Regular readers might have noticed that I haven’t been around much the last few weeks. It’s pretty obvious from the “Posts by Date” in the column to the right, anyway.
Sometimes I miss writing because I’m busy doing fun things. Sometimes it’s because I don’t have anything in particular that I want to write about. But far too often, it’s because I just don’t feel up to writing.
I’ve wanted to write several times this week. But those topics have to wait because I’m just too tired to do anything productive these days. Now it’s 4:38pm and I just shut off the tv after watching for several hours. I feel well enough to sit at my desk and type these words. But I don’t know how long it will last.
And I struggle to explain this to friends who don’t have chronic illnesses because I don’t know how to describe it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we don’t have the vocabulary we need to describe these feelings. Sometimes I don’t know how to explain different kinds of pain or different kinds of nausea. This time I don’t know how to explain this feel of being so exhausted that just having a conversation with someone is tiring.
I canceled a date tonight. He was very sweet about it. He offered to bring takeout and a movie to my place so I wouldn’t have to do anything. But he doesn’t understand – we’ve only been out a few times, so I’d feel the need to talk to him, and talking would just take too much effort. How do you explain that to someone who’s never felt that kind of exhaustion? How do you explain the feeling that picking up a remote control is exhausting? How do you explain that reading takes too much energy, because even if someone else holds up the book, you just don’t have the energy left to think?
I felt this way in the past, but when things improved, I really hoped I’d never feel this way again. No such luck. Now, as I’ve felt the fatigue getting worse and worse over the the past few weeks, I’m left to wonder: what’s beyond this level of fatigue? What happens if I continue to feel worse? Somehow, I think I don’t want to know.