There is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), which can “stand alone.” (Doctors have a number of ideas of what may cause it.)
And there can be severe energy problems with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, and many other diseases, not to mention medication side effects.
I have faced extreme energy limitations for a number of years but have always been a work-a-holic.
(I even turned down a date with future hubby once, to practice piano at college!!! YIKES! Good thing he knew by then that I liked him and just had a problem with work-a-holism. 🙂 )
A few times (mostly in our mold house where I got sick), I got to the place where I literally barely had the energy to breathe.
I did not even have the energy to deal with sound and light, yet I couldn’t sleep. I had to lie in bed with shades drawn and not move until I had gained a little strength. Terrible, terrible feeling.
Other times, I’d face exhaustion that wasn’t quite as bad but physically painful (hard to describe). I could not eat or sleep. I guess I figured my body didn’t even have the energy to produce the correct sleep hormones. (NOT a “good tired.”) Most of these times, my heart was beating too fast or too hard or both.
Eventually, I learned to mostly stop pushing and rest before I’d get to that point.
But sometimes, I have struggled with the feeling that I’m lazy. (Stupid, I know.)
Sometimes, I have felt the need to stop pushing even “a bit back” from the edge of the cliff, but I couldn’t figure out why.
Until one day I realized it was conservation of energy.
I’m starting to realize that if I push closer to the edge of that cliff, I will not have enough energy to deal with what’s ahead.
So why am I writing about this today?
Because I believe there are thousands and thousands of people who suffer fatigue problems, and their loved ones have no idea how hard it is.
Because I hate to see others judge someone as lazy when they truly are struggling.
Because human nature has a hard time with fatigue in others (especially if the person has to pick up the slack for the sick one).
Yes, some people really are lazy, and others will milk the situation. Still others have no idea how to truly push themselves beyond “the minimum” (a “form” of laziness, so to speak).
But there are many people who “look like” they should be able to do more and really can’t or shouldn’t.
Take a look at their personality & character. If they “used to be” a work-a-holic, chances are, they still are.
If they are a person of integrity, then for pete’s sake, believe them when they say they are too tired to do something.
I am so thankful that my hubby has always believed me.
Be a hero like my husband and believe your loved one.
PS A close friend reminded me of another frustration that people like us (with energy issues) face: sometimes we will try to “save up” energy for something, and we STILL can’t do that something when the time comes. It is really hard emotionally. My husband is probably better at dealing with this than I am, even when it affects him and he has to do more work!!! He is so good about remembering, understanding, and adapting.
Christa Upton Black Hills Picture Books PO Box 293 Custer, SD 57730