Ever had that experience of coming home from a lovely relaxing holiday and being tipped immediately back into your pre-holiday life without time to catch your breath? That was me this week.
I had to travel to run a workshop, a stressful one at that (senior people, poorly defined outcomes, high expectations); and the rest of the week was just one thing after another.
Sunday morning arrived and I hit the wall. I couldn’t get going, then realised there was no need to. So I stayed in bed.
It’s hard to describe this kind of fatigue. Very familiar to rheumatoid arthritis sufferers, it is a different beast altogether from “feeling tired”. When I’m tired, I sleep and I feel fine when I wake up. When I’m fatigued, getting out of bed to go to the bathroom takes a huge effort and thank goodness I can sit down once I get there. Fatigue is more like the tiredness you feel when you’ve got the flu: you know one night’s sleep isn’t going to fix it, it’s settled into your whole body, and you’re just going to have to stay in bed because anything else is an impossibility.
The difference is that I don’t have the flu, and when I get up tomorrow I’ll feel like I’m coming down with the flu instead of having a full blown case. This will feel like an improvement. But it’ll be compounded by the weekly dose of methotrexate, a particularly nasty but effective drug whose side effects include fatigue (yes, more), nausea, and the infamous brain fog that leaves you feeling a day late and a dollar short.
By Wednesday I might be feeling a bit perkier. Who knows, next weekend I might get to spend both Saturday and Sunday out of bed. It’s a good thing I’m comfortable with spending the vast majority of my time alone since fatigue is not much of a spectator sport.