Friday, February 19, 2016

Fighting Back

So, yesterday, if you read my blog, you know I walked to work. I did pretty good. Took me 40 minutes to get there. Worked 6 hours. Then I hosted an event at the wine shop for 2 hours. After that, I went to my older daughter's double header indoor soccer game. As the second game was starting, the exhaustion kicked in. That is probably the longest day I've had since the CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) kicked in more than three years ago now.

I do not want to let CFS define who I am. I haven't fought it much, because it's just too hard and tiring, but I want my body, mind and soul back. I'm ready to be fit again and lose this weight I've gained as a result of fatigue. My body has undergone many horrible symptoms caused by CFS -  it's not just about fatigue. It affects my sleep, which I've not got a decent night of in years. Causes joint pain, which I have in one knee and one elbow. Also, dizziness, allergies, and a plethora (one of my favorite words) of other fun physical problems.

Truly, I'd like to get my mind back as well. CFS is not just a physical illness, but a mental one too. I suffer from serious brain fog. At first I didn't realize that was a symptom of CFS. I thought (and maybe still do) that I had adult ADD because I couldn't focus. My writing has suffered. Probably why I've not completed another novel. Often when I'm speaking to someone, I can't pull up the easiest of words. Words anyone, even a child could remember and come up with. When I'm working on freelance writing, the thesaurus is my bible. My memory has suffered too. I also suffer from CRS (can't remember shit) which I worry annoys people I talk to often.

Now let's talk about my soul. I've been very open about suffering from depression and anxiety. Now, this I've suffered even before CFS, but having it doesn't help one bit. When, like me, you used to be active and witty, smart and productive, then suddenly you're more like a sloth, affects your self esteem and confidence.

So today I stepped up my workout. Instead of walking for a length of time, I chose to walk a distance. Then I walked 10 minutes more because I had to finish watching House Hunter. I mean, they were choosing a home in Hawaii! I had already invested 20 minutes.  Then I did some strength training. I mostly work on my arms, because, really, my legs ain't so bad. I want to get rid of what I like to call "Back Boobs."

I have to be careful though. If I overdo it, it could set me back a few days. I remember when I first started working out again, I went to this yoga class, which was more like yoga on steroids, and it took me out for a week.

So why am I sharing all this with you? For a couple reasons I guess. To make myself accountable. If I'm telling the world, I would feel a fool were I do give up before reaching my goals. Also, to raise some awareness for CFS. Those who don't suffer or know someone who suffer don't understand. I remember when I first started feeling tired I was getting the, "it's just the weather" explanation, of course, I'd been fatigued for over a year, so that couldn't be it. I was told, "you just need to exercise more" and at the time, I was kickboxing and walking regularly. Then I get people who say, "Oh yeah, I have to nap too," to which I ask, "for 3 hours? And do you have to set an alarm to be able to wake up for dinner or kickboxing class or etc etc etc."

It's really very frustrating. I mean, seriously, when I was diagnosed I was like, "that's a cop out diagnosis." But I know too well that it's real.

Thanks for once again reading my rant. I'll get there. I'm determined. I don't know how long it will take, but one of these days, I will find the balance I need to be a healthy, focused and productive once again.

Read more about CFS at the Mayo Clinic and the Washington Post. There's tons of info, just google.

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