Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 16 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Battling fatigue

I'm staring at my Christmas cactus, which is drooping its shriveled segmented leaves over the side of its pot, and thinking, "Yup, that's exactly how I feel dude." Unfortunately, a glass of H2O won't bring me back to life. Trust me, I've tried that already.
I don't know what's going on. I am sleepy tired. As I told my doc today, if I don't get things done before 1:00 PM, it is unlikely they will get done at all. After 1:00 PM, it takes every ounce of energy just to stay awake! And I'm not just tired. I'm nonfunctional! Nothing works. My body is tired. My brain is tired. I can't think. I can't make decisions. I don't want to eat anything except chocolate and ice cream. I don't care about anything (very dangerous for me!) like goals or commitments. Everything is just too much work! It sucks! It's like an acute attack of depression. Weird.

We thought the fatigue was my usual menstrual cycle crap, but if that was the cause, it would have lifted by now. My psychiatrist cut back one of my meds, although I've been on it for a year so it's also unlikely the cause. I feel low on fuel, but it is very unlikely I am anemic. I've frequently been checked during episodes like this in the past, and my hemoglobin has never even been close to low. Plus, I take a multi-vitamin, eat pretty well, and have been increasing my protein intake to accommodate for the increased running. Tonight, I had a steak. I'll have another tomorrow. Red meat (iron) has always helped boost me when I've been fatigued from training in the past, but even steak hasn't been a reliable cure this time. The fatigue just won't let go.

Since it won't let go, I am once again forced to accept the unacceptable. I have no choice but to acquiesce to this debilitated state, but I don't like it. I don't like it at all. I used to fight, but what good would that do? Puttin' up my dukes would only squander more precious energy. In the end, I'd still be flat on my back pissin' and moanin', and I'd have accomplished even less. Instead, I'm trying to accept. I'm trying to do when I can, and stop when I can't do any more. I'm nowhere near perfect at this acceptance thing, but (un)fortunately I've been getting extra practice time recently.

Maybe I should have titled this post Battling Acceptance...


Shiv said...

Oh god you have no idea how familiar all this sounds to me! I've been suffering the same fatigue on and off for a while now and the only way I can explain it is like someone has put tubes in my arms and legs and is actively draining the blood out of me. I get a leaden feeling in all my limbs, my brain slows to a crawl, my attention span disappears completely, and sometimes I even struggle to focus on the computer monitor I work at. I too have yet to find any medical diagnosis for this or any kind of cure. I know I have glucose levels that can go a bit off at times, but I don't think it's that. I have tried an iron rich diet (spinach, steaks, iron supplements, iron fortified cereal) for a week and that didn't seem to help either.

Let me know if you figure it out! I've not had the feeling for a few weeks but it's definately still around, lurking like an unwanted houseguest that you think has left but suddenly turns up again when you've just let your guard down.

etta said...

Great comment, Shiv. Unfortunately, I DO have a diagnosis for my fatigue--it is DEPRESSION. Wouldn't it be nice if there was actually something ELSE wrong? A nice positive lab test would be fabulous, you know what I mean? I'm going to keep eating my steaks...and accept, accept, accept. Dammit.

Mary said...

I agree etta, I know my fatigue is due to my depression that has been haunting me again of late...I hate it so much, and can't seem to get out of this rut....Mary

Michelle (The Beartwinsmom) said...

I had my appointment with my nurse practitioner psychiatrist yesterday, and she asked me if I had trouble with energy. Um... yeah.. like every other day. Sigh.

Sending you hugs, chocolate, and a helping hand to get you out of that pit. Maybe that will help us both get out of the pit.

And you're right- acceptance is the hardest part when you're staring at the top of the pit.