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

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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.”

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Thinkstock photo via AntonioGuillem.

Originally published: June 28, 2017
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