I Am Tired. Really Tired.
If you have ever met me, you would know that I am happy, energetic, and goofy. I
strive off of positivity, and try to lead my life with joy. I've been described as Disney in a bottle, and I gladly accept that. (Fun Fact: Did you know that I used to work in Disney World?!)
So what's my trick? A bunch of coffee every morning? No, I actually really hate coffee and think it is beyond disgusting (what kind of Washingtonian am I?!). Getting plenty of sleep? No, I actually have insomnia and pretty much never get a full nights rest.
So then what is it?! I honestly do not know. I think most people have no idea that I live every day extremely fatigued. If I am just at home (which rarely happens), I could easily sleep the whole day. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, I get ready and then end up going downstairs for breakfast and fall asleep on my couch.
Admitting that I am tired to other people is actually really hard for me. If I openly admit that I am beyond tired, will I stop being my happy self? Even writing this, I go back and forth between if I should post it. Then I remind myself that putting this out in the world might make one person feel less alone in their struggle.
Why am I so tired?
Ehlers Danlos affects your entire body. That means my body literally works non-stop just trying to hold itself together. Imagine you have an injury like a sprained ankle. What would your doctor tell you to do? Rest. Well I can't simply rest every day I have pain, because that would be every day.
My other comorbidities like POTS and ADHD also increase fatigue.
Then add in teaching dance full time... which alone would make anyone tired!
Add all of those ingredients together and you get a big bowl of tired soup.
The Spoon Theory 🥄
Let's play a game!
How did you use yours? When you are healthy, you have an unlimited amount of spoons. When you have a chronic illness, you wake up each day not knowing how many spoons you have that day. Sometimes activities that cost one spoon one day, could cost you triple the next. If you are really in need, you could borrow some spoons from tomorrow, but then what happens when you have less spoons the next day?
This is what I go through every day. I can't imagine cleaning my house and going to work on the same day!
The Spoon Theory was created by Christine Miserandino.
How do I improve my fatigue?
Oh, how I wish I had a clear answer. I'm very much still in the experimental phase. Here are some things I have tried so far:
Compression socks/garments. These are used a lot of POTS, and help with circulation regulation. I tried wearing them to sleep, while teaching, day-to-day, but I just can't do it.
Supplements. I currently take Iron, Vitamin D, B-12, and an Omega Complex. There are a lot of links with EDS and nutrient deficiencies that I think I will be exploring more.
Melatonin for sleep. Sleep=healing. I have tried Melatonin a couple of times for sleep, and it is hit or miss. Right now, it helps me fall asleep but not stay asleep.
Sleep medication. I tried two different sleep medications, but they stayed in my system when I woke up and kept me foggy during the morning/day.
Hydration + electrolytes. I do see a change in myself when I forget to drink water during the day. Staying hydrated and increasing my sodium (That's a POTS thing😉) helps me push through the day!
Fatigue is one of the most common complaints amongst those with chronic illnesses, and I can see why! Here's to hoping for improvement! 💕🦓
Stay Kind. Be Brave. Much Love.