that which helps can also hinder

I have been near tears through tiredness these past few days. These group sessions I’m attending are fantastic in some ways, and I enjoy them – the irony is that they take so much energy I am struggling to keep my head above water. It’s a good thing that I have been reasonably cheerful in spirit, as it were, especially since last Saturday, otherwise I think I would probably be in the depths of misery. As it is, I’m not, though physically I have felt so weak it is overpowering and sometimes does lead to tears simply because I feel so bad in this way. Inwardly I am reasonably peaceful and hopeful, despite the clash with my state of health. Cannot possibly make it to church today because I feel so – literally – wobbly.

The sessions, despite the knock-on-effect, are very interesting. I had a whirlwind tour of all the information this time last year, but having it presented at a more normal pace gives me time to digest more. This last one looked a lot at stress and relaxation. I found it quite enlightening – how when having a chronic illness our bodies can be in a constant state of low level stress.

The sympathetic part of our nervous system is constantly active, poised for the ‘flight or fight’ reflex where adrenalin is released to enable our bodies to take the action required. Because of this all the symptoms of stress are also constantly with us – tension, irregular heartbeat, enhanced senses – and ironically, this ‘state’ uses up enormous amounts of our natural energy. And therefore for those of us with CFS, we go into ‘fight or flight’ mode over disproportionate things – a daily task provokes the level of stress response that would usually occur over something far more dramatic.

Needless to say this understanding of things focuses on the importance of relaxation – how to activate what is called, I believe, the parasympathetic part of our nervous system – the one that puts us in a state of calm. This interests me because I like to know the reasoning behind things. It motivates me to try harder, because I understand the point.

The other thing I discovered on Thursday is that they are promoting a programme of 3 scheduled rests a day, not 4 (what I am doing). I spoke to the Occupational Therapist and she thinks I should step down to 3 – she though 4 was quite a lot for a day. So I am fazing out rest stop 4 – which I take between 7 and 7.30pm. This is quite free-ing, since I often find that one particularly awkward.

Enough of that, or I shall bore you to tears.

My parents are coming to us after a family occasion not too far away and are staying a couple of nights, which will be lovely. (They get to help me take Charlie to the vet for his booster and checkup – what fun.)

Wish I wasn’t so completely exhausted.

Today: 2-3/10, medium

3 thoughts on “that which helps can also hinder

  1. angeljoy says:

    I think my mom has been recently diagonosed w/ CFS. I’m a fixer and there’s no quick fix for this. I cannot imagine how you can live with this day in and day out. Well today, actually I could, as I sit here with a sinus infection feeling completely spent…How frustrating to have something that has no cure and no real medicine to relieve symptoms!


  2. Tricia says:

    Your entry wasn’t boring at all. 🙂 It helps to know more about what CFS involves and what you’re going through (although I certainly wish you weren’t going through it). Having dealt with a constant feeling of stress over Dad’s marriage until quite recently, I can understand a little of how exhausting things must be for you. Although I can see how frustrating it all is, I think that you’ve held up remarkably well, all things considered. I appreciate very much the time you take to write here – being open about your struggles – and to comment on my own blog.((Hugs)) to you. You’re in my thoughts and prayers.


  3. brunettekoala says:

    hi Lucy,Thanks for your comment on my blog. I’m guessing you have CFS at the moment from some of your posts here. I had CFS after getting glandular fever, and it was a really tough few years. Even now I am better, I still live nervously and anxiously scared it’s going to come back again.It sounds like you are getting support and advice from health professionals that I never got which is good.Praying for you, and thank you for your openness and honesty in these posts about your experiences.


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