With Chronic Fatigue, I'd Much Rather Get Sick Than Be 'Just Tired'


My tank is empty. I crashed. I hit the wall. I pushed and pushed and pushed myself until I just couldn’t move. When I went down, I called in “sick” to work. What else do you do? Call in “tired?”

 

I hate the word “tired.” “Tired” doesn’t even begin to explain how I feel. “Tired” doesn’t begin to define the depth of the fatigue that prevents me from making sure my kids are fed, making sure the house is locked up and the alarm is set before I hit the bed for the evening. It doesn’t define the body aches that prevent me from falling asleep even though I’m exhausted.

Tired doesn’t reflect the congestion in my chest, the nausea in my head and the fact that my body feels like it weighs a thousand pounds so that even rolling over in bed takes too much effort. It doesn’t explain the despair I feel in not having control over my life and tired doesn’t even hint at the anguish of knowing that never-ending fatigue is my future.

So, imagine how it makes me feel when someone asks me… “Are you sick or just tired?” The question really should be… “Are you tired or just sick?” because believe me, I would much rather be sick. I can get over being sick. I can’t get over being “just tired.”

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via AntonioGuillem.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Chronic Illness

30 ways people hide their chronic illness

30 Ways People Hide Their Chronic Illness

There is absolutely no reason to be ashamed of having a chronic illness. That being said, living with a chronic condition is complex, and it can affect your life in a number of different ways. And sometimes, for better or worse, you may find yourself hiding certain aspects of your illness from those around you. Maybe [...]
selena gomez harnaam kaur and michael j fox

10 People Who Stood Up to Chronic Illness-Shaming

After dealing with all the physical and emotional symptoms of having a chronic illness, the last thing anyone needs is to feel ashamed of their illness. Unfortunately, so many people living with chronic health conditions must contend with uneducated questions or comments about their condition, or confusion because they “don’t look sick.” And because there [...]
Woman in pain.

5 Ways to Accept Pain (When You Don't Want To)

To the woman who is suddenly in pain now: You emailed me. You used to cycle, you told me. Play sports. You used the word “intense” about that part of you. Then all that changed. You read my story (a story I’d rather forget) about needing to walk with a cane. You asked if I [...]
watercolor painting of a woman with long purple hair against a green background

Struggling to Self-Advocate After Years of Mistreatment by Doctors

You’d think I’d be a pro at self-advocating. I’ve spent more time in doctors’ offices and hospitals than many people would in 10 lifetimes. But this is actually why I’m horrible at it. Over so many years of having health issues, I’ve inevitably encountered some really unpleasant nurses, doctors and dentists. I’ve had some experiences I [...]