I was “assessed” numerous times yesterday. My oncology PA, the lab RN, and a couple different infusion RNs all asked the same questions. For all, I had the same answers. Of the myriad of symptoms and reactions, fatigue is by far the worst.
I didn’t mind the repetitive questions. I did mind the repetitive answers. Each person told me, individually, that the only answer/remedy for the fatigue is exercise. While I knew they were right and I was polite on the outside, my inside felt defeated. It’s not only counter-intuitive, it feels impossible.
When I say “fatigue,” I don’t just mean I’m tired and could use a little rest. This is a deep fatigue. DEEP. I sleep 9 hours and want to go to bed. I get a burst of energy, get up and move around slowly doing one task or another and in 15 minutes I’m nearly unable to get back to my chair. I push my bladder to the limit because the bathroom is so far away. It’s laughable, really.
Not all days are are like that, but more than half are. On the “good” days, I can get up and maybe even get out somewhere, but it’s mostly adrenaline and followed by a crash. It’s very discouraging.
Hearing that the intentional exercise is the key to beating this fatigue was difficult and frustrating. If I’m honest, it was also humiliating. Maybe if I had been pushing myself harder all this time, I wouldn’t be so wiped out. Nobody there made me feel like I was failing. Quite the contrary. They were all supportive and encouraging. I am fully capable of being my own harshest critic and finding fault where there is none.
I am going to take their advice to heart and make an effort. Last night, thanks to steroid hyperactivity, I walked a very slow half-mile. It will be my goal to get on the elliptical 3-4 times a day for just 3-5 minutes each time, totaling the recommended 20 minutes or so daily. Half the battle will be getting up the ambition and energy to walk to the other side of the house where the elliptical lives.
My husband has been trying to make use of the machine daily himself, so I have company and am grateful for the support. Today shouldn’t be too hard, since I have another day of hyperactivity. It will be a good jumping off point.
This is very similar to the subject matter of my last post. Spiritual weariness is only remedied by spiritual activity. When I am tired of reading, I need to read. When I least want to pray, I most need to do it. Energy begets energy, and I believe that is true in every realm of life.
There is definitely a time to rest, and rest is crucial to body, mind, and spirit. But there is also a time to forge ahead with energy, even when that energy can only come from Him.
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 ESV