Now I know that this isn’t a makeup post, but here’s there thing: I can’t do a makeup post because this is my life right now. This post will have taken me days. If not weeks to type up because of this disgusting illness. Its hard to explain in words how I feel. And when I try to tell my husband why it’s making me cry the words just can’t come out. My brain does not compute and nothing makes sense anymore.
Vlogging and blogging are massively important to my life and not doing them is making me upset, so why not try to be productive? Why not explain what this stupid feeling is to people. Maybe it will help someone else explain to their family how it feels.
I actually went searching online for a way to tell my husband what it feels like to be in my body. I couldn’t find anything. All there was were the medial explanations, I don’t want that I want real feelings. I want to make people understand how it is and help them be sympathetic. Because you see, since I’ve started to receive chronic fatigue symptoms, I’ve had a lot of people be super upsetting and make me feel like I’m not really that bad. So here are a few things fatigue is not and things that won’t fix it:
- It is not “being a little sleepy” I’m a mother too, I understand sleepy but this is not that. Not even close.
- No this is not laziness. I would rather be doing chores than feeling this way.
- No a good nights sleep will not fix this! Trust me, I’ve tried!
- No I cannot just “snap out of it” that’s like telling someone with a broken leg to just “walk it off”
- Thanks but I don’t think vitamins will cure this.
- Thanks but I don’t think oranges will cure this.
- Thanks but I don’t think aloe with cure this.
- Thanks but I don’t think sunshine will cure this.
I’ve had all of these this week and it’s so incredible to me that it’s something quite common, but not understood. Which is a running theme with chronic illness. People opening their mouths and trying to help when there is no way to. I used to be one of them, I never understood until I got sick at 23, and now I understand I feel guilty for all those times I probably made someone cry. So sorry, I didn’t understand or know better.
So now I’m going to try to explain a few parts of chronic fatigue. I’ll do my best but like I said before it’s hard. It’s like explaining how air feels or how water tastes. Obviously everyone feels things differently and has different symptoms. But this is what I’m experiencing :
- Tired eyes. My eyes feel slow, the best way to explain it is that my eyes are smeared in Vaseline, they feel foggy and blurry. Almost like when you first wake up in the morning and you blink into the daylight to focus and clear your eyes of sleep. Except it doesn’t clear and it won’t go away with blinks or eye rolls. It sticks with you and follows you. This isn’t any run of the mill Vaseline however, it’s extra heavy. It fills all the spaces in your sockets and sets. It Makes it hard to move your eyes and makes your eyes ache from the extra weight load.
- Heaviness. No I’m not talking about my waistline, I’m talking about the sensation of trying to walk through custard whilst wearing cement shoes and carrying a rugby player on your back. Everything feels extra hard. Like you’ve suddenly woke up twice the Weight that you went to sleep and the gravity has been turned up to 11, and now you are pinned to the spot. You struggle to even move your heavy arms or sit up. Everytime you move a muscle you have to think and concentrate. instead of just doing what comes naturally you have to move every individual vein, bone, muscle and molecule. It’s like being in a tug of war with the worlds strongest man and he is determined to win.
- Brain fog. So not only is your body not working well,now you can control your brain either. It feels like a dense fog is slowly making it’s way through your brain. You can’t think of simple words like “chair” or “hat” and you get a stutter that could rival vintage Gareth gates. If you are in a rush or the Information is important then the brain fog triples and you sit there, pointing and dribbling. I’ve gone from being a moderately intelligent human being to being a village idiot. You know the words are in your mind somewhere, but you’ve walked into the room and forgot what you walked in there for. This doesn’t just apply to words either, you forget appointments, deadlines and what day it is. I have 2 calendars, 3 diaries and a husband to try to keep me in control!
- Skin buggies. This one makes me crazy, my skin feels like it’s crawling. Anything that touches it sets it off and it makes me feel like the area that is touched is shivering and moving. It isn’t painful or unpleasant, it’s just kinda icky. So imagine this, you feel cold and weak and want to put on your cardigan, the feeling of the soft wool brushing agaisnt your arms should be comforting and like a cozy hug but instead turns you into oogie boogie from nightmare before Christmas. It sends shivers up your spine and makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. But this happens every single time anything touches you. It’s just icky.
- Massive grumps. I’m not sure if this one if just common knowledge but I thought id add it anyway, I knew it would make me grumpy but I didn’t know how much that would affect my relationships. I have cried for no reason at all, I have cried for the stupidest reasons. For example, I cried because I put both of my legs into the same pyjama leg. It makes you hysterical, emotional and unable to reason with. My husband is a saint for not screaming at me sometimes, I have said something’s that are illogical and ridiculous. Ive acted in ways that are completely alien to who I am. I cannot help getting angry, I cannot help getting frustrated and I cannot help getting emotional. I have no control. There is absolutely no reasoning with it. If I think I want to drink my tea out of a noodle bowl then leave me to it. Don’t try to fight it. I will have a temper tantrum to rival my own toddler.
- Painful joints. You know that feeling you get when you are getting the flu and your joints ache? They feel almost bruised and Everytime you move them it makes you moan. Well that feeling sucks. Everyday I stretch and my elbows feel like they have a tight string cutting them off. My knees feel like I’ve spent the previous day running a marathon and my whole body feels ready to go straight back under the covers. A mildly painful reminder of how you are sick every time you lift your glass to your mouth, pull your covers up or change the program on Netflix. I feel like I am sponsored by radox baths with the amount I take.
So those are the things I could think of and find a way to describe. There are so many more things that you deal with and feel when you have fatigue. I know I don’t have every symptom, there is so much more that some people go through. But it sucks your life, it changes you who are and how you act. People who know me know I’m curmudgeonly in the most British way possible but I’m certainly not mean or spiteful. The longer I have attacks for the more unhappy and negative I become. I lash out at who I love and the people who are helping me. And that is a huge reason I wanted to do this post, it’s important for me to be able to show the people who mean most to me something that puts into words how I feel, because when that brain fog comes on I’ve got no chance. And that makes it harder to not cause bitterness. I constantly tell my family and friends when I can just how grateful I am and how much I love them. But that doesn’t help when I’m shouting at them and becoming isolated. My attacks can last weeks and that’s no fun to me or my favourite people.
Fatigue is like a little angry troll who lives inside me. He takes my energy so he can show himself. So he can shout and scream and fight for his freedom. He will make you as weak as possible to have a chance at speaking. I am not going to let him win today. He can go back inside.
If just one person reads this and gets a smile out of it or they think “yes! That sucks I deal with that!” Then I will be beyond chuffed.
We have been brought together by something we didn’t ask for or want. We deal with it everyday and even though the name is the same we all have completely different experiences. My heart breaks when I hear some of the terrible things people deal with each day and I’ve been told the same by others about my story. We can’t control what the universe throws at us, or how it kicks us when we are down, but we can all hold hands and support eachother. So if you know someone going through a rough day, hold their hand and tell them “tomorrow is another day, you can do this”.
Thank you for reading my first chronic illness post. I hope you enjoy it, and just because it’s not makeup I hope I don’t annoy anyone. Maybe even someone will learn something or someone will use it to help their situation.
I wish you all the spoons I can carry and all the days where you can proudly say “I’m okay today”.