I have not previously shied away from discussing my autoimmune disorder, but I don’t often spend time focusing on it in my writing.
One of the manifestations of my “chronic fatigue” is fatigue which does not go away after solid sleep. The fatigue is deeper than eyeballs getting exhausted and wanting to close. Instead, it is muscular fatigue – think of working out, trying to build muscle, when you reach a point of muscle burn, one is supposed to continue to work through the burn. The feeling in the muscles after that, the slight stretch, the burn, but the exhaustion is what allows a person to feel they have worked out and they are gaining strength.
Except, when it is my autoimmune issue and has nothing to do with having overly-exerted any effort. I just wake up with muscle fatigue, close to muscle failure, in my upper body. Although I am a restless sleeper, I am pretty sure my husband would have told me if I were cranking out push-ups in my sleep all night.
Stress – emotional, mental, and physical – all play a major role in exacerbating symptoms. It’s something I’ve learned to live with, and I have learned to keep instances which could lead to a flare at bay.
Finally, some weeks and months are better than others. There’s no rhyme or reason, but sometimes my symptoms disappear; unfortunately, I haven’t become skilled enough yet to recognize when my level of functioning is at its peak. Instead, I only realize “the good days I had,” when I find myself in the middle of a crash.
This week, having returned from a trip across country, facing the daily tasks which come with parenting, finding out my “plus 1 Grandma” has lost her battle with cancer, and throwing in a (planned) surgery for my husband, I have found myself in the middle of a crash.
Which has made me grateful for nothing more than sleep this week.
Not the timed sleep where one goes to bed at night and wakes up at a designated hour.
Instead of quantity of sleep, I am grateful for quality sleep.
The kind where one gets deeply into REM, and where one wakes up feeling ready to conquer the day!
I’m grateful for that because it is a feeling I took for granted in the past couple months. And, because I know eventually, I will get back into the groove of feeling that way.
After I have moved through this current setback.
I think, subconsciously, I have known this was coming – hence the fewer and fewer blog posts.
Yet, I look forward to getting my cognitive functioning back up and running, my muscles back to working properly, and my quality of sleep restored.
All in God’s timing.
What about you? For what are you grateful this week?
Until next week, dear reader…