I think I have taken exhausted to a whole new level. I remember all-nighters in college either studying or partying including the morning/day after. I remember youth overnights, weekend retreats, mission trips, and even lock-ins where you get no sleep so you can keep an eye on the kids.
There has been the physical exhaustion of hiking including 10-15 miles at Yosemite, week long camping trips, century bike rides, kayaking, white water rafting, running after my nephews, or even catering a big event. I have experienced the mental and physical challenge of being on the road for months at a time, a new city every couple of weeks, training 25 new students 3 days in a row for 8 hours a day while standing on my feet.
I have even had surgeries and other illnesses. I remember when I was 20 I had knee surgery and my right knee was in a cast from thigh to toe and I was on bed rest for 6 weeks. I was on a lot of pain meds and slept a lot. When I started to get up and around I was tied all the time and just the little bit of movement made me tired.
Well let me tell you that the current definition for tired is exhausted, fatigued, weary, weak, lifeless, or lethargic. What I really want to say it that it blows. All that stuff in the past is a walk in the park compared to this. Maybe it was all in preparation for this part of the journey. I am tired all the time. I know I am older now and all, but come on, am I 35 not ancient. I think I could sleep 20 hours a day and still be tired. I know that sleep is what my body needs and it is helping me fight but here is the kicker – knowing things on an intellectual level and knowing them on an emotional level are two different things.
I come home from work everyday and take a nap. Sometime it is only an hour and other times it is three hours. Then I get up eat dinner and often go back to bed. Sometimes I will wake up from my nap and lie in bed feel wide awake and have some energy. I think about making myself dinner, do laundry, run the vacuum or do something fun. Often as soon as I get out of bed I realize I do not have the energy to do anything. Instead I go to the kitchen and nuke something and then climb back into bed. Such an exciting life I have.
A couple of weeks ago on my one and only off chemo weekend I fell asleep on my couch at 6PM. I moved to my bed at 7PM and set the TV sleep for 30 minutes but promptly rolled over and fell asleep. I vaguely remember the TV turning off and got out of bed at 8:15AM the next morning. I still need sleeping pills for me to fall asleep at night and to make sure I stay asleep. I get up several times to go to the bathroom or to massage my feet due to the pins and needles neuropathy in my feet, but the sleeping pills help me go back to sleep. There is nothing worse that laying in bed with your gloomy thoughts in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep and you are exhausted.
Besides from the exhaustion I am pretty weak. Someone mentioned that I am slow as molasses. I am walking better than a couple of weeks ago now that I am healed from the Liver biopsy, but I am still slow. A friend and I were crossing the street today to go to the bank and we barely made it before a car got us. We were technically jaywalking, but that is beside the point right? I know what you are thinking - I am becoming a law breaker. Last week it was stealing the People magazine and transporting alcohol over state lines. This week jaywalking – what will it be next week. Hmmm…..maybe robbing a bank or a liquor store. i would settle for some good luck. Maybe the winning lottery ticket.
I feel old and feeble. I have trouble making my bed by myself, I can’t pick up anything heavy (not that anyone would let me) and just the idea of pushing the vacuum (even if it is self propelled) makes be tired. If I stand up too fast my eyes go black and I get dizzy, but I can’t seem to get it through my thick skull to stand up slowly. Guess I am a slow learner.