Friday, April 6, 2012



a complete depletion of energy or strength <the day-long battle against the blaze left firefighters in a state of utter fatigue>
It's really not that hard to understand.  Read that first sentence.  A COMPLETE......not a little; not a touch of; but a COMPLETE depletion of energy or strength.
I'm not sleepy; I don't need a nap.  It's not just that it's been a rough day and I'm tired.  It's that every single ounce of energy and strength has been zapped from my body and there is absolutely nothing left to give.  

It makes no difference that I've slept 12 hours; It makes no difference that I've not moved from the couch all day; It makes no difference that I've not been on a 2 hour hike like everyone else.  My body doesn't respond to rest like yours does.  It's not like I'm a car and I can go to the gas station and say "Fill 'er up with energy please."  I can't get a little bit of rest today and feel better tomorrow.

Fatigue is all consuming.  It is falling to the bed feeling like you can't move another step; sleeping for 10 hours and waking up feeling more tired than you did when you went to bed.

And here is what I love the most!  "Did you ever think maybe you're sleeping TOO much?"  Really?  Did you ever think you were a complete idiot??  I'm sorry that most of the time when you come to my house you find me sleeping; I'm sorry that most of the time when you want to go out and do something I have to say no because I have a "complete depletion of energy or strength".  Most of all I'm sorry that you think it's because I'm being lazy or that it's because I'd rather sit at home and watch TV.  
Is it possible that you truly believe I enjoy spending my life in bed?  That I enjoy watching you go to the movies and out to dinner and hiking in the forest and I would much rather spend it in bed watching reruns of "The Big Bang Theory" for the 700th time?  Do you really believe that's how I want to live my life?
Do you have a clue as to how much fatigue physically hurts the body?  It's not just a simple act of being tired.  It affects my bones and my joints and my muscles.  They hurt so much that sometimes another step isn't physically possible.  Do you know how much effort it takes to take a shower, put on make up and get dressed to go out?  Something so simple that others take for granted; something that's so easy for you is rarely the case for me.
How about you try this.  Next week put a 75 pound back pack on the minute you get out of bed.  Keep it on all day long.  About 10:00 am, take a slight tumble down the stairs.  Get back up and keep moving.  Around noon, add another 15 pounds to the back pack and at 2:00 pm, take another tumble down the stairs.  By 4:30, put 20 pound wrist weights on your arms and as you leave the office, you got it....tumble down the stairs.  By the time you get home, add another 10 pounds to the back pack and another 5 pounds to each wrist weight; now add 10 pound ankle weights.  
See if you want to come home and cook dinner; clean house; go to the grocery store; go shopping; go to the movies; have the gang over for game night.  
Is every day that bad for me?  No.  I am blessed that I have good days.  What I refer to as "making hay while the sun shines."  I try to squeeze in so much into one day that well, the next day I pay for it.  But when I am making feels so good.  It feels good to be with my family and my friends; it feels good to see life outside my house.  I enjoy laughing at a good movie; enjoying a good meal.  Shopping with my daughter; lunch with my son.  An evening walk with my husband.  
But I ask you; I beg you.  Please try to understand.  When I tell you "I'm tired" it encompasses so much more than just the simple "I'm tired".  I don't need a couple extra hours rest; I don't need more vitamins; I don't need to eat more vegetables.  Absolutely nothing except the completely unexplainable internal workings of my messed up, screwed up, sorry excuse for a body can make the determination when I'm going to not "be tired."  
This isn't the choice I would have made for my life.  I pray it's the life you never have to live.  But you need to understand that for people like me, fatigue is about so much more than just being tired.  

I hope you'll remember that the next time you find me in bed and release that ever slight, yet audible sigh that yes, I can hear and roll your eyes when you think I can't see.

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