Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Unexpected Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue

I've been writing more about my M.E./CFS (formerly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or CFS for short). And quite frankly that's because it's been kicking my ass lately. Well, every part of me really. I'm so exhausted that I'm having to miss plans that I normally would make every effort to attend - and really I am making every effort. I'm just too drained. The last two weeks I've missed my weekly yoga class to take a nap. This past weekend I ran an hour of errands and came home feeling like I ran a marathon. Walking my dog causes me to feel almost winded. And that's when she's actually being well-behaved!

In addition to the obvious fatigue that comes with M.E./CFS, there are other symptoms. Random joint and body pain. Numbness and tingling in my limbs. The other day my feet fell asleep while walking and my hands have fallen asleep while typing. It's not the first time for either of these. There's also the dizziness, though because I suffer from vertigo, and am borderline hypoglycemic and hyponatremic, that may nor may not be solely attributed to the M.E./CFS. And of course, the brain fog. Though again, because of my depression, this can be difficult to discern. At times, I'm not sure if I can't think straight because of my depression or because of M.E./CFS brain fog. It could be a combination. There's also the swollen glands (of some sort) under my arms, which makes me walk around like the Michelin Man, with my arms not quite being down at my sides.

Unfortunately, suggestions for making M.E./CFS more manageable include things like exercising. Which is great, when you have the energy to do so. Yesterday, I dragged myself through a 25 minute workout at home, which took all I had. Perhaps I shouldn't have made myself, but I wanted to see if it did help at all. Verdict:  I'm still as exhausted. Other suggestions include:  Therapy. Check. Already there for my cyclothymia, anxiety, and that goodness.  Depression Medication: Can't do because of my rapid cycling, but I do have mood stabilizers, which I think covers that basis. So, check. Regular sleep habits (even though sleep doesn't really refresh me much of the time): Big old negativo. My mood cycles make it tough to sleep. Anxiety leads to morning. My job involves shift work that's dependent on event times, so my start time/wake time varies.

It's frustrating as hell. I probably need to go to the doctor for a full blood workup and general check, but currently my primary doctor is my therapist, whose realm does not include things like checking my arm pits for swollen glands (and I'd be worried if she did). So to be honest, I haven't had anyone actually manage my M.E. CFS in years. And perhaps I should, at least loosely.

So if you notice me zoning out or dosing off or other generally weird (weirder than normal) behavior such as the ones above, this is probably why. I apologize in advance if I can't make plans, or if I have to leave early, or if I'm just generally antisocial (also more than normal). I dislike it too, greatly. I hope to be back to you all soon. 

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