Tumble Bunnies for Easter

A retro MS post for spring

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So this week’s blog post happens to coincide with Holy Week which means that it also coincides with religious obligations, family obligations, friend obligations, MS obligations, life obligations and resting obligations.  What that means is no new blog for you!  Hahaha!

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But I thought this post from two years ago is perfect as it talks about bunnies which people often associate with Easter, (silly bunny, Easter is for Jesus,) and I am trying to psych myself up to tackle this cleaning project next week.  

I hope you find my cleaning dilemma amusing dear friends!  

And Happy Easter,  Happy Passover (no bunnies but lambs,) and Happy Spring!

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Those of us living with multiple sclerosis understand that our symptoms will change over time, go away, come back with a vengeance, and too frighteningly often, get worse.  This is the unfortunate reality of MS.

MS’er’s are so used to this, that it sometimes becomes tricky to tell what is a new MS symptom and what is just life.   It becomes convenient to blame MS for lots of things.  Sometimes it becomes convenient to blame MS for everything-works for me anyway.

I get really frustrated however when neurologists tell me what I am describing is not MS.  How do they know?   My personal, favorite examples are weird ear noises and always arriving 15 minutes late to wherever I am going.   My sister Laurie has these same symptoms and they started for both of us after we each received our diagnosis.

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Yet, the web, the books, and the docs all say that these are not actual MS symptoms.

So I don’t expect they will accept my latest symptom as MS related either.   They would be wrong.

In addition to the aches, the pains, the fatigue, the uncontrollable bladder, the cognitive difficulties, the ear noises, and always being late, MS has also given me a messy house.

This is particularly frustrating as I have always been a neat freak and a slight germaphobe, even before the word existed.  I like things clean, squeaky clean. A sparkling, germ-free home and lifestyle are just who I am and what I have always maintained.

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But in the years before my diagnosis, cleaning became harder to keep up with; and I wasn’t sure why.  Likely it was because I was working 40 hours and was so freaking tired all the freaking time. I became frustrated at the mess my house became and did my best to wash and mop when I wasn’t working or sleeping.

I even tried hiring people to clean for me.   The two women were from Brazil and their lovely accents reminded me of my Portuguese relatives.   As it was their first time at my house, their boss insisted I stay while they cleaned so that I could make sure they were doing a good job and that they were cleaning the way I liked.  It was hell.

They wouldn’t let me help them and wherever I moved to get out of their way, I wound up more in their way.  And it was beyond weird to sit on my butt while women I barely knew cleaned my own home.

ID-100182605I escaped.

I told them I was just getting something from my car and drove off, feeling like a fugitive, coming back only when I was sure they were almost done so that I could pay them.  They did a great job, but I just couldn’t have them back.  It was way too decadent and odd.

Then I received my diagnosis and along with it, a prescription for legal speed.

My other issue in my clean compulsiveness is that I have to do my whole small house at once, so the dirty part won’t re-infect the clean part.   I managed this by popping one of those precious pills, blasting some good rock music and dancing around my house with a mop in one hand and a sponge in the other.  I developed some great cleaning/dance moves.  But the side effects of the legal speed weren’t great and when my insurance changed, so did the affordability of the legal speed.

The messiness grew.

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People talk about dust bunnies.  I wish I had dust bunnies.  Cute, little friendly specs of dust that you may occasionally spot in the corner of a room.  I have dust roaches.  They multiply like, well roaches and aren’t so cute.

Recently I couldn’t take it anymore and so I doubled up on caffeine and on my anti-viral meds that somehow help with the fatigue even though I have no idea how or why, and attacked my home.  I decided, like with other things MS related, I should just get over myself and accept my limitations.  I may not be able to do the whole house at once anymore.  So I focused on the most needed rooms, the two bedrooms and the bathroom, essentially half the house.

The small spare room was easy; three minutes of dusting, one minute of vacuuming and change the bed sheets.

My bedroom was a little more tiring but I got it done, capturing bunny after dusty bunny.

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The bathroom was the hard part- scrubbing tiles, toilet, tub and sink, and washing the shower curtain, bathroom rugs, and the floor.

When I was done I was super tired, super hurting, super whiny and super frustrated, but half the house was clean.  I vowed I would rest a couple of days and then do the other half.

Then MS and life kicked in and before I knew it, it was weeks later and half the house was messier than ever.

The major bummer of this new MS symptom is that it doesn’t matter if you take care of it, it will come back.  So now, the unclean half of my house is disgusting and the clean part is no longer clean and I am back to where I started.

The dust bunnies in the bedroom have joined with the dust bunnies in the living room to become these huge dust monsters.

Frankly, I’m afraid of them.

They remind me of tumbleweeds in the desert, especially as they blow around my floor as I pass by them.

Do I clean the really unclean part first and then clean the already cleaned part?

Do I give up and go hide out in a cave, hopefully a clean cave?

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Like many things MS, just trying to sort this out is exhausting.  I can easily keep up with the basics like washing the dishes every few months, and changing the bed sheets every few years.

But it is the major stuff that gets me.

As I type, the tumble bunnies are multiplying and growing.

The inside of my bathtub has turned blue from the lack of scrubbing and who knows what in the well water that runs through my faucet.

It is hard to know if my eyesight has worsened or if it is the layers of dust on my TV and computer screens that are blurring the images they are projecting.

I will just do what MS’ers like me do and learn to adjust.

At least the blue on the inside of my tub is a pretty blue, I will think of it in a decorative sense.

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Maybe the dust covering the TV is there so I don’t actually have to see Nicki Minaj and Mariah duke it out.

And maybe stepping around the tumble bunnies is great practice for keeping my balance steady.

This is how we MS’ers role; finding ways to work within the bounds of the symptoms of the illness.

So whatever you do, don’t tell me that my messy house is NOT a symptom of MS

And if I am supposed to meet you somewhere and am more than 15 minutes late, look for me under the tumble bunnies- they may have finally attacked.

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8 responses to “Tumble Bunnies for Easter

  1. Great post! I lowered my clean standards some when my son was born in 1995, choosing to have more time with him, considering I worked 40 hours a week, plus call, in a high stress RN management job, plus going to school part time to get my Master’s in Nursing (at age 35 I had to stop after the first semester due to what was eventually diagnosed as MS in 2010). Then Fibro came along & I lowered them a bit more. Then MS came along & yep, I lowered them more. Fortunately, my standards of clean were very high & over the top, so we aren’t living in total squalor! My husband is great help in the house, too, despite him being an MS’er also. The things that used to really bother me just don’t anymore. There’s only so much me to spread over things. Yvonne, maybe if I send you all my boy dust bunnies & you send me all your girl dust bunnies they’ll stop multiplying!?!?
    I have read where hearing loss & weird sounds ARE a symptom of MS for some of us. Randy & I both have it like you.

    • Wow Susan, with all you were doing when your son was little I’m surprised you had time to breathe! When I was working 40-50 hours a week I could barely take care of myself never mind school- yikes!!! I’m sorry that MS robbed you of your Master’s but so glad that you are getting time to rest now and that you and your husband do your best to balance each other. I think you have a great plan on the dust bunnies but can we switch it up? I have five awesome nephews and am so ready to put a pink bow on something- even if it is a girl dust bunny!!! Happy Easter my friend and thank you!!

  2. Enjoyed reshare of a blog post that hits home for me, too! Being formerly employed to clean professional office and an admitted neat freak that needs a super clean house, especially my bathrooms, and having neuropathy, I so identify with every thought and sentence in this post! I no longer can clean professionally let alone my small ranch. Doing one bathroom knocks me out for the rest of the day. So I am trying to not have a panic attack some days on the condition of my formerly Good Housekeeping 5 star rated clean house! Once again, you make me see the humor and am able to brush off the filth and accept it is beyond my control, even if for a little while. Leann
    PS: As a medical professional, I have strange tinnitus and weird things that go on with my ears, and in my opinion, it is nerve related. It started as my illness worsened. If you think about it, nerves are everywhere in our body, why would they not get screwed up anywhere in the body…..?

    • Thank you so much Leann!! I amend my blog post to state that a messy house is a symptom of all neurological, autoimmune illnesses, not just MS! As for the ear issue, I am surprised by how many doctors dismiss obvious things like the weird ear noises. So many people report them but it is only very recently that the medical community has accepted them. My first neurologist was like that. She once said that the MS fatigue I described was not MS fatigue and if I had trouble describing a symptom it must not exist! And I thought I was crazy! Luckily, my new neurologist isn’t like that. He agrees with me that a messy house is clearly an MS symptom! 🙂

  3. Been there, got MS, have the noises in the ear.
    Everything is the fault of MS! That’s cuz it’s the Bad Guy doing Bad Stuff. It’s what Bad Guys do. You gotta keep finding the upside of this disease and a big one is: blame everything on MS. Didn’t pay the bill? MS. Messy house? MS. Messed up at work? MS. The MS card is trump. Play it early and often.

    Happy Resurrection Day, Yvonne.

    • Love the way you think Rick!!! And I’m learning. Jeans too tight? Blame MS! Forgot a friend’s birthday? Blame MS! Drank too much wine? Blame MS! What a relief! Happy Easter friend!

  4. Your house always looks great to me…. I agree that keeping up seems to be getting harder maybe it’s just age (can i blame “the change”?)… I know all about frigging dust i swear i cleaned the TV screen and less than a week later its covered again, I blame it on hubby always opening up the slider and letting in stuff from the outdoors(ok that and i am not suzy homemaker)…I too have a hard time letting others clean my home I am laid up after surgery and although hubby has been doing a good job the bathroom has always been my thing to clean how i want and now i cant UGH.. So i guess we just have to tackle what we feel up too and let go of what we can’t handle at that point and just enjoy laugh

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