Life Hacks for Chronic Fatigue: Laundry

rolling cartFatigue is a bitch. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. When you deal with chronic fatigue, it’s the bitch’s bastard  on crack. I hate it and I don’t know anyone who actually likes it. My entire body feels like adamantium was injected into me in my sleep, only I don’t get the benefits that Wolverine does. Everything is heavy and the ability to lift my arms without the accompanying muscle fatigue is an astonishing circus feat. It doesn’t matter whether fatigue is caused by a chronic illness, autoimmune disorder, weak adrenals, or a vitamin deficiency, it all feels the same in the end and even I can’t tell what is causing it.

When this all started over five years ago and I was stuck in bed when not at work the only things I could force myself to do was fix dinner and do the laundry, with some help and shortcuts.

We have rolling hampers which I bought at a big store that is now out-of-business. I used one of the hampers as my laundry basket so I could push it instead of having to lift it. Even with that “hack”, Chaz had to start switching the laundry out for me and bring me the laundry himself.

When the fatigue creeped back in full-force after my car accident in December, I knew I needed to make alterations again because needing a nap in the middle of folding laundry is not normal. Not normal for healthy people that is.

I considered using one of the hampers again but the act of stooping over to push the hamper would wear me out. So, I went searching stores for something I could use. One of those rolling baskets at the laundromat would have been great.  I found one like it at The Container Store, but it was too small. One of the sales people stopped to help me because I was obviously looking for something I couldn’t find.

I explained to her what I wanted, but never explained why. I don’t need to tell everyone I meet the multiple reasons why I get fatigued. I didn’t need to justify why I need a cart to push my laundry around. I refuse to explain myself to complete strangers. I don’t care if I left that store and she thought I was lazy because she doesn’t matter. My health and how I take care of myself does.

I left the store with the above rolling bar cart that she showed me last because all the other options would be too taxing on me. The bonus of the cart is that it folds up when I’m done and while doing laundry, I can use the bottom and the basket to store folded items.

Economy of motion is something I learned in Aikido. Use the least amount of movement/energy in a fight because you don’t know how long the fight will last. I use this principle a lot in my daily life, even when fatigue is not an issue. When it is an issue, I will sit at the dryer and fold the clothes as they come out then add them to the cart. Why pull everything out, wheel it somewhere to fold, and fold it all when you can save some energy when you need it? I’d like to say I do this all the time, but I don’t. It’s just helpful when I’m too exhausted to do much.

Sometimes you just need to think outside the laundry basket to find ways to help you deal with the constant fatigue.



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