Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fatigue and Tiredness

This post was originally published at Get Fit Chicks. It may refer to posts on Get Fit Chicks that no longer exist. Please email me if you run into any of those and I will break the links. More information about the reposting is available here

So, the crazy diet seems to have done the trick…or at least part of the trick. The fatigue is totally letting up. I’m sure the aquafit has a lot to do with it too, but I am certain the diet played a big role!

When I was battling fatigue before, I saw a bunch of doctors, specialists and students…And when there was a student involved I had to tell my story from the very beginning, even if I’d been seeing that particular doctor/specialist regularly and they knew the story by heart (there was one doctor who I saw 2-3 times a week for about three months…she knew the drill!). One of those students was studying to be a nurse practitioner and it was because of her I had to figure out how to describe the difference (for me) between feeling tired and feeling fatigued.

This particular woman was convinced from the moment she started taking my history (the story begins with a sudden, unexplained fever and snowballs from there) that my problem was quite simply “just depression.” Which she told me six or seven times before she had my complete history.

When the doctor came in and the student “presented” me she immediately started off with, this woman is depressed. Now, I don’t think she’d seen my chart because this was the doctor I’d was visiting more often than I saw my friends and the doctor, while she listened to what the student had to say, was not in agreement. Depression was one of the first things they ruled out – in part because of how I felt in the morning.

The reason this student was adamant that I was “just depressed” was because I mentioned that I just couldn’t get myself out of bed in the morning. What I didn’t manage to get across but the doctor finally communicated to the student was that (for me) not being able to get up in the morning wasn’t a psychological, “don’t want to” get up but more a physical, “can’t actually do it” get up AND when the student *still* insisted that I was “just depressed” that the various doctors I had been seeing had all ruled depression out. And what I realized from the discussion that ensued between the doctor and the student was that I needed to be more clear on how I felt. (I also hoped the student stopped telling people they were “just depressed” because depression is a little more serious and real than “just” allows it to be.)

Which led me to my personal definitions of tiredness and fatigue. I’m tired if I can’t keep my eyes open, I feel sleepy, and a good night’s rest (or nap) will take away the tired feeling. I’m fatigued I usually feel sleepy, I may not be able to keep my eyes open, I may not be able to concentrate, I may not be able to get motivated, I may not want to eat, but sleep (a nap or a good night’s rest) will not make me feel less tired or relieve the other symptoms.

So, while I’m still tired (getting up with a hungry, growing toddler at 4:00 doesn’t help things), I feel like I’m fatigue free again! I can be “cured” by getting some sleep…although that’s not likely to happen for another, oh, eighteen years.

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