The Most Challenging Part of Every Day With Chronic Illness


What was the most challenging part of my day? Let’s rephrase that. How about, what is the most challenging part of my everyday?

One of the toughest tasks of my day would be actually getting up in the morning. Let’s be honest, the majority of us have had a hangover at some point in our life. Maybe some have only felt it once or twice, others more often. No judgment. Just a fact. I wake up every morning feeling hungover. But here’s the thing: I don’t drink. Yet I wake up every morning feeling groggy, lethargic, stiff, head hurting, and dehydrated.

It’s really no fun getting the hangover without the fun stuff the night before. But alas, I know that a large part of the chronically ill community feel this way in the morning. I had nine hours of sleep last night. That’s a lot of sleep, and yet I’m still absolutely exhausted. All my energy is taken up by my body trying to function as normally as possible. In the evenings, I’m so tired that my body slowly starts to shut down, making it impossible for me to keep warm and making me need the bathroom even more often that throughout the day.

Now, let me tell you a bit about fatigue. Because so often when I tell people that I’m tired someone says, “Oh, me too!” I am not trying to minimize that others are tired. You’re all working all week, raising kids, trying to meet deadlines, and trying to have a life outside of it all. I get it, I once was there, too. But fatigue is very different.

The best way I can describe fatigue will unfortunately only resound to a percentage of the population: women who have been pregnant. Remember that feeling during your first trimester? The complete exhaustion? That tiredness that no matter how much you slept at night, no matter how many naps you had during the day, no matter how lazy of a day you had, you were still exhausted throughout the entire day? Nothing could satisfy that fatigue. That’s how I feel literally every day. Not just for three months. Every day.

I was going to try and summarize this video that I saw a few weeks back, but instead I’ll just post it. It’s spot on as to what the differences are between fatigue and being tired. Take two minutes and give it a watch.

Honestly, I’m not sure what I can do to make this easier. I do what I can when I can. I’m physically unable to do more than my body will allow. I’ve had to learn to listen or I become violently ill. It’s just a part of my day now and I’ve had to learn to deal with it.

Follow this journey on A Gut Feeling.

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