Today was an unsuccessful day. I tried to go out for the afternoon to the end of the Fringe festival in the city.
I walked maybe the length of 2 blocks and once we got there I was so exhausted I actually couldn’t believe it. I soldiered on because I wanted to be ok, and I wanted to be able to spend an afternoon in the fresh air with my daughter. I will not have people telling me I should get out more, get some sun, get some fresh air, when I am trying to and failing. I met some friends and my mind was briefly relieved but it was always at the edge of my thoughts – how much energy do I need to get back home, to walk to the car, to drive half an hour home?
When we eventually left, the little one decided she needed to go back in to get another little berry she’d collected because this one’s stem had broken and thus the whole berry was useless. After a bit of negotiating and trying to distract her into forgetting about the berry, my mind said ‘just go back in, walk around a bit and find one, let’s avoid this meltdown’. But my body said ‘no way, I can’t’ and there was no arguing. I stood there for 20 minutes not being able to move because she wouldn’t let us move forward and I wouldn’t let us move back. It reads like a parenting moment but it was a fatigue moment, it was a ‘there is no way you can go back in AND get to the car and get home too’. Phenomenal to feel this way. Only 3 months ago I was a different person. So much more able, and words don’t seem to convey it.
She decided she couldn’t walk the whole distance to the car, so I had to carry her. She clutched her arms around my neck and I walked and I weakened and weakened. Most things shut down, my emotions, my thoughts, my vision darkened and my edges all softened to a slow stable walk. One foot in front of the other. Some people tsked as they brushed past us, whether or not it was at her laziness or mine, I don’t know and I didn’t even care, because there was no energy to care. I just needed to make sure we got to the car and I could sit down. We did. She argued about the air con but I needed something to cool me down and keep me awake on the drive home. When we did get home, we sat in the car in the driveway for about 15 minutes before I could summon the energy to get out of the car. Surprisingly she didn’t seem to mind, as she played on my iPhone. This is not a life.
I felt so miserable on getting home, I was driven back to the Internet to search for answers. I looked for reasons for fatigue, I researched anemia and thyroid function symptoms. I read the Mayo clinic and the CDC’s definition of chronic fatigue syndrome and nothing gave me any comfort. In solution mode I tried to make a plan for this week ahead, to try and force myself better. No alcohol, no sugar, no processed food, lots of water, lots of rest, 15 minute work intervals… eventually it seemed ridiculous and I wondered what in all of this would help me feel good about the situation? And what if none of it worked? That’s the terrible looming question I have now… what if this doesn’t go away?