Monday, September 15, 2008


Image by lusi 
There should be a new name for autoimmune fatigue. 

I spent several days over the past week apartment shopping with my daughter, and it was a great time. Daughter and I looked at every apartment available in the general metro area over the course of four days, I think. Propped up by caffeine in every form available, at last we found the perfect apartment - available, good location, in her price range, clean, and pet-friendly. She signed on the dotted line of her lease and we high-fived. I live for these important and gratifying mom-daughter experiences. 

Then I drove home and collapsed onto couch for another four days. 

As I recuperated on my friend, Couch, I had a great deal of time to ruminate. My immediate circle of friends and family understand when I tell them, "I'm crashing." They know that when I crash, I have used every ounce of my energy reserves, and that a crash is followed by hours and even sometimes days of rest. Mandatory, boring, mind-numbing, frustrating, cranky Julia rest. 

Others, with whom I may not have shared my health problems, understandably don't realize the prolonged process of recharging my energy reserves. For those who ask, it's really hard to explain in a few efficient phrases why I'm camped out on my couch for days on end. I thought about this as I was hanging around in a horizontal position for the past several days. 

We folks in the medical profession are accustomed to having a specific set of words, preferably latin in origin, to describe just about anything imaginable. We like to organize and define things. It's just our nature. Take bacteria, for example. Here's just a teeny bit of nomenclature specific to bacteria:

Phylum "Acidobacteria"

Class Acidobacteria

Order Acidobacteriales

Family "Acidobacteriaceae" 


Phylum "Actinobacteria"

Class Actinobacteria

Subclass Acidimicrobidae

Order Acidimicrobiales

Suborder "Acidimicrobineae"

Subclass Actinobacteridae

Order Actinomycetales

Suborder Actinomycineae

This goes on for at least four pages. If you truly have nothing better to do, you can read the whole list here.  Within each phylum, order, class, and family of bacteria there is volumes of additional information. 

So why isn't there a better nomenclature for something as life-altering as fatigue? Ideas, anyone? I'll start:
Phylum: "lying-on-the-couch-like-a-giganticus-slugiae"

Class: stinkus-maximus-no-shower-for-two-daysium
Ok. Now it's your turn. I know that you all know exactly what this feels like. Let's name it. 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Phylum: Insomnia lactose intolerablenus phenomenal fatigues

Class: yawning eye dropus gaseous overly sluggisheum

Well I tried and I am only 7 years behind when this was written :)