One of the most difficult things about having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is trying to describe to others what it is like. Many times I just say I’m tired, but tired doesn’t properly explain it. Chronic Fatigue is more than being tired all of the time. Tired can be cured by a nap or a good night’s sleep, Chronic Fatigue can’t. Yes, do take naps, but I take naps so that I don’t pass out from fatigue, not to recharge. Chronic Fatigue feels like every bit of energy has been sucked from my body. Some days, I only have enough energy to breathe, and even that feels like its sucking up every bit of energy I have left in me.
The past couple of weeks I’ve been in a terrible Chronic Fatigue flare. I’m too tired to fall asleep, I’m too tired to get up at a decent time in the morning and end up laying in bed until noon, taking a 6 hour nap, and still feeling exhausted. Everything takes energy I don’t have. Breathing, eating, sitting up…all adding to the exhaustion. I have days where I can’t get out of bed, sometimes I go a week without washing my hair, sometimes I am so exhausted that I can’t even speak. The energy just isn’t there for me to do these things.
Plus, there’s the flu-like symptoms, the sore throat the body aches, and the general feeling of blah. Tylenol doesn’t help these symptoms though. Nothing does. Only when this flare passes will the flu-like symptoms pass too.
Having Chronic Fatigue syndrome is like having a faulty cell phone battery. You plug it in for a few hours and expect it to become fully charged, but its actually only charged to 20%, and you have to make that 20% last all day. You decide that maybe it needs to be charged longer, so you plug it in before bed, expecting it to be fully charged when you wake up, but when you look at your phone that morning, its only charged to 25%. Sometimes, though, you get lucky and wake up to it being charged to 60%, those are good days. You get to go out and take a few pictures, catch up on your email, send a few more texts. But the next day, it only charges to 10%. The difference between the phone battery and a body though is that you can get the phone repaired, you can get a new battery, but you can’t get a new body.
So, when I tell you that I’m tired, please realize that it is so much more, I just don’t have the energy to explain it to you.