The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Fatigued. Chronically.

.
I want to lie down.

I want to rest.

I want to shut my eyes for just a few minutes

My body tells me I’ll feel so much better if I do.

My body tells me I’ll feel refreshed and better able to face the world afterwards.

My body is lying to me.


If I lie down I might drop off to sleep.

But it will not be refreshing.

I will be constantly drifting in and out. Never properly asleep. Never properly awake.

I will feel like shit.

At some point I will have to get up again.

Maybe I’ll be hungry. Maybe I’ll need the bathroom. Maybe I’ll need to see someone or do something.

Maybe I’ll just get too achy and uncomfortable.

So I’ll have to get up.


But my body tells me I should just shut my eyes for a little bit longer.

My body tells me I’ll feel so much better if I do.

My body tells me I’ll feel refreshed and better able to face the world afterwards.

My body is lying to me.


At some point I will have to get up.


But my body tells me I should just shut my eyes for a little bit longer.

My body tells me I’ll feel so much better if I do.

My body tells me I’ll feel refreshed and better able to face the world afterwards.

My body is lying to me.


So I fight it.


I force myself to get up, despite the physical, mental and emotional screams of protest.

I move through the day.

Constantly wanting to lie back down and shut my eyes.

My body tells me I’ll feel so much better if I do.

My body tells me I’ll feel refreshed and better able to face the world afterwards.

My body is lying to me.


At some point I’ll give in and lie down.


I might drop off to sleep.

But it will not be refreshing.

I will be constantly drifting in and out. Never properly asleep. Never properly awake.

I will feel like shit.

At some point I will have to get up again.


But my body tells me I should just shut my eyes for a little bit longer.

My body tells me I’ll feel so much better if I do.

My body tells me I’ll feel refreshed and better able to face the world afterwards.

My body is lying to me.


So I fight it.


I force myself to get up, despite the physical, mental and emotional screams of protest.

I move through the rest of the day.

Constantly wanting to lie back down and shut my eyes.

My body tells me I’ll feel so much better if I do.

My body tells me I’ll feel refreshed and better able to face the world afterwards.

My body is lying to me.
.

32 comments

PI said...

I love poetry and that is poetry to me.
Don't think I am unsympathetic - I'm not, but all true artists have to suffer it seems and your suffering caused you to write that - which is beautiful.

Kim Ayres said...

I've never really understood poetry, Pat, and would certainly never attempt to write it.

This was just my 15th attempt at trying to find a way to describe how I've felt almost every hour for the past week. Short and repetetive sentences seemed to work best.

Are you saying I'm a po-et and I didn't know-it?

Anna van Schurman said...

I'm with PI. I thought this was a fabulous bit of poetry even though it must suck to feel like this. I thought the repetition was perfect. And I love the idea of the body telling lies.

savannah said...

you mean that wasn't a poem?

seriously, kim, i thought that's what you were doing. you described your illness in a manner that was pure poetry! well done. xoxox

PI said...

See the girls agree so yup, you are.

Charlie said...

Your poem describes perfectly the merry-go-round nature of a disease—you want to get off, but it won't stop to let you.

Well done, Kim.

Sarah said...

EXHAUSTING. absolutely, have you seen your sleep study results yet?

any help? maybe seek a second opinion.

Mary Witzl said...

It might have been a poem, Kim, but it tired me out too! But like you, I've been tired lately...not as tired as I think you are, just tired. Mainly, tired of teenagers...

Kim Ayres said...

Anna - the body tells lies all the time. It also tells me chocolate is really good for me. And ice cream.

Savannah - it wasn't meant to be a poem, just a way of writing to describe how I feel.

Pat - looks like I'm being out-voted. But I don't ever remember saying this place was a democracy...

Charlie - Is the idea behind this similar for you?

Sarah - no, I'm hoping to get the results next month. As for 2nd opinions, there aren't any. The place in Edinburgh is it as far as Scotland goes.

Mary - teenagers exhaust all of us. I seriously do not envy you teaching classes of them. Especially as you then have 3 to return home to.

Conan Drumm said...

The perfect rendition of it aside Kim, that's a very burdensome way to have to live. You've tried excercise and dietary remedies, I think, so what remedy do you explore next?

LegalMist said...

I agree. Very poetic. And very effectively conveys the sense of exhaustion and frustration you feel.

I'm sorry it has to be like that for you. I cannot imagine dealing with it all day, every day. It would make me grumpy, and I hate being grumpy.

Z said...

Maybe your body isn't lying. You may need to sleep and rest until your body has had all the rest it craves, however long it takes. Whether that's possible is another matter, but whatever causes your exhaustion, trying to work through it isn't working. You either need to work out why you're exhausted if it's mental rather than physical, eliminate something in your diet if that's the cause (though I know you've had a load of tests) or simply give in to the needs of your body until you recover from your illness. I'm so sorry, it is unimaginably frustrating.

Carole said...

Poetry is probably more in the eye of the reader than the writer. And I too thought the piece an excellent emotional & physical explanation of chronic fatigue syndrome. Plus I thought you should send it to some magazine. Pure Genius. On the other hand, I hate that you will always feel like shit.

karatemom said...

so you are living and re living "groundhog day" I feel for you ..I it was good of you to write this though as it really does give us a better idea of just what you are going through and how great the toll. take care

Kim Ayres said...

Conan - I don't know - and that's part of the bleargh factor. I've still to hear back from the results of the sleep clinic, hopefully within the next few weeks, but if they draw a blank, I really ahve no idea what other options to pursue.

LegalMist - I only get grumpy when I get stressed. Unfortunately I get stressed more easily when I'm exhausted.

Z - nope. It's lying. I've tried allowing it to take over and I end up feeling 10 times worse.

Carole - you can be my agent - if you submit it to any magazines and there's a cash prize, we'll split it :)

KarateMom - Groundhog day's not a bad analogy sometimes. However, it helps to have something in the future to focus on, which is one of the reasons I'm building a photography website :)

Miss Blue Sky said...

I sympathise with you. I have recently been coding (or trying to) a lot of programmes in javascript for my ou course. god it's hard, but I got my TMA in on time. I lost sleep over it.

Fat Lazy Guy said...

It does seem like poetry, and parts seem quite lyrical. At the very least, you got through to me about how awful CFS can be.

Hope today's a better one for you.

Dr Maroon said...

Take to your bed and stay there for 48 hours straight.

Do not kill yourself.

Anonymous said...

The average adult spends one-third of their life sleeping.


THEN WHY AM I SO TIRED all of the time? You wake up drowsy. You nod off whilst attempting to work. You swear you’ll get to bed earlier. But maybe there’s more to it. Sleep apnea can cause or contribute to high blood pressure, hear attack, stroke, congestive heart failure and/or diabetes. And, it exceedingly disruptive.

Are there any Sleep Disorder Centers where you could go to be evaluated?

Aye We Can ! said...

Lovely poem

Keep up the fight

been there

the dawn will come

Kim Ayres said...

Miss Blue Sky - given you have small kids and a new baby, I'm impressed you have any energy at all :)

FLG - good days, bad days...

Dr Maroon - first comment here in a long time. I was beginning to think you'd abandoned me.

Anon - been there, done that. Check under the label "Mental and Physical Health" and you'll find the saga's been going on for nearly 3 years now.

Aye We Can - welcome to my ramblings, and thank you for taking the time to comment :)

Annie said...

Kim, you've put into words what I haven't been able to! My life is the same as yours in this respect. Some days it's like that, some days it's worse. Add Fibromyalgia on top of that, all the aching and screaming muscles, the lack of concentration etc, it often makes me wonder why we exist when life is like this.

I TOTALLY understand where you are!

Hugs xxx

Z said...

Kim and Annie, hugs to you both. I hope things improve and hang on in the meantime. Bloody-mindedness is always a good refuge.

Eryl Shields said...

You convey very successfully the relentless grind of your condition, so I completely agree with Pat and the gals: poetry.

Attila The Mom said...

Oh geez, Kim that's just awful. I hope somebody will be able to get to the bottom of this. :-(

Kim Ayres said...

Annie - thanks Annie, although I'm fortunate in not having the muscle aches

Z - sometimes bloody mindedness takes too much energy...

Eryl - maybe I'll do a version of it at the Storyteller's Cafe on Thursday - bring everyone down :)

Attila - that would be nice, but I'm not holding my breath

Kanani said...

Ah, I didn't see it as a poem, but a running account of your state on consciousness!

Sorry you're still having these issues. I really admire that you can get up and at 'em with this blogging thing. Or maybe it's the one thing where you can put all your energies and not feel completely drained.

How are the plans for the trip coming alone?

Kim Ayres said...

Kanani - yes, I can blog without feeling so drained. In fact it quite often offers a distraction. as for the trip, a gallery we were investigating using has fallen through so there's a bit of back to square one feeling

Cheesemeister said...

People who don't have chronic fatigue don't understand what it would be like to feel that way. I understand where you're coming from. I have fibromyalgia. While it doesn't cause screaming pain in my case, it does cause me to be easily fatigued and if I overexert myself, my muscles are sore to the point where I feel like I've been run over by a truck for several days afterwards. I hear what you're saying here.

Kim Ayres said...

Cheesemeister - welcome to my ramblings and thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm fortunate in the fact that unlike many ME sufferers, I don't get the pain. Just the tiredness

Gattona said...

Thanks for explaining so well what my partner is going through. I see him living with CFS too, but don't always understand or emphathise enough. And you are right to force yourself to get up, there are worse things that can happen if you give in and stay in bed all the time, he got a pulmonary embolism (sp?) which is very bad news. Again, thanks for writing this blog, I'm one of the new people who discovered you through the Blogger front page.

Kim Ayres said...

Gattona - welcome to my ramblings and thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm pleased if it feels it gives you some level of insight - it's what I hoped to achieve, when some people have no real idea that the struggle is not just with the tiredness, but with the "lies" the body keeps telling us

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