As I have referenced in a prior blog, I recently really overdid it. It was an innocent mistake that many of us with chronic conditions/illnesses have probably made. In setting up appointments, I scheduled two appointments on the same day thinking that a combined trip would save energy and time. I knew it would be more tiring than just one appointment, but it couldn’t be that bad…right??? Well…WRONG!!!!
My first appointment was with the psychologist…an hour long session. Much needed, as we are working through the frustration and isolation that my conditions cause. We have been working on some great new tools to add to my arsenal. I have come to really appreciate this addition to my medical team.
After that, it was time to head to the appointment with my pain specialist. We had a bit of a wait, which was good as I could tell I was getting a bit tired and needed to gather my second wind. Once we reviewed the past couple of weeks, the adjustment of my pain pump was complete, and we were headed out of the office to fill a prescription.
While waiting for the prescription, we did a small amount of shopping which included picking up an easy fix for dinner…meat skewers for the grill. After a short wait it was finally time to head home.
Once home, I could feel my body saying enough…so I did go to bed early so that I could get off my feet. The next morning was hard to wake up…and yes, I did sleep in. However, even though my eyes were open, I was still asleep. It is that deep, heavy fatigue that envelopes the entire body. I could do nothing but recline in my chair or lie on the couch.
I did muster enough energy to attend a friend’s BBQ for a couple of hours. I just could not bring myself to disappoint our son…who was looking forward to seeing several of his friends.
The next day of course, was another day of heavy fatigue…just not quite as thick as the day before…but close! My brain was blurry; and, I completely lacked focus. I was again resting in my recliner, lying on the couch…and went to bed very early as my body was just done.
Finally, awaking on the third day, I am feeling more of “my” normal. That is if you can use the word “normal” in any type of description of those of us with chronic illnesses/conditions! My energy reserves are still extremely low so today will be a day of rest…reclining in the chair and will include a nap in the early afternoon. By tomorrow, I might be able to take a shower!
It is hard to describe in words the fatigue that comes with a chronic condition/illness like mine. A healthy individual will automatically think, “Oh yeah…I know exactly what you mean…like when I have had to work an 18 hour shift.” Well…you must magnify this by at least 10! (Yes…probably being quite conservative.)
The “fatigue” that hits us when we overdo…even slightly…completely strips us of the ability to function…it is, as I described, like a thick blanket that tightly wraps around us…all senses are numbed…we see…but we don’t see…we hear…but we don’t hear. We are unable to form a sentence…it takes all of our effort to just sit in a chair…all that we can truly do is lie in bed and hope that sleep will come…as we melt into the mattress.
No matter how carefully we try…fatigue will hit. When it does, all we can do is give in and allow our bodies the chance to recuperate and to recharge…read if you can…watch a silly movie. Smile and relax…know that it will pass.