I really wish there was a better word. When people here fatigue they think oh just a little sleep will set you right. WRONG.
Its not just being tired. Its not getting restful restorative sleep. I have learned so much about sleep since getting sick. Sleep is not sleep. There are different types of sleep. All I know is I just want to sleep.
So how to describe to someone the feeling Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia together create? Its a very challenging thing to do. Not only is my brain tired. My muscles are tired and my eyes are tired and my bones are tired and my joints are tired. They don’t want to do any kind of movement at all. Which might be okay if it started around six or seven pm. When this is how you wake up….its a different story.
Ever since I was a kid I have read to get to sleep. So when I wake up in the middle of the night. Its not just a matter of reading to get back to sleep. Most of the time I have no cognitive ability to read. I typically play a game on my phone or scroll through facebook. That is if I actually get out of bed. I have a rule that if I am awake longer than fifteen minutes I get up. I used to think I was waking up out of hunger. I gained a lot of weight with that. Sometimes though its the only thing that helps. I have switched to a high protein high fiber cereal and that helps even more.
Some people have called me lazy. I am young I must be able to just pop right up. Yeah about that pop right up…..This body says you are funny! There is no popping. I struggled for a along time thinking I was actually being lazy. Can it be laziness when it actually is hard to force pass the all over muscle tiredness that is always there?
There are four levels of sleep. We all cycle through them each time we sleep. Its not til the third and fourth level that we get restorative sleep. For people who have Chronic Fatigue and or Fibromyalgia this is a very difficult to achieve. Most people don’t reach these levels of their sleep cycle until ninty minutes after falling asleep. So with me waking every two hours. I don’t spend alot of time in that glory area! The longer you sleep the longer the third and fourth level last starting at ten minutes or so and increasing to up to an hour. Kinda hard to get to longer levels of the deeper sleep when you are constantly starting your sleep cycle over.
There are lots of ways to help people achieve this third and fourth level of sleep. Its called REM sleep or also delta wave sleep. I have found meditations and recordings that will help you get to the delta wave faster. They work some of the time. Sometimes when I am tossing and turning alot these meditations can help calm that. Sometimes but not always.
I also use melatonin. It at least gets me that sleepy feeling so I can actually fall asleep. I have tried the extended release as well but was not very impressed. Being on antidepressants Melatonin is one of the few things I can safely take. I also take a magnesium calcium combo to help me sleep.Basically I take enough medications and supplements in the evening that could knock out a horse but make me just a tad sleepy.
I do find this time that I am awake in the middle of the night peaceful. I think that is probably some of the reason I do it. The animals are quiet the kid is quiet the husband is quiet. I can hear myself think. If I want to think that is. Sometimes I wake up and am so AWAKE that my brain starts up. Those nights I know it will be hard to get back to sleep. These nights I should not even try to go back to sleep, but I always do. I always feel worse when I wake up.
How to describe a feeling of immense fatigue? That you feel daily that you are being weighed down by cement while also walking through molasses. A feeling that never really truly goes away. A little cob webby feeling of it is always there. That no matter how often you are resting or sleeping it never goes away. Im not sure that you can. I think its just something you have to experience. I also don’t think I can explain HOW I do the things I do….I just do. I don’t think about it I just do it. I might whine and complain and bitch and vent but I do it. How does a mother push a baby out? She just does. She doesn’t give up. She keeps going….even when she is sure she can’t stand another second of pain. How do I function on three sometimes four hours of sleep? I don’t know. Plain and simple. I don’t know. I just do it because the way I see it. I have no other choice. The other choice is too much like giving up. I won’t quit. I won’t give up. So I just go on.