I have been away from this blog far longer than I intended. Real life and all of that. Last week was very busy – busy with things that I wanted to do. But even positive activities and events can pile up and be too much. While being over-extended doesn’t occur often, I am asking myself if I could have done anything different to prevent all of these “positive” events from triggering my chronic fatigue symptoms.
A Chronic Fatigue Perfect Storm. So What Was Going On?
- I finally got all the bugs worked out concerning moving my tax business from Kansas to Nevada. But the green light came after tax season was already underway and I found myself hurrying to catch up with all the details that are usually done in late December or early January. I was happy, but stressed.
- My husband’s mother passed away in January. She’d had Alzheimer’s for a very long time.
Her death was not a surprise. But as with any death there is the paperwork that must be done to complete the record of her passing. We have had meetings with her lawyer, bank people, etc. A couple of hours here; an hour there. Not a task that is particularly enjoyable, but one that is important.
- Then there were the doctors’ appointments to get established with a doctor here in Nevada. As new patients we had a long wait to get an appointment, and had already been rescheduled by the office once, prolonging the wait time even further. Those doctors’ appointments were this week too. No way I was rescheduling.
- And finally, one of the great things about living in Vegas is lots of people come here for vacations, seminars, and conferences. This creates opportunities to share a meal or spend an evening with family or friends who are attending these events. Yay! There were four people in town this week! Four! A cousin from Kansas I hadn’t seen in two years, a friend from California, and a couple from Michigan who are long time Facebook friends that we were meeting in the flesh for the first time. Trying to figure out how to see everyone around their schedules and ours – which is ordinarily pretty open – was difficult. And in fact, we didn’t get to see our friend from California.
Now to this issue that complicates everything to certain degree. I have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) – also known as systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) and / or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), and occasionally fibromyalgia from those who think it is part of the same disease process – depending on who you are talking to and what day of the week it is. I am fortunate in that compared to some, my condition is relatively mild. I can usually manage it by not overdoing. I hoard my energy and meter it out at the appropriate time. However, there was no way to hoard enough energy to cover all of the activities of this past week. And my body made me pay for my impertinence.
I have been analyzing what I should have done differently. As the week began I felt okay, but as I watched the appointments and social activities stack up, I knew I would ultimately end up feeling bad. I wasn’t wrong. Oddly, I have no problem bowing out when I am actually feeling bad, but I didn’t put the brakes on to prevent feeling bad. Should I have? After all of the mulling, I still don’t have a set answer. All of it seemed important. It’s probably something I won’t have to consider again for a long time. But sitting here, still feeling the twinges of sickening fatigue, I think I need to seriously consider giving myself permission to bow out before symptoms are triggered.
I don’t think this struggle is unique to CFS sufferers. I know every chronic physical and mental illness has its challenges. Even fully healthy people are going to have a limit. And yet, I am loath to even mention my limitations. I have almost deleted this post several times while writing it. Why is that?