My energy levels have always come in waves, but I have usually been one of those incredibly lucky people who just slots in however much stuff needs to be done and got on with it. According to the Jellicle Cat in order to fit in the ammount of work I needed to do plus a social life on my PGCE I’d regularly get absolutely minimal amounts of sleep, sometimes none…I can’t imagine coping with kids after no sleep but I remember just caffeine-pilling through it.
Well, I got a bout of glandular fever a couple of months ago and that left me knackered. After several rounds of blood tests the doctor decided I was suffering post-viral fatigue after Glandular Fever and that I was at risk of developing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. That seems to be what they call it if the fatigue lasts more than six months or so.
For the first time ever I’m having to work out how much energy it will take out of me to do things. I can’t just sign up to things. Last night I went out and was utterly exhausted by the minimum of interaction with people. Today, I’m almost passed out because I did too much, when by my normal standards I did nothing at all. However, according to the doctor if I rest too much then my body will get used to it and that’s how Chronic Fatigue starts, what I need to do is rest for five to ten minutes when I get tired and then start the next task until I gradually work up to my usual levels of activity.
Currently I’m only able to do that with the addition of coffee.
Oh gods caffeine my way through it, I never used to have to do this unless I was teaching a class on no sleep. Now it’s to head to the pub for as long as I can push through it.