13 January 2009 - 8:09 pm


Energy is an issue for me.  Thanks to the CFS, I have to watch my energy levels very closely.  Some times are better than others, and a change can actually be a lot better than a rest.

Lately, it has not been great for me.  It has been getting more and more difficult to scrape myself out of bed in the morning, and some days it has been near impossible to think straight, let alone do anything useful.  I won’t go into the other symptoms (it’s a lovely, long list), but let’s just say it sucks in many ways.

I’ve tried a lot of things to try to combat the effects of CFS in the past – magnesium, omega 3 oils, yet more iron, getting more sleep.  There is no treatment, and none of those things have worked for me (though they have for others).  

The only thing that seems to work for me at all is exercise.  Which creates a rather interesting conundrum – I have to expend energy to get more energy, but where do I get the initial investment?  Unlike business, it’s not the sort of thing you can borrow.  So yes, it bites hard when I kick the process off.  If I do too much, I just end up worse than I started out.

That’s what happened last week.  A few months ago, I got a couple of workout machines so that I can do exercise at home (with my schedule, a gym really doesn’t work).  When NaNo started, I didn’t have the energy to do both, so I let the exercise slide for a month.  With the craziness of MLing, I wound up drained and wobbly by the end of November.  It has taken me until this month to feel in a position to start it up again.

So, I tried last week.  Getting up stupid-early every day, going downstairs, working out for half an hour, and then falling into the shower and going to work.  It was a mess.  I was a mess.  

I’m trying to write (AB) on the train to and from work, and it was a struggle to think straight on the morning trip, let alone put words together.  By the middle of the week, I wasn’t doing much writing at all.  I suspect the posts have suffered somewhat because of that (it doesn’t help that I’m in the middle of a particularly harrowing/difficult part of Faith’s personal journey right now, either).

I spent the weekend pretty much trying to get over that.  Yesterday at work, I was almost useless – when I’m tired, my attention span shrinks and I get very restless.  This is not conducive to being productive.  Today was better, because I’ve been forcing myself not to do much of anything except sitting, sleeping and eating.  Ugh.


I promised myself a long time ago that I wasn’t going to let this kind of thing get in my way.  I was diagnosed with arthritis when I was 2, and I did sports all through school.  I even went skiing once (the cold is not kind to me).  I have IBS, but I still eat the things I like, even when I know my guts might hate them.  

I could curl up in bed and let CFS be my reason – my excuse – for not doing anything at all, but I won’t.  I refuse.  If I let that happen, I wouldn’t be here right now – I would have stayed in the UK and never dared to pack two houses up and fly halfway around the world.  And I’m still convinced that this is a good move for me, that this is one of the best moves I’ve ever made in my life, for me.

So I choose to push on.  But last week proved that I’m not as resilient as I would like.  It’s been a long time since the CFS has been this bad – not for three or four years, I think.  I know it’s bad when I’m seriously considering calling in to work so that I can sleep (I never call in to work except when I’m really sick, unless it’s a job I hate, and I love this job).

I have taken a lot on this year – maybe too much, but I don’t want to shy away in case it’s not.  I’m not done trying this stuff yet.  I’m not done trying to figure out how to make it all work around the obstacles my body decides to place in my way.

Baby steps, I think.  Start slower.  Try to do the exercise every other day, instead of every day.  Bring my sleeping pattern forward before I get into it, rather than trying to do it all at once.  It’s so frustrating; I’d like to chew on the pace until it moves quicker, but all the will in the world won’t change my limits, I suppose.  Push them, maybe, but not change them.

Next week I’ll start again.  This week is for preparing and resting up.  It better damn well work this time, or I’m gonna have to go kick some ass.  I just wish I knew whose.

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