Fatigue analogyPosted by Sand on Jul 28, 2013 in 52 week photo challenge, Fibromyalgia | 8 comments
The lovely @marigold_ recently wrote this blog post about over doing things.
In the comments @Alisoncs makes an excellent point re the intensity of activities – and how this effects fatigue levels. Which set me thinking…
To help explain fatigue, and how it differs from being tired, there’s the excellent spoon theory. That analogy helps others to understand, and also me, a bit, but I still struggle to pace/judge my spoon usage. I often don’t get any warning like Marigold, at the time of the activity.
Payback is usually delayed and can take a variety of forms. Sometimes it’s not until the next day that the amplification of symptoms hits. Sometimes it’s the same day – my body’s ability to regulate it’s temperature fails entirely and I shiver and can’t get warm. The insomnia becomes even worse because I’m over tired, pain increases, I feel nauseous, get dizzy…
But we’re not just talking about physical activities here. It’s physical OR mental – and if its both its a total killer.
Thus – light gardening is more tiring than dusting, a conversation is more tiring than sitting and doing a repetitive task.
I find that sitting upright exhausts me quicker than being in a recliner and laying flat in bed is the lowest on the energy draining scale.
Conversely, being in the recliner and wrestling with a tech problem can be twice as exhausting as sitting upright and sorting out my pills for the week or washing my hair.
I’m starting to try to think of my brain and body like an electrical appliance to see if i can fathom out how much ’battery’ power various tasks take…
If sleep is especially bad then the quality of the power in the battery is that much poorer (and of course there’s less).
Also the quicker the ’battery’ seems to discharge power, the longer it seems to take to recharge.
I was researching online about how to care for rechargeable lithium batteries;
“…designed to deliver up to 1000 full charge and discharge cycles before it reaches 80 per cent of its original capacity.”
So does the cause of our fatigue reduce the number of cycles that our human battery can have before it’s capacity begins to reduce?
“For proper maintenance of a lithium-based battery, it’s important to keep the electrons in it moving occasionally.”
The people who maintain that all Fibro folks need to do is get regular exercise are no doubt nodding along in total agreement to this bit of the analogy. Thing is though that our ’electrons’ are never still. The bit of the brain that deals with pain is constantly active. Its working full out – even when we’re allegedly sleeping. Which is rather the root of our problems…
“If you store a battery when it’s fully discharged, it could fall into a deep discharge state, which renders it incapable of holding any charge. Conversely, if you store it fully charged for an extended period of time, the battery may experience some loss of battery capacity, meaning it will have a shorter life. Be sure to store your notebook and battery at the proper temperature.”
So, I’m in a deep discharge state, my battery has lost it’s capacity to store much energy and the current high temperatures are just compounding all the problems.
Does any of this make sense to my fellow Spoonies?
“When your battery no longer holds sufficient charge to meet your needs, you may choose to replace it.”
Which is what i suspected – I need a new battery, this one has clearly gone through too many recharge cycles…
Battery info from Apple: http://www.apple.com/uk/batteries/notebooks.html