So, extreme fatigue is part of most chronic illnesses, and I have found that the general population, and most doctor's have no understanding of what that means. So I am going to try and elaborate. I suffer from extreme fatigue.  Here are the symptoms, and its impact.

  • I can sleep all day, all night and all day and still wake up tired.
  • Even when I can't sleep my body is too tired to get up and get moving
  • When I fight the fatigue it hurts. My eyes ache, my head aches and turns into migraines, my bones hurt. It hurts to be touched, hurts to move, and hurts to breathe. I want to throw up, and scream and cry. I get so tired, and the pain from being tired becomes so much that I end up lying in the dark waiting and begging for sleep to come.
  • I can't lift even a newborn without my arms and body shaking.
  • I shake when I walk, and when I stand up I start to blackout, but never quite do, while never quite regaining my equilibrium. 
  • I have to plan my days. If I have work, then the day before must be a resting day. If I go somewhere, or have a busy weekend, then you can bet that I'll spend the next couple of days mainly sleeping.
  • Working out, at the extremely low impact level that I can obtain, results in a nap, and the next three days being exhausted. 
Fatigue sucks. It is almost worse than pain because it sucks the life out of things. It sucks the joy out of activities because you know for everything you do there is a consequence, a payment that must be met, or you'll just be sicker. Today I was tired. The weekend was fun. I had a blast hanging out with my family and the little kids that we all have. I enjoyed watching my son swim for the first time this summer. Then I slept. All night, all day, and all night again. Tomorrow I will probably sleep most of the day. I have tried everything from stimulants, to drugs given to people with narcolepsy, and still I must sleep. I must always pay for the activity I do. Maybe not that day, but soon. Now I can't work, or take care of my son unassisted. He is too busy, and I'm so tired. Being tired shortens your temper, and makes even little things harder to handle. It makes busy kids seem disobedient, and crazy. It makes everyone seem better than you, and it is hard to watch others so effortlessly do what I must plan to achieve. I'm tired of planning my days to account for how tired I will be later. Now my husband is suffering fatigue. Because my illness, his job, and life in general is draining. He sleeps like a log, and is tired from the moment he gets home. I would help, but my fatigue always wins.

Final word. I am not lazy, crazy, or unmotivated. I am actually extremely stubborn, and like people, activities, and children. I love playing with children, working with children, and generally running around being busy. Normally I would have full days, and do hundreds of things. I have tried everything, and will continue to get up and move around, if only to keep my joints limber. It isn't easy, but it is important. Next time a doctor tells me I am just stressed though, and I might go postal. How can I be stressed when all I do is sleep all the time?