So. I saw my psychiatrist last Friday (I’ve been seeing them on and off since my injury) and he asked me these questions:
- What do you want to achieve from these sessions?
I want to get over my accident and not think about it every other day. I want to stop feeling angry and frustrated about my chronic fatigue.
I want to handle my fatigue better (I think I’m doing an ok job but it would be good to get some advice) We talked about how I get mental and physical fatigue. I can get fatigue from being around noises too long and he mentioned that he could help me with that. Learning to block out things behind me and ignore the noise through meditation. Let’s see how that goes.
- How are you coping without Stephen being away? (Stephen is my partner who I live with but he works away in Edinburgh during the week and is only back weekends)
Ok, but not great. I don’t think I look after myself enough. I power through sometimes because I think it’ll pass, I end up napping anyway because powering through never works.
When Stephen is at home he can notice when my fatigue is kicking in, so he’ll tell me to go and sit down or go for a nap. When I’m alone sometimes I think I’m ok but half way through doing something like cooking tea or walking to the corner shop my fatigue will kick in, it’s a horrible feeling being outside doing things when I should be asleep.
There are times where I don’t notice my fatigue until it’s too late. So late that my body has gone into severe fatigue mode: it feels like it’s made out of rocks, like someone is pushing me down every time I move. Walking to the bed to take a nap is so much effort, at least I fall asleep within seconds.
- Why do you feel frustrated and angry?
Because there’s no pattern to fatigue, it’s so sporadic. One day I could do loads of things and feel fine, another day I could do nothing and feel fatigued.
Sometimes I need a few days to recover from one long day.
I get angry and frustrated from getting fatigued sometimes. Like I shouldn’t be tired! Why am I tired? I’m annoyed that I have to take a nap.
When I mention to people that I have fatigue and they say “Oh yeah, I get tired too” I just want to slap them. No one understands what fatigue is unless they have it or live with someone who does. The fact that I look perfectly healthy doesn’t help either.
- How is your fatigue at craft fairs? (I’m a work from home artist and I often do craft fairs)
It’s ok on the ones that are only 6 hours. I struggle with 9 – 5 ones. My fatigue will kick in around 2pm, so Stephen will come and look after the stall while I go for a break. But there is nowhere quiet to go in Newcastle so I just end up going back to the stall where I can sit down. (This is where he mentioned the meditation)
- Do you have a timetable/plan working from home or do you just do each day differently?
I try to have a plan, but I’m not very good at organising myself. I can sometimes draw for an entire day (10 hours or more) because I enjoy drawing and don’t notice the time. I don’t make time to relax. I need to make myself a rota. I always make sure I have 8 or more hours sleep though.
- Can you tell the difference between having 7 hours compared to having 8 or more and do you feel ok when you wake up?
Even having 7 hours compared to 8 can make a massive difference to my day, that one hour difference makes my day so much harder. I usually feel ok when waking up but if I’ve had a long day the day before I can wake up still feeling tired and it takes me a while to stop feeling tired and wake up properly.
I asked him:
- I’m taking driving lessons at the minute. Me and Stephen were discussing which way is best to learn for my theory test. He thinks it’s best to study for a few months everyday before the test and I think it’s best to study now every few days over a long period of time but what do you think?
He said it’s best to study for a long period of time, then study everyday for a few months before the test. He said you don’t think you’ll remember if you do it every few days but the information will be in your head somewhere as its repetitive and when you need that memory or information it will be easily found. It’s like your subconscious memory (He used a proper word for it but I’ve forgotten what it is. I should have written this the day of my session! Oh well, next time)
I mentioned that for 8 driving lessons I had been getting confused with the left and right indicator so I put sticky notes on the wall to help me remember. Since then I haven’t got it wrong once. I was thinking of doing this for road signs and he said whatever you think will help you remember, there’s no harm trying.
He’s asked me to keep a diary. Chronic fatigue is sporadic but keeping a diary of when you feel it means we might be able to find a pattern and help me handle it better. Also, make notes when you get frustrated or angry.
These blog posts always end up longer than planned. I Thanks for reading!