It began in luxurious beautiful sleep. Sleeping when I was tired. Laying my head down at night and falling asleep. The kind of indulgent sleep that had eluded me most of my adult life. Then a day of luxury. Doing nothing but laying on the couch reading a good book.
At some point, book in hand, I thought “my mother would be so proud”. Year after year she would say to me “slow down Kelly. Take some time to relax Kelly. Why do you always have to go go go?” I thought “finally, at close to 50 years old I’m relaxing”. I’d smile to myself throughout the day, giddy with the extravagance of doing absolutely nothing. I thought “I deserve this, I’ve been busy, I’m learning to just be.”
Slowly the luxury turned into a type of need and seemed odd. Even though I was sleeping like a log, I was so very tired. I’d wake up tired. I’d get my coffee tired. I’d start doing dishes and five minutes later think “I just need a little break then I’ll finish the dishes”. Thirty minutes later I’d look at the dishes and think “I’ll feel better in a while and do them then”. It might take half a day to feel well enough to do dishes. I’d read, watch television, skim facebook or throw in a load of laundry.
I never felt better.
A day of luxury and relaxation turned into a life changing year. I quit working out the way I always have and began just walking or swimming. I quit grad school, never rode my motorcycle, and planned my days around not being far from somewhere I could “rest”. I started to hate the word “rest”.
The one millionth time I looked for an answer online, I watched a video of a man with MS describe his fatigue. “MS fatigue is different. To call it fatigue doesn’t fit. If you called what most people think of as fatigue a firecracker and MS fatigue Hiroshima that would about describe it”. I thought “that’s me”. Telling people I was “tired” or “fatigued” simply wasn’t the truth. It was something else. Something deeply organic and all consuming.
Then one day, after tons of lab work, two MRI’s, and three different doctors it just... went away. December 24th 2014. I was baking cookies around two in the afternoon and realized I wasn’t tired. Then realized I’d felt normal for about twenty four hours. I blogged about that earlier this year. Thinking doctors had missed a simple infection by not doing the most basic of tests, a urine sample.
That was five months ago. I thought it was gone. It’s not.
A different doctor, a Mayo Clinic doctor, has a possible line on the etiology. I don’t care. I just want my energy. I don’t want to “rest” EVER. I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it. “This is what it must feel like to be truly old” I think often. Wanting your energy and health back because your mind hasn’t given up on things your body has.
This post feels a bit morbid because I’m feeling a bit morbid. Whatever is wrong with me I can’t make go away using the tools I’ve spent a lifetime developing. I can do everything right and it still won’t go.the.fuck.away.
I’ve beat debilitating anxiety using exercise, healthy food, and a positive mental attitude. I’ve had a difficult surgery and quickly got back in tip top shape using exercise, healthy food and a positive mental attitude. I’ve gone through divorce and loss and heart ache using exercise and blah blah blah you get the point.
My tool box feels inadequate and instead I’m whining in a blog. If exercise, healthy food, and a positive mental attitude doesn’t do it maybe whining will.
Yep, I feel better already.