Pacing and post-holiday punishment


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I spoke too soon after getting through my holiday without a fatigue crash–it just came with a delay. I went to work on Monday just fine, but then on Monday night things started to go downhill. I was debilitated for several days. Really horrible. On the worst day, I couldn’t even sit up in bed without feeling like I was going to collapse, couldn’t look at a screen and any noise made the dizziness worse. Even rolling over in bed was an effort, but I had to because of all the weird nerve sensations, pains and numbness that comes on when I’m having a fatigue crash/bad day. Standing was even worse, I only did it to get food and water and to pee. It’s so frustrating–when I came back I was feeling so happy that I could manage to travel, even in a lazy way, and I was feeling clearheaded and mentally refreshed, but then bam! The punishment. It’s hard to hold on to my good holiday vibes after that. And it seems like the fatigue punishes me most severely for doing things I enjoy or most want to do.

I’m now seeing an exercise physiologist to work on one of the only available forms of treatment for this mess — pacing. Pacing is basically doing barely anything so you don’t overexert yourself and have a crash. It’s tedious and frankly it is laughable that it is considered a ‘treatment’–it’s like telling someone with asthma not to climb stairs or jog instead of actually treating their condition. Right now, I’m not supposed to walk more than 2500 steps a day–which is nothing. It’s 3.30pm and I’ve already gone over that, and all I’ve done all day was put out the garbage (which I hadn’t done for days thanks to my massive crash, so gross), go to the loo a couple of times and grab a couple of essentials from Woolworths. Am I supposed to teleport myself to the kitchen to get dinner now? How am I supposed to clean my flat? Do my laundry? The theory goes that on a better day I’m only supposed to do what I can manage on a crap day (i.e. basically nothing) in order to try to reduce the risk of triggering a crash. Frankly, all days seem like bad days if I can’t live my life and do what I want. But it seems I have no choice in this and no other real treatment options.

I’m just so frustrated and disappointed right now, and still feeling pretty crappy post-crash. Will try to write some more posts up about Bali as an antidote. I feel a bit weird that my blog that used to just be travelogue-type stuff is now so much about my health, but writing when I can helps. And it doesn’t use my step count.

(random photo at top of post is my latest batik sarong procurement–it’s just printed, but I liked the colours)

One Response to " Pacing and post-holiday punishment "

  1. regina says:

    Hi Ashlee I came upon your blog via Stuart McDonald’s tweet about food in Bali.- nicely documented. I also read about your health problems and the diagnosis you’ve recently read like getting a stamp in indeliable ink planted on your forehead…. Underlying all the terrible stages of frear, frustration, forums the deep and true desire to help ourselves. In case you haven’t come across them, here are two of the most powerful healng tools we can give ourselves: EFT and Spring Forest Chi Gong, They will help with all aspects of your situation (you can learn and do them on your own and lie down for both too!) Chinese medicine by a really good practitioner is also a strong way to help. All the very best and happy travels