Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I'm Not Crazy, I'm Just A Little Unwell...

OK, well maybe I'm a tad bit of BOTH...crazy AND a little unwell!

I haven't posted any music on CHEESE for quite a while and, of course, my dead mother would argue MatchBox 20 is NOT music...but, this particular song has been wafting through the air in my brain like a bad earworm (that link explains my made up word) today. AND earworms always make me wonder why/where they are coming from.

I'm home again from work today. Fatigue (which SHOULD be a four-letter word, like "F-TEG", with a line over the letter "e" for pronunciation purposes!) has been kicking my rather large, lily-white butt for several days now. It's true...I HAVE been burning the candle at both ends (mindful to keep the flame away from my "end", aka, lily-white butt) of late. I continue to wage war against Club Med and their Tysabri billing practices, I have finally managed to put BACK all of the items littering my home and left over from the MS150 weekend, my friend AND her brother visited for 5 days from Houston (ah, the "bro" was an unexpected guest and you KNOW how I fear change/things unpredicted! LOL), I taught an all day class at work yesterday requiring some physical and mental exertion (and 10 hours of my time from 7:30AM to 5:45PM...and you KNOW how I love mornings?!?), and I've had various other work, personal, and life stressors on my plate as well as dealing with some new and uninvited MS symptoms like stuttering speech, etc...my proverbial *candle* is, quite frankly, used up and burned out.

Unfortunately, what happens in my thinking *head* when I become this fatigued physically and mentally is a pure, unadulterated MIND GAME. I begin to *wonder* if perhaps I AM depressed? Have I finally fallen into that great abyss called "mental illness" where I might scrape my fingers raw trying to climb out? Has my life sunk to an all time low and I will now have to learn to live with this level of fatigue or be damned to a life bedridden? And there is also the Guilt Monster lurking around in my brain, poking me in the shoulder and yelling, "Get up! Stop being a lazy a$$ and get out of bed!! You are a sloth...", etc., etc. The more I lend focus to these thoughts/ideas, the MORE fatigued I feel.

Joan over at A Short In The Cord , writes quite eloquently about her battle with MS fatigue...and I shamefully must admit, I did NOT have a basis of understanding about her situation until these past few weeks. Don't get me wrong, I have HAD various degrees of fatigue over the past 5 years of my Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis. I just have NOT experienced it on the level I feel fatigued NOW as I've always been able to "stop being lazy" (spoken like the truly MS ignorant!) and FORCE myself into action.

Today?...today, MS fatigue has punched me right in the face and is looming over me sneering and saying, "Stay down", like a boxer in the ring who knows they have just won the fight. The count to 10 has occurred and the bell has been rung...I feel dejected and "unwell" that I have lost this fight today.

I can only kick myself in the a$$ OR shoot myself in the foot so many times before body parts become numb and the act of mental self-flagellation becomes an ineffective response to my fatigue. Hindsight is also of no use when I become this exhausted and assuring myself I will NOT allow *me* to be over-taxed, over-worked, over-stressed, and over-active again does not resolve the current situation. Telling *me*, "You need to take better care of yourself", serves NO useful purpose at this juncture...I am HERE and this is NOW. And I simply must deal as best as I can WITH the "here and now" (too bad I am NOT a Zen Buddhist...this idea might be easier to incorporate if I were!).

It is helpful to rely on my years of training and experience to recognize I am NOT *crazy* or careening recklessly down that particularly dark road...I am not even necessarily *depressed* in the practical sense of the word. But I AM sad...this feeling is VERY real.

I am sad Multiple Sclerosis exists and I am sad it is in my life. I am sad to admit I must now make necessary adjustments in my life to fit MS in. I am sad MS accompanies me everywhere I go and makes itself known in everything I do. I am sad I even have to fight Tysabri battles OR take the medication at all. I am sad I MUST force myself at times to get to and through long days at work to support myself when my body insists on other things. I am sad I cannot be and do all of the things I once did with ease. I am sad to admit any of this to anyone.

But...I'm NOT crazy. I'm just a little unwell...


Joan said...

I'm sorry that you really understand that F word now. I'm thinking about you! I'm having a very bad fatigue period right now or I would send you some backup energy.

Spaz Attack said...

What the...Fatigue is a frickin MS epidemic these days! An MS friend and I, d No. 1 Multiple Sh*t SPAZ, are feeling it more than usual, too. Is it something in the air? OUr soil? OUr water? (LOL)

I missed reading your words Cheeze Splat! Glad to hear from you. Sorry about your F!
Hang in there.

Miss Chris said...

Your schedule always seems so full it's no wonder you're suffering from fatigue.

By the way, I too am suffering from an ear worm at the moment... Karma Chameleon by Boy George. I hate that song but it's stuck in my head!

Denver Refashionista said...

I totally get where you are coming from. Mornings have been hell for me of late. I have the guilt, I have the angst and I am mad at MS. Please take a long rest for both of us.

Patrick Leer said...

MS fatigue absolutely RULES my wife, Patti's day. As a family we have had to adjust around her 'power naps' probably for over 15 years.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick http://caregivinglyyours.blogspot.com/

Jen said...

Brain Cheese--

I almost posted this same video! I love this song and I admit that I have the hots for Rob Thomas (who doesn't?)

Now let me go backwards and read this post (I'm a bit backwards in my mentality you see....)

Hang in there. You're a great example of a selfless giver (I don't know any other psychiatric nurses who contend with MS. Rare breed. Keep this in mind.)


Jen, who is trying to read quicker to keep up with blog posts

have myelin said...

I was wondering if you ever....got tired?

But I hate to see you're normal like the rest of us. I hate the F word too.

Anonymous said...

Just thought I'd comment to tell you that 'earworm' is not your made up word - it actually comes from German originally! More here:

Blindbeard said...

Sub "mad" for "sad" and I can relate. My mom always says that depression is just anger at yourself... not sure if that is true or not. Somedays I am such a mix of the 2 I really don't give a hoot where one ends and the other begins.

Bubbie said...

I get fatigued hearing about your work/life hours. I don't know how you do it. How truly greatfull we are for those "good" days. Maybe I'm just getting used to feeling crappy?