Friday, February 02, 2007

Crashing 101 

Haven't posted much lately about what's going on with my health. There are a few reasons for that, the main one being that I don't have any real improvement to report. The other big reason is that when I crash, my brain is usually too fogged in to allow me to relate the fact.

Those who know me well are familiar with my seemingly endless cycles of illness exacerbation and (sometimes only slight) recovery. But to those of you who are new or have forgotten, most people with autoimmune disease and/or fibromyalgia have bad days and somewhat better days. Unfortunately, the rare days that I feel good are usually ruined by my insistence on overdoing whatever I feel well enough to do.

What happens is this: let's say I wake up one day with lower than usual pain levels and some actual energy. My excitement about feeling relatively good is tempered somewhat with the knowledge that it has been days, weeks or months since I felt this well, and I feel almost a sense of panic that I won't be able to make this time worthwhile before I am overwhelmed by illness again. So in celebrating a bit of good health, I also try to catch up on the things I've been longing to do but have been too ill to accomplish.

You can probably already see where this goes. I might run extra errands while I'm already out, or go to a movie I've been dying to see, or socialize, or maybe take pictures. And in spite of enjoying myself immensely and thinking that it was all worthwhile, I can't help but be a least a little disappointed when I crash.

And crash I do, sometimes even when I haven't intentionally engaged in too much activity. I'm stuck in bed, unable to get up no matter how much I want to. Or even if I manage to get up, I can't put my thoughts into any logical sequence well enough to do much of anything except passively stare at a television screen (and even then, I can't concentrate well enough to watch anything with a plot).

I never know how long a crash will last. Sometimes I'll feel a bit better the next day, but I've also had exacerbations from which I have NEVER completely recovered. That knowledge makes me timid, sometimes too timid to dare to enjoy myself, which of course sets me up for wanting to overdo it again the next time I have the chance.

Where am I going with this? I must honestly say I have no idea. That's because I'm presently in a crash and burn phase and can't remember what my point was.

The aquacise class I started last week has been harder on me than I expected. I got through the first week with the usual increased tiredness, but then on Sunday night, all of a sudden the sledgehammer of autoimmune fatigue walloped me but good, and I swear it was like my brains slid right out of my head. I crawled into bed so messed up I could barely form a sentence.

Woke up on Monday still extra tired but more functional, so I went to aquacise again, and did feel better for a bit before a mini-crash Tuesday night. But I know I desperately need the exercise, so I returned to class on Wednesday even though I was kinda sore from Monday. Stayed home on Thursday hoping to recover from Wednesday's class, but it didn't help much.

Could not get out of bed at all this morning until after 11am, so I really had to rush to get to the class at noon. The fuzzy-headedness improved for about 20 minutes, then came back with a vengeance for the second half of the class. Drove home feeling as though vampires had completely drained me of blood.

And that's where I am tonight. It has taken me over an hour I think to type this because I am transposing letters in nearly every word and have to keep going back and staring at my fingers try to remember the proper order the letters go in. Welcome to my world; can you believe I was once an intelligent and creaative writer??

If you were able to make sense of this, congratulations, because I can't seem to. But I will promise to try to not make too many entries when I am in this state, even if it means my posts are fewer. It's embarrassing when I must struggle so hard to express myself.

Can't think of a good way to finish this, so I'll just stop.

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