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Fatigue

August 30, 2007

Tonight is the third night this week I have crawled into bed at 7pm and woken up just before midnight.

On Sunday I came home from running errands and instead of making dinner, slept from 6pm until my mother phoned at 9pm. The only reason I didn’t stay asleep was because she started prepping for teaching the next day and the difference in time zones makes calling during the week difficult.

On Monday I fell asleep immediately after getting off a planning committee conference call. I thought I would just lay down for a few minutes, but my “a quick nap sounds nice” ideas usually end up lasting four hours.

Happened again tonight. Now I’m awake because I never tested, never ate dinner, never brushed my teeth and never put on pajamas. I’m also afraid that if I don’t wake up I’ll end up waking up at 4 a.m. with nothing to do or I’ll sleep too much and be groggy all day. Not that I’m not already tired at work everyday…

In July, when I was moving, falling asleep as soon as I came home from work. I was sort of a non-stop go-go-go kind of girl, with shopping and unpacking and planning and cleaning and then of course there was work. There were plenty of nights I went to bed at a normal time, like 10:30 or 11:00 p.m., but there were others where hitting the sack at 7pm seemed almost normal.

It’s inconsistent at best. There are plenty of nighs where I go to the gym like a normal person, come home and make dinner like a normal person, chat on the internet like a…well, like I usually do.

I tried looking up symptoms for chronic fatigue syndrome, but I don’t know if I’m just tired or “fatigued.” I don’t know how you can tell. Somedays at work I’m perfectly fine until I get home and crash, or I’m perfectly fine all day long. I’m not always tired. But when I am I feel like I’ve been run over by a speedboat. I also don’t have any of the muscle symptoms described. I mean, my back has been sore for a couple of days, but for most of the summer they’ve been just fine. And I have a two-year history of having bad back muscles and that has nothing to do with being tired.

But there are days like today where I yawned my way through the morning emails, lunch, and most of an afternoon phone call and really only “woke up” after a sugar buzz from a piece of birthday cake.

I don’t get it. I thought maybe if I blogged about it somebody else would know what I was talking about and could give me some advice. It’s okay if you don’t. I suppose this also to keep track of symptoms in case they it gets better/worse.

Okay, I need to crawl back into bed and hopefully get some sleep.

16 Comments
  1. August 30, 2007 2:37 AM

    I don’t really have any advice for you. But I experience what you are talking about too sometimes. Comes and goes though…

  2. August 30, 2007 5:14 AM

    I was reading your post and nodding to almost every sentence: “Yap, that’s me. That’s what I’m feeling.” With the exception of I do have back pains and also pain in my legs (I don’t know if that has anything to do with being tired).

    I’ve been yawning through my days pretty much for the last 2 weeks and feeling like going to bed every minute of the day. But at night I can’t sleep much. Weird. It’s getting frustrating.

    I’m sorry I don’t have any advice for you, I’m still trying to figure it out myself. I just thought I’d share. And I had no idea about the fatigue syndrome, may be I should check it out.

    But may be you’re just tired and still overwhelmed with the new job and moving and all and just need a good weekend rest and sleep?

  3. August 30, 2007 7:29 AM

    My standard response to fatigue?

    When you get around to finding an endo, have ’em check your thyroid levels. I think the first year out of college was when my thyroid started getting out of whack and that seems awfully like what I went through for much too long…

  4. Sarah permalink
    August 30, 2007 7:48 AM

    I’ve had episodes of this kind of sleep pattern, usually when I’m really overwhelmed with stress and such. I’ve had my thyroid checked as I have a family history of hypothyroidism, and it’s not the problem. Happens just like you describe, I’ll get home after a long day at school and lay down for a few minutes, and all of a sudden it’s three to five hours later and I’m ravenous, groggy, and kicking myself for not doing my homework.

    My usual solution is just to get a small snack, not a huge meal, and read for a bit while lying in bed (my guaranteed sleep-inducer). I’m usually in dreamland in no time (or I spend an hour catching up on a novel and then voluntarily put it down and go back to sleep), and I generally wake up in a pretty good state of mind, not too tired. To me, when this happens, it’s your body saying “I need some extra time to recoup from the day/week/month” and when I let that happen, my body gets me back and going pretty readily. I’ve always been a pretty easy sleeper though, I could conk out at the drop of a hat – if you have a hard time falling asleep after waking up this way, it might be better to just go to bed early right after dinner.

  5. August 30, 2007 8:33 AM

    Even though it’s “all good”, you have been througha huge transition these last few weeks.
    It is not surprising that all of your reserves have been depleted. You probably didn’t notice it until you hit the wall.
    Can you just kick back and relax over the 3-day weekend?
    (I’d definitely have the thyroid checked – seems like a lot of T1’s have hypothyroidism.)

  6. August 30, 2007 8:39 AM

    Hi Allison. My first thought is in agreement with Rachel. Have an endo check your thyroid levels. I went through the same symptoms, and that’s what was causing the problem. It can’t hurt to check.

    Also, you wrote that you “‘woke up’ after a sugar buzz from a piece of birthday cake.” After 25 years of T1, the only “heads up” I have to an oncoming hypo is sleepiness. All the other symptoms are pretty much gone: sweating, shakiness, etc. I start yawning incessantly, and try to drag myself to the fridge for some OJ before giving in to the urge to sleep. What are your sugars when the sleepiness starts?

    Whatever it is, I hope you’re feeling better soon. Keep us updated. –Jeff

  7. Allison permalink*
    August 30, 2007 9:12 AM

    To Sasha and MN: I wish I could take it easy over the holiday weekend, but I’m on my way to Boston on Saturday! Should be a fun time, but certainly not “restful.”

    To Rachel and also MN: I had my thyroid levels checked last April at my last endo appointment. The dr. said she would call if they found anything but I never heard anything so I assumed I was fine. My family has a history of it. Do you think the move could have set it off?

    To Jeff: I don’t know what my blood sugars are exactly when I’m ready to sleep, but I am very hypo aware and I have many other symptoms, so I’m pretty sure it isn’t that. Last night when I woke up from my 4-hour nap, my blood sugar was 157 mg/dl, so I think it’s pretty safe to say it’s not blood sugar related.

    To Sarah and Lee: Thanks for leaving your comments! V. helpful.

  8. August 30, 2007 9:25 AM

    Hey Allison,

    I agree with Rachel & MN – my thoughts were thyroid as I was reading this… I take meds for it too. It’s very common with “us”.

    As others have said – you’ve been going like crazy for a while here. Maybe you do need to slow down and take a vacation from busy for a little bit…

  9. Shani permalink
    August 30, 2007 11:19 AM

    Allison,
    Have the thyroid checked again. Some of the other symtems that I had before being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis were weight gain and insulin resistence. I certainly think that a major move could set it off.
    Good Luck

  10. August 30, 2007 11:53 AM

    I second, or third the thyroid suggestion. Definitely get it checked again.

    Also, perhaps trying to establish a more routine sleep pattern would help? I find that I get the best sleep when I’m going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning. Good luck!

  11. Nic permalink
    August 30, 2007 4:50 PM

    Hi, Allison. Chronic Fatigue Syndrom isn’t a “yawn I’m tired kind of thing.” It’s more of a o-my-Gosh-I’ve-been-hit-by-a-truck thing. It’s hard to focus, cognition is difficult, and the body is weak and weary. It also typically hits older people, although on-the-movers like you sometimes get it young. I’ll cross my fingers that this is a passing phase!

  12. Allison permalink*
    August 30, 2007 5:35 PM

    All: Appointment has been made for Tuesday.

    Nic: I doubt I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It seemed way too intense for how I feel. If anything, I think I have an underactive thyroid – because I am tired and sluggish, and I’m very sensitive to the cold right now (I was wearing a sweater outside and felt great!). Of course, it could also be that I just moved across the country and wow, that might actually make me tired, so either explanation is logical. We’ll know soon enough!

  13. August 31, 2007 3:29 AM

    Hey, yes the thyroid could be the culprit, but another thing to get checked out is whether you’re anemic. I recently got pretty anemic from not having enough iron and B-12 and a change in eating patterns (no more mom’s home cooked dinners) can affect that. I was wiped at the end of a busy day and needed a nap, and it would make you feel cold too. Just a thought…I could be wrong. One simple way to check the iron deficiency is to look at your lower eyelid- if it’s a light pink instead of a darker pink you’re probably low on iron. Keep us posted.

  14. August 31, 2007 12:11 PM

    If it runs in your family, odds are pretty good your thyroid is the problem. Fun isn’t? I was actually diagnosed with hypothyroidism a few years before the diabetes diagnoses. But the symptoms you’re describing sound very much like how I was feeling. I also had issues with my hands and feet being cold all the time.

    Thinking good thoughts for you Allison.

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