upstairs to go to bed round 7:30. Hopefully, I'll still have one to brush my teeth and floss.

If I've been very good, I may get an adequate number of M&Ms tomorrow, but if I've borrowed against my store by pushing myself to do more than I really have M&Ms for, then tomorrow I'll be short on M&Ms. Hopefully, it's not a work day.

On good days, I wake with 16 M&Ms, and I get two more M&Ms for my afternoon nap. On these days, I have to be careful about using my M&Ms too early, but I should have enough for my day.

Some days, I think I start with 16 M&Ms, but by noon it's obvious that I only had ten.

Other days, like today, I may wake to 7 M&Ms, and I have to figure out what to leave out or how to conserve. Writing this blog takes a couple of M&Ms, but it's worth it. Today I was going to go to Group Health for my flu shot, but I'm short on M&Ms, so I hope I'll wake with enough energy to get my flu shot tomorrow. For now, I'll take a nap.

I'm sure you're wondering what color the M&Ms are. On good days, they're a rainbow of reds, oranges, greens, yellows and blues. On days like today, they're all brown.

Off to nap. Mary

1 comment:

  1. Mary this is one of the most profound things you have written. Actually, you have written many profound things and your posts always move me (or convict me, since as a temporarily abled person I have sometimes used your wider stall in the bathroom. Promise not to do it again.)


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