Friday, March 12, 2010

She's A Slow Learner...

(Sound of Julia repeatedly thudding her head against the table)

Well. Let's review.

I have had to deal with autoimmune related fatigue for, years now? And have posted repeatedly here, and quite smugly I might add, that I know my limits and have figured out how to adjust my schedule to match my energy levels.

So when I correctly asses my physical cues of energy levels as being dangerously low, and still rationalize pushing through my fatigue, and then crash and burn in an embarrassing fashion in a very public place - it's obvious Julia's ego trumps common sense on occasion. Probably more often than I'd like to admit.

I'm still recovering my energy levels from my weekend trip, yet when a friend called and asked me to get together with her at a coffee shop about 45 minutes away, I accepted without a second thought.

The warning signs couldn't have been more clear - simply by taking a shower and putting the dogs out left me trembling and perspiring. I felt that very strange yet telling sensation of the skin on my face feeling ice cold. By the time I had dressed and had breakfast, a teensy little voice of reason was trying to make itself heard: Girl. This is not a good idea. You should glue your butt to the couch for the day.

But. But. But. I waaaannnnaaaa go see Cheryl. We haven't seen each other in ages. Pshaw. I'll just suck down two cups of coffee with breakfast. It'll be fine.

Still mopping the perspiration from my face, I grabbed my purse and headed out the door. Forty five minutes later, I perched on a coffeehouse chair and greeted my friend. As we gabbed and sipped coffee, by now my third cup of the day, it became clear that I was fighting a losing battle. I tried propping up my feet on a nearby chair. Which was quite a feat since those chairs come at a premium at this busy shop. Then I slumped down in the chair trying to get my head a bit lower. My hands were trembling as I sipped my coffee, probably as a result of a combination of caffeine overload and a total energy meltdown.

Cheryl was concerned, and the more she fussed, the more embarrassed I became and the more energy I burned.

I finally retreated to the bathroom and lay down on the tile floor, trying not to think about what kind of germs were attaching themselves onto my clothing. When I have absolutely come to the end of my reserves, it seems as though the best thing that I can do for myself is to somehow become completely flat. Even though I knew that putting my feet up on something would help matters even more, I couldn't bring myself to put my feet up on the toilet. That one seemed over the line of germy-ness....this from a woman plopped down on her back on a public restroom floor....

But it helped. It helped a great deal. I allowed myself to remain in this position until at least two people had pounded on the bathroom door wondering if it was vacant. I slowly returned to standing, washed my hands, and sheepishly returned to my friend.

I bought a huge bottle of plain old water and a piece of fruit, and continued with the feet-up-on-the-chair routine until I felt somewhat capable of maneuvering myself out to the car, then bid my friend good-bye and carefully drove home.

After which I had a four and a half hour nap.

When will I learn???

Image found here


annie said...

Julia, I'm amazed you even had the energy to write this. It's very scary when something like this happens, especially when you're not in your home. I think the autonomous nervous system kicks up the adrenaline we don't have, to make matters worse for us. Hope you recover soon. How did you make the trek back home in your state???

Anonymous said...

I feel less alone now, I'm not the only one hidding in the restroom when I feel so tired;
It happend to me at work. I go to the restroom, sit on the floor my head on my knee, and I "sleep" (I should say collapse) for 10 min. Then I can manage the rest of the day.
Have a good night sleep, I hope it will helps.

annie said...

Julia, it's me again...the person with the memory of a gnat!! I know you posted a list of some helpful books to read, and I thought I took the list down, but I don't have it, and can't find it on the side bars of your site. Would you care to post it again? Also, does anyone have trouble with irregular body temperature? Apart from not perspiring, I also have trouble with feeling cold all the time...sometimes so severe my teeth chatter. I know Raynaud's affects hands and feet, but does it also affect the rest of the body, or is it something else entirely? My rheumatologist said it might be part of sjogren's but he seems a little perplexed, as I have some strange symptoms that fall into a grey zone. Thanks again.

Julia Oleinik said...

Yikes!! What happened to my "recommended reading" sidebar?

Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Annie. I'll get right on re-creating that.

Can things just disappear in blogger-land?