Push or not to push

I'm already thinking that this is a foolish question, since everyone has such different experiences. I'm just wondering if it really matters if I push myself in activities when symptoms seem mild, or is it best to temper all activities when in a relapse? I was feeling increased strength in my arms and decided to finish a quilt on the long arm machine. I took a couple of breaks, and the quilt was a small one, so I never felt really weak during the work. I rested for about an hour, but found I needed help with stirring while cooking only an hour later. Would that have happened anyway, or did I over-do? I'm still new to all of this, and my symptoms seem all over the place in kind and intensity. What do you "veterans" say?

17 Replies

  • There is a limit to the push. You were already getting weak and quilting takes a lot out of you. I would have stopped at the break, instead of going on. You probably were going to need some help later or tge next day, because you were going into a relapse. I tend to push myself and then the pain and fatigue get me everytime. My suggestion would be, if you're quilting don't do anything else that day. I love to cook, so if I'm doing a big meal...making bread, roast, homemade mashed potatoes...etc. I won't do anything that is going to take any real energy that day including going to the store. I hope that helps

  • Hello Greaterexp I agree with Fee09 we must pace our activities a little more I'm learning to use every thing to help me accomplish somethings like cooking and having enough energy to do what I love to do so i use crockpots dishwashers when it come down to it my dinner is on that night before so it let me do something else like sewing or crafting. I use the 15 minute rule around the house 15 min of breaks when needed and i tell you it is good to me.....rest a bit then sit a bit, long as i keep moving even when i sit a little i might doze off and that ok cause when i wake i'm restored with some energy this pacing myself i have had to learn the hard way just kept on going but I would pay for it by having to recoup 2 day sometime more, so don't push your self the gold here is to work smarter not harder(lol) yours truly KatherineSm1th.

  • I need to apply this advice, I'm finding its not worth the painful sleep and wiped out the next few days

  • Greaterexp, I don't know if you're familiar with the "Spoon Theory" or not? If you're not, you might want to google it. I try to live by it b/c if I don't my body rebels-- big time. There's also a lot on Pinterest about the spoon theory. Anyone with a chronic illness could benefit from it.

  • I'm going to google this 😊

  • I will look into this too

  • @greaterexp, what you describe could be me many times over. I used to try hand quilting and actually turned out 3 quilts and a vest but after a session with quilting, I'd have trouble with cooking or some other task involving arms and hands a bit later. I had similar problems with knitting. I gave up on the quilting and knitting but can still crochet if I don't do more than an hour or so of it a day.

    Everyone's limits are different from everyone else's, and your limits one day may be very discouraging but another day you might be able to do a lot more. You do learn to play it by ear.

  • I try to get a lot done early in the day and often crash by afternoon. Sometimes a brief 15 min rest or deep breathing (or coffee) will restore me enough to keep functioning

  • greaterexp it's kind of scary how this thing has changed how you do things. But you have to listen to your body now. Or you pay the price later. If you feel yourself doing to much take a break, and do things in stages. And do what l do, always keep frozen dinners around just in case. :)

  • Thank you all for sharing your wisdom. I was caught a little (really a lot) off guard in my expectations of my symptoms. You've all already learned, but I never realized, how quickly symptoms can change or come and go. I'm used to dealing with the run of the mill things, which run a typical course and which are easier to gauge. This thing turns my expectations upside down.

    Though I don't like it, I'm learning to say no to things outright, or at least make no promises or make conditional yeses.

    I'm grateful that you all are willing to take precious time to answer questions, especially from the newly diagnosed like me who are stumbling along in figuring out how to make the most of life. With God's comfort and your day to day encouragement, I will do well.

  • So many great responses here! I've had MS since 1991 and am still trying to find that perfect balance. I've pushed myself over the years, concerned the 'use it or lose it' motto would affect me if I didn't. In some ways, I think that has helped me. But like others said, I paid for it later. Today I KNOW I can't push it. (Maybe that's due to age and being SPMS now.) Mornings are my best time. I do my 'heavier' tasks and even dinner meal prep then. No way can I fix a big meal late in the afternoon. But I take short breaks in between tasks throughout the day. (Scrub a bathroom, rest 15 min. Vacuum carpets, rest 15 min.) How wonderful that you enjoy and are able to quilt! Still make time for it. But as someone else said, that may be your day's activity unless you do less quilting and save time for something else later. Even us old veterans (well, at least this one!) are still learning. Happy quilting!

  • Sometimes I just have a certain amount of energy. I can either go out and work in my garden (which I love doing) or mop floors, not both probably. Sometimes I choose the gardening and sometimes I mop the floors, you have to do things that you like sometimes, even if that means you will not be able to do what others think or would have you do. Yes, keeping my house clean is important but, doing things that calm and soothe me are important also.

  • I am same, learning to limit myself. I now do stuff in small doses. I love my Christmas decorating but I have had to give it up. I am just unable to do it anymore. I hired it done a couple of years but then there is taking it down!

    I can cook but I have to set and have stools by stove and counter. I had new electrical outlet ran @ bar so I can move ninja there and do most of my cooking there.

    We hire someone to do cleaning 1x week. We hire grass cut 1x week. I hired bushes cut. None of this is done as well as I like it! I have had to just accept that it never will be. Just have to let go the


    It's hard to learn to learn how to pace.

  • I've been dxd for 12 years now & as cliche as this sounds, you really have to trust your instincts & listen to your body. The temptation is to push too hard when you're feeling "okay" but just learn to say no if you have to. Bright blessings!

  • I'd say, "learn your body." Only you know exactly how you feel, we're all so different. I'd also advise you to pay attention to the cues that your body gives you. Take breaks, and don't forget to live!

  • I try to do as much as I can. However, fatigue is such a big factor in this disease that if I push myself too much I end up paying for it later and therefore lose valuable exercise time. I just listen to my body. Good luck!

  • I can push and push myself to have it bite me. It has never been a good idea for me.