When the going gets tough

…the tough go to bed. It’s been one of those weeks when it all got too much and I had to admit defeat.

Last weekend I went out for dinner at my boss’s house. I met her husband and kids and her mother who lives with them. It was a really nice evening, lots of conversation and laughter and delicious food. It wasn’t a late evening – I was in bed by about 9:30pm.

But, and there is always a but, for all that it was enjoyable, it took a lot out of me.I was very tired the next day but pushed myself to Do Stuff because that’s what you do on the weekend.

It all backfired of course. By Wednesday I was exhausted and couldn’t get out of bed. I made it back to work for Thursday and Friday, but Saturday was again bed day.

This really is not a life. My weekends are now for recuperating sufficiently to send me back out to work. I feel like I’m working in some kind of sweat shop.

Recently I read an article reporting on some research into the fatigue of rheumatoid arthritis, that suggested it is not related to the level of inflammation as was previously believed. This certainly has been my experience. My blood tests show that inflammation is well controlled, but the fatigue is an entirely different beast with a mind of its own. It’s incredibly debilitating, and it’s also completely misunderstood by almost everyone who doesn’t suffer from it. Fatigue isn’t like being tired. When you’re tired, you know that you can sleep and you’ll wake up feeling fine again. Fatigue is like waking up realising you’ve got the flu. Every day.

Some mornings, I wake up and have an inverse adrenaline rush: instead of a rush of energy I get a sudden draining away of energy that leaves me feeling almost paralysed.  When that happens, I know I’m going nowhere that day.

That’s why, when the going gets tough, I go to bed. I don’t have any choice.