What to Do When Scleroderma Steals Our Energy
Living with scleroderma fatigue is unquestionably a roller coaster ride. One day I’ll be cleaning the house and taking care of my responsibilities, and the next, I’ll be under a blanket, recovering from taking care of those same responsibilities.
The energy I had the previous day will be gone. The day before, I was going to conquer the world. Today, I’ll be strictly focused on recovering.
If this sounds like you, trust me, I fully understand the complexities and nuances of what I call the body’s deposit and withdrawal system.
But Amy, you ask, what is the deposit and withdrawal system? Thank you for asking! I will tell you.
When we have the energy to do what we need to do, we withdraw from our system. We are using fuel that we need to replenish. After we use (withdraw) our energy, we need to deposit more into our body banks.
Too often, we’ll push our bodies to the collapsing point by doing everyday things. Vacuuming or cleaning the house can leave us feeling exhausted. Shopping for groceries and then putting them away will cause us to order a pizza for dinner that night because we’re too tired to cook the food we just bought.
If it sounds like I have a lot of personal experience with all of this, I do! I’ll go to the store with all of these plans for a delicious homemade dinner and then be too tired to make it after I’m done putting everything away. It’s because I’ve withdrawn my energy. That’s when it’s time to replace it.
Replacing this energy is not always an even exchange. I probably use more energy than I’m aware of before I realize I need to replace it. My body starts telling me this before a shutdown happens. But I usually only listen when the shutdown has already started. Now I’m negative in my energy bank, and it takes longer to build up that energy because I didn’t listen to my body in the first place.
Some might say I’m stubborn, and I probably am. I don’t particularly appreciate it when I’m told I can’t do something, even when it’s by my own body — especially when it’s by my own body.
I have learned that my body is a fickle creature. It will have its way, even if it means dropping me to my knees with an overwhelming feeling of exhaustion. Yep, it’s time to correct that negative balance.
I’ve started listening more to my body now. I’ve been taking its cues that maybe I’m overdoing it. If I need a nap on the weekends, I’ll take a nap. If I need to prop my feet up for a quick 10 minutes, I’ll prop them up.
I feel more energetic when I listen to my body and try to deposit as much energy as I withdraw. It’s a delicate balance, and I don’t always understand it, but I guess now I am just along for the ride. Scleroderma will do its thing, and I will do mine.
I urge you all to listen to your bodies. Rest when you feel tired, which is easier said than done, I know. However, you can’t take care of anyone else if you don’t take care of yourself first.
Remember: Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish; it’s smart. Listen to your body, because it won’t steer you wrong!
Note: Scleroderma News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Scleroderma News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to scleroderma.