Chronic Fatigue: it's more than being tired


Fatigue is kicking me at the moment.  I nearly always feel tired to some degree but at the moment, it is off the scale.  


My body feels heavy and as though it's taking a huge effort to move at all.  My head feels foggy-headed, I'm struggling to concentrate and my face feels tingly and tight. New symptoms have been appearing, with numbness and burning sensations affecting different parts of my body; my arms, back and hips. The pain in my stomach is the worst it has been in a long time and has started on the opposite side as well. 

It is taking all of my effort to move from the sofa, let alone get out of bed. I get up and have a shower and by the time I've done that and put on some makeup, I'm ready to go back to bed. I sit at my desk at work or our table at home and I'm dosing myself up on water and coffee, trying not to fall asleep.  

The problem with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia - I'm now labelled by the doctors as having both - is that no one can see what you are dealing with and it's hard to explain it at times. Tell someone you are tired and they think you are exaggerating or complaining for the sake of it, or for sympathy, telling you you'll feel better after an early night.  And if you carry on as normal, really you are ok and it isn't as bad as you are making out.  But the need to earn money means that I have to carry on. Life needs to go on and things need to be done.  

I often don't tell my family and friends just how bad I am feeling. I have the fear that I'll be thought of as lazy and moaning.  But. I sit, thinking about the things I need to do and wondering how I'm going to get them done and get through to bedtime.  Wondering if the kids are going to play up and whether there is any chance to grab a nap. What I can cook that is easy and isn't just convenience food.  Whether I can get away without working that night and get an earlier night instead. What housework needs to be done and what can wait.

Chronic fatigue is different from 'just' being tired.  Feeling tired? You go to bed, sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. With fatigue, you could sleep for eight hours straight and still wake up feeling tired or worse than you did before.  I know that's certainly the case for me, although not eight hours, I can't remember the last time I had eight hours.  

Chronic Fatigue is not laziness.  
It is not something that is 'all in my head'.  
It is not down to a bad diet. 
It is not something that regular exercise will fix.
Or an early night. 

Chronic fatigue is all-encompassing.  It is frustrating and affects everything you do.  And yet?  Each and every day those of us suffering with it get up and face another day.  

9 comments

  1. Keeping on keeping on is so inspirational and something so many women in particular seem to do day in and day out whilst facing enormous challenges including ones like yours which are multiple. Every time a post like this is written it tells a truth and means someone out there feels less isolated too #TwinklyTuesday

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  2. Having an invisible illness, is the worst thing. People can't understand it and instead of educating themselves, try and give you helpful advice. Sending you virtual hugs x

    #TwinklyTuesday

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  3. I can imagine how frustrating it must be with people's preconceived ideas. It is great you are raising awareness of this condition x #twinklytuesday

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    1. Thank you. The more we talk about these things, the better x

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  4. I know people who have suffered with chronic fatigue, and it really is awful. And worse that it is not obvious, like a break or some such visible ailment. Wishing you the best and that you do recover. Terrific post #TwinklyTuesday

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  5. Kate I have not experienced this but I can sense your frustration. I wish you all the best and hope that you recover #Twinlytuesday

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