Thursday, January 19, 2012

Oh My God: THE SPOONS!!!!

Here's the thing I maybe hate the most about this fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome whatever it is crap that I am afflicted with: something called "post-exertional malaise." What this means is that if you have these diseases and you do anything more than sit and breathe, you get so tired that you can't even sit and breathe. Literally. Can't. Move.

This morning, I was running around trying to straighten the house for the woman who cleans for me. This, in and of itself, shouldn't be hard. After all, I spent a chunk of time yesterday straightening up the main level of the house and told the kids their rooms needed to be cleaned. I told the kids their rooms needed to be cleaned.

Oh, did I mention that spoons have been disappearing out of the kitchen? It finally got so bad, Justin went out and bought a bunch of new spoons. We were baffled. None of the kids knew where the spoons were - or so they said. Do you see where I'm going with this?

This morning, after I managed to drag my exhausted butt out of bed (after about 10 hours of sleep, by the way), I did a sweep of Joey's room, which came up clean, as usual. Then I fearfully put a toe into Jamie's room. On the surface, it looked pretty good (mostly because he's awesome at throwing things into the closet), but there were a ton of clean clothes still on the top of his dresser. So I opened the closet door to hang up his pants and happened to glance down at the floor.

Oh. My. Freaking. God. The mess! That should be THE MESS. I am aware of the fact that Jamie's closet is kind of a holding pen for everything that doesn't have a "home." I am also aware that Jamie has slight hoarding tendencies. So periodically, I will go into his closet, throw everything out behind me, throw away the trash, and try to put everything back so that he can find things. It had been awhile.

Believe me, the exhaustion is going to meet the spoons here really fast.

The trash had been dumped on Tuesday. It is now Thursday morning, so theoretically, there should not have been much trash in his room, right? The trash can was full (and smelly). The closet was full (and smelly).

I started pulling items out of the closet and rearranging. There was a crumpled bag of chips from the pantry (so that's where all the food goes!), a lot of school stuff that he's ignoring, a school library book that was probably due two months ago, a couple of pillows...and that was on the top. As I unearthed layer after layer and got to the bottom of the pile, I discovered an orange duffle bag that he uses when he goes out to my parents' house to stay for a couple of days. I pulled out the duffle bag to bring it back down to the basement and this is what I found inside of it:

These were SUPPOSED to be in the KITCHEN!
Oh yeah. That's six spoons and five glasses that were missing from my kitchen. With the remains of chocolate milk. So that's what that smell was!

Oh, here's the other thing. I've been noticing a couple of hundred extra dollars in our checking account the last two months and figured it was my horrible math skills. On the floor of Jamie's closet, I found a $90 check to the band boosters for his share of the band fees. I wonder where the other check is that would account for the remaining extra money in the checking account, because I only found the one check, folded up and hidden at the bottom of the pile.

I grabbed a trash bag, dumped his trash can (filling the bag from both the closet and the can), brought all of the dinnerware down to the kitchen (along with the trash can) and showed Justin the check. He just sighed and shook his head. This is not a new battle.

By this time, I needed a shower, so I sprayed the filthy trash can with something that would remove paint and went back upstairs. Got a shower, straightened up our room and bathroom, and came back downstairs to try to remove the grime from the trash can.

Even with fibromyalgia, you forget that your body has limitations. When I get annoyed with a mess in my house, I get on a roll and won't stop until it's cleaned up. And then I am furious with whoever is the cause of the mess (Jamie or Ben) because all of a sudden, I feel like shit. And can't move.

So that's where I am right now. Sitting in the recliner, feeling as if I can't move. I almost feel as if I can't breathe. Every breath is an effort. "Post exertional malaise." I can't imagine what I would do if the angel who cleans our house didn't come every two weeks. I guess my house would be filthy.

I have been on a sustained mission to declutter our home for over a year now. Where I'm running into resistance is from the other members of my family. No one else seems to think that their clutter is in any way a problem. In Justin's case, he simply doesn't have time to go through his stuff to let me know what I can get rid of. He gets a pass. The kids have no excuse.

Jamie's closet? One of the worst offenses and he does not get a pass.

And then I opened up my email and got his grade report. That boy is in a world of trouble when he gets home. Not only did he break the no chocolate milk in your room rule and the don't take my stuff and not return it rule, his grades are sliding again.

Now, if I can just find the energy to deal with this. Because I can barely breathe from cleaning up his mess.

Did I mention that I haven't been able to make sure that Ben's room is straightened up because he's still in it? Hopefully, she'll be able to clean around his mess, since he is my other big hoarder.

Sometimes I wonder what my house would look like if I didn't live in it. I suspect it would rapidly trend towards a college frat house in the places Justin doesn't live. And I will get a good idea of how bad it could get when I go to South Carolina for six days later this month.

They'd better feed my cats. Because if I come home to a cat that died from starvation or thirst, I'm going to be not only exhausted, but pretty pissed off too.


  1. I'm so sorry, Chelle. :( I have a similar condition (They don't know what it is) that gets worse over time unless I get pregnant (currently pregnant) and my body can reset itself. Anyway, I know how it feels not to be able to move. At least you have the help of your cleaning lady.

    As for your boys ... good luck ....? :)

  2. Hi Carrie,

    Have you investigated whether your condition could be fibro or CFS? I always was better when I was pregnant, but three kids was more than enough for us. Obviously!

    I just went into Ben's room (after the cleaning lady had been there) and he's got stuff everywhere. I guess she cleans around it. He's 20, for God's sake. Clean up your own mess!!!!!


  3. I bought some more spoons a couple of days ago. I suspect they're all hiding in the mess that my daughter calls her bedroom. She's 19, btw). I used to exhaust myself by tidying her room but now have given up. I throw her clean washing in there and try not to look because otherwise I just get depressed by all the mess. I was diagnosed with CFS about 8-9 years ago, and although I've improved a lot, ! still find that I need more sleep than I used to, and tire more easily. It's a pain, isn't it?!

    1. But if she is hiding your spoons, it makes more sense to go in there and find them than to buy new. When I found all of the spoons in Jamie's room, we then had a bunch of extras because we had gone out and spent money. Sometimes it's better to just take a deep breath, hold it, and go in for what you're looking for!


  4. Mine is 25 and hoarding empty Gatorade bottles. I am scared to look for whatever else is there!

  5. My oldest son has a large trash can that he uses for recycle and it is always overflowing because he's too lazy to take the trash can down to the recycle bin in the garage. Sometimes I get pissy and take it down and empty it because I can't stand it.

    My kids know that their rooms are fair game for Mom when they leave. Privacy has never been something they've gotten much of. So far, no complaints and I guess that means they don't have anything to hide (except spoons!)



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