Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Slow Going

You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been blogging as frequently as usual. That’s because I’ve been trying to get used to my increased dose of flexeril and work has been pretty busy.

It’s funny because when I’m feeling bad, I have more energy than I do when I feel good, but am totally exhausted, which is today in a nutshell. I’m not in too much pain, but I feel like I am just starting to wake up… And I’ve actually been up for over six hours…

This has been the busiest work week yet, with lunch and dinner meetings, and trying to get my project to completion. And then there is the fatigue that has decided to rear its ugly head, yet again. I thought the point of the flexeril was to make me less tired and more rested.

The problem is that last night I wasn’t able to get a sound sleep. I kept waking up. And when that happens, it takes forever for the flexeril to wear off the next day. I fell asleep super early on the couch because I was exhausted, but you wouldn’t know it by the way I feel today.

I’ve had two meetings already and have two more before the week is over, plus a dinner thing and a baseball game (I'm not playing!!!), and I was invited to a party.

The party is causing me a lot of stress. I feel like I probably shouldn’t go for several reasons:

- I don’t drive and I would need to get a ride. The problem with this is that then I will be at the mercy of another person as to how long I stay at the party. This worries me because I’m not sure I will be able to stay that long and I don’t want to ruin someone else’s good time.
- While it’s fine if I fall asleep on my own couch at 8 o’clock, it’s not as if I can do that at someone else’s house. What if I end up being hit with a wave of fatigue at the party?
- What if I do find a ride, but end up not being able to go because I’m too tired or don’t feel well?
- If I turn down another invitation, will people stop inviting me?

It’s not as if I can really even talk to my friends about it because they can’t begin to understand. It’s not like saying what should I wear today? The question is more to the effect of how much is this activity going to cost me?

And when I’m worried about fatigue, it’s not your garden variety I’m tired. It’s a fatigue that I can’t fight. It hits and all I can do is succumb to it. It’s a fatigue that caffeine can’t cure. I feel like either I have no reserve of energy or I’m already running on my reserve. Either way, I need more sleep to regain the energy I expend each day.

Most people don’t understand how you can still feel the effects of an activity you did a week ago. But everything seems to hit me harder these days. Yesterday, I had to go to the hospital to pick up a prescription. It took forever. What was supposed to be a quick trip ended up, in total, taking almost two hours. By the time I got home, I was totally exhausted.

I think a lot of us challenge ourselves and end up regretting it. That’s what I mean when I have to think about how much the activity is going to cost me. If I go to the party, how many days afterward am I going to feel exhausted? And if I don’t go, will people think I am a socially impaired loser?

I fear that I might be becoming the latter. Lately, staying home or saying no is easier than weighing the consequences of my actions. Especially because it seems like the extra errands I throw into my day end up being a lot more difficult than I expect them to be, these bigger things are bound only to cause trouble.

So once again, I’m torn between the life I should be living as a 22 year old, and the reality of the life I’m living as a 22 year old with a chronic illness. Plus, I’m having a serious identity crisis and feel like I look terrible, so who wants to be in the company of others when they feel like that?

1 comment:

  1. As always, Leslie, I can really relate to your post! Have you read the Spoon Theory before? I think about this a lot.

    Be well,