Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chugging Along

Image found here


I've had a few crashy days this week. Anyone who has experienced autoimmune fatigue knows what I mean by crashy. It feels like this: I'm a lawnmower. Yes, strange image but stick with me here. I'm a lawnmower with a job to do - obviously to mow the lawn. Yet my gas tank is almost empty. So I go about my work, and within minutes, my engine putters out and dies. Someone puts another dribble of gasoline in my tank, I fire up to get back to the grass, and within another minute or so, my engine dies yet again. Again, I only get given a measly dribble of gasoline.....my two cycle engine truly only has two cycles - almost out of gas, and completely out of gas. 

Aside from the frustrations of not being able to do physical tasks, this kind of fatigue is taxing emotionally, as well. 

I feel as though I am always waiting for a magical day, when I can awake full of energy, and instead of refilling my fuel tank with a miserly few drops, I am recharged completely. I want to be able to look ahead to the next day with the expectation that I can, well, I just can. I can do the vacuuming. I can walk the dog. I can go shopping with my friends. I want to feel as if I can do all those things that I used to do. 

It takes a good deal of emotional energy to rationalize this frustration away. I begin with a thought something like this: Take one day at a time. Just put one foot ahead of the other. Be thankful for the abilities that I do have -  My body still is intact, my brain usually is functional, and I may be slow, but I still have the capability to do most of the things that I need to do. 

Making a mental list of my remaining abilities always helps, and makes me wonder: What do those with disabilities much more significant than I do to keep going? What motivates them to take one day at a time and keep putting one foot ahead of the other? And most of all, I wonder, how can I be more like them? 

4 comments:

Vicky said...

Great post Julia! That has been me lately. I have had writer's block too. LOL This too shall pass.

Wendy said...

Yes, that was a great post. You really captured that feeling well! Is that a new picture too? I love it. It looks like your arms are reaching out to give a hug. It's neat you've found a way to keep up your nursing career via your blog. How many other RN's are also such good writers? Your caregiving abilities and drive are certainly still intact.

maria said...

I hear you~ In fact, so much so as to actually feel what you're describing.

The ebb and flow of living with chronic illness is undeniably exhausting and those who live without it do eventually catch up with the rest of us...everyone ages.

We just do it way ahead of our time.

Sending you a smile and looking forward to hearing you rev that engine up again when you're ready.

A.N.M. said...

You nailed it! I don't think I've ever been able to explain the fatigue feeling as well as you did in this post. Great job :)

ShareThis