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18 Problems Only People With Chronic Fatigue Will Understand


Anyone with chronic fatigue will tell you it’s more than just being “tired.” It’s an exhaustion you likely don’t understand unless you’ve felt it — an exhaustion that hits after just a small amount exertion, and often accompanies a long list of equally debilitating symptoms. The challenges associated with chronic fatigue can have a frustrating affect on how many “spoons” you’ll be able to spend each day.

We asked our chronic illness Facebook community to share the issues you might have thanks to chronic fatigue. Forgetting your train of thought in the middle of a sentence and finding everyday activities draining? Yep, those are problems you’ll probably understand. Just know, if you’ve started experiencing chronic fatigue, know that what you’re feeling is real — and you’re not alone.

Here’s what they told us:

1. “When you’re unable to shower because you decided making food was more important. Then you need to sit on the kitchen floor while your food cooks because you are too exhausted to stand. Then you’re unable to eat the food for a while because eating it too tiring.”

2. “When you’re used to getting stares while you wait for the elevator rather than walk up a single flight of stairs.”

3. “When you have to stop in the middle of a sentence because you suddenly forget what you are talking about.”

4. “When you find yourself standing with a pill box in hand, unable to remember if you took them or not.”

5. “When you have to constantly cancel plans/appointments due to being so worn out.”

6. “When moving from the bed to the couch is your only accomplishment for the day.”

7. “When you have to plan your night out based on how many ‘spoons’ you have.”

8. “When your arms and legs feels like lead and something as simple as combing your hair drains your energy.”

9. “When you know how much energy it takes to get something done and parse the job out into 10-minute ‘energy drains’ over several hours or even days just to get it done. What I used to do in one day or less now takes a week or more.”

10. “When you get out of bed to start the day and then have to rest before showering.”

11. “When you feel yourself becoming short, frustrated, and/or angry because you literally haven’t slept well for days, weeks, or even years. I am one of those people, even though I try very hard not to be.”

12. “When you have a really hard time listening, even when you’re trying.”

13. “When your adrenaline is pumping to get through a small task, and after your system calms down, you can’t get back up again for a day or two.”

14. “When you are with your family at Disneyland walking down Main Street and all you want to do is find a bench to take a nap.”

15. “When you’re able to sleep 18 hours but wake up feeling like you didn’t sleep at all.”

16. “When your first thought every morning is ‘I can’t wait for a nap.’”

17. “When you fall asleep while talking to someone because you’re so tired.”

18. “When you are always looking for a place to sit down if you have to wait more than two minutes.”

What’s a problem you’ll understand if you have chronic fatigue? Share in the comments.




18 Problems Only People With Chronic Fatigue Will Understand