In a recent post – “Playing to our strengths” (http://vidatraining.weebly.com/blog/70-playing-to-our-strengths), we briefly touched on fatigue. I, Vicky, think this is something people frequently forget when considering the impact of many different impairments/disabilities unless they can actually see/imagine it for themselves. So, when watching someone self propel a wheelchair up a slope, people can see and therefore imagine the physical impact and that it’s potentially quite tiring (although for some fit wheelchair users, probably less tiring than walking up the same slope would be for others!).
However, people don’t usually consider fatigue when thinking about other conditions and impairments and it’s another one of those hidden impacts we have mentioned in previous blogs (like our one for World Alzheimer’s Day – https://vidatraining.weebly.com/blog/77-a-huge-hug-for-september-worldalzheimersday).
For example, on a recent training course, Dave mentioned that he experiences fatigue as his vision impairment means he has to keep a mental picture in his head of where he is, the layouts of rooms, orientation for when he’s out etc. and that this is tiring.
One of the participants on the course who is a Deaf sign language user, agreed, saying that for him the additional level of concentration required every day is exhausting.
It was also mentioned recently in a blog by Wendy Mitchell, who writes about her life with dementia. Wendy’s blogs are about her everyday life and often discuss the huge amount of meetings she participates in, the book she has written and a wide variety of interviews etc that she undertakes. However, this post touched on the fatigue of living with dementia. Wendy writes:
‘For me, having a shower in the morning is exhausting. I’ve always had a shower before going downstairs for a cuppa tea and I see this now still as important. My cuppa tea is my reward for this exhausting process. When the brain is still waking; when the process of working out what to do takes so much; when the simple act of breathing while water is streaming over your head is a mission. Having a shower is exhausting for so many reasons….
‘I often say how exhausting it is to have dementia. Imagine how physically exhausting it would be to swim in the sea against the tide, being carried away by the current and fighting your way back to shore. Well that’s what it feels like mentally 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Thinking distance has been swum yet still no further to shore or swept away with the current further than you thought.’ - https://whichmeamitoday.wordpress.com/2018/06/28/dementia-can-be-exhausting/.
Wendy ends this blog by saying ‘Can you imagine living in our world……?’
The answer for most of us is probably no, but we can all raise our awareness…
We’re always interested to know about other people’s experiences and thoughts. Please share these by commenting…
Interested to learn more about VIDA Training? Read about our Training and Consultancy packages, specialising in Vision Impairment and Disability Awareness, Communication and Team Building or contact us for further information.
Our VIDA Insights...
Following our experiences from delivering our Vision Impairment Awareness training days over the past couple of years, we know that there’s loads more that we could talk about and examples we could have shared. Whilst these won’t be a substitute for our training, they will give you an insight (hence the name!) into our thoughts, observations and experiences from each of our perspectives - Dave’s living with sight loss and Vicky’s from being a sighted person and working alongside and supporting people who have sight loss.