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Tiredness roundup - Rachael
woodpijn
woodpijn
Tiredness roundup
Description of symptoms:
  • Tiredness/fatigue
    • chronic (many years - which rules out several acute or short-term conditions)
    • variable (some v bad days, some v good)
    • despite getting plenty of sleep - now Z is sleeping through, I usually get 8 hours, sometimes even 9 or 10 - but still often feel sleepy and need naps
  • Thirst - I need to drink much more than most people, and often feel thirsty or dehydrated
  • Appetite - I feel very hungry by, or before, mealtimes; I cope badly with hunger; I eat quite a lot, but am fairly thin.
The tiredness is the important problem. If the tiredness went away and the thirst and hunger remained I would be satisfied; I only mention them in case they're relevant diagnostically.

Subjective description of tiredness:
Low energy, inability to do things, need to sit or lie down or sleep even though I want to be doing things. Foggy head, heavy limbs. Difficult to be patient with the kids (they make noise and demand things, which is perfectly reasonable of them, but I want to rest). Difficult to be creative and proactive with the kids (it takes too much effort, so I end up letting them watch TV far too much). I procrastinate on chores, admin, etc - I feel like I don't have the energy, and hope I might do later. I don't get to do things I want to do because I'm too tired - I sometimes go to bed straight after the kids, and miss out on an evening, and sometimes I have to cancel evening plans with friends because I'm too tired (just plans to sit around chatting for a couple of hours, not go clubbing until 2am). Often I really want to be doing something creative or playing a game but I don't have the energy so just surf the internet. I feel like Alex is taking up a lot of the slack - taking the kids so I can have a daytime nap or break - and I would be coping a lot worse without this.
On good days, it's so much better - I can be both patient and proactive with the kids, and we actually do things together, and I get things done around the house, and I get to do things I enjoy.

Possibilities:
  • Something blood sugar related - not diabetes, but something similar? I'd be curious to borrow a blood sugar test kit and see if there's a correlation with subjective tiredness.

  • Sleep quality - I did an overnight test at the sleep clinic in Papworth, and there my subjectively perceived sleep quality was better than the recorded data (apparently with most people it's the other way round - they say they didn't sleep a wink, and the recordings say they did). So maybe I think I'm sleeping well, but am actually sleeping badly, so am tired. Would explain day-to-day variation, if some nights I sleep better than others. So maybe I should take sleep-quality advice I've previously ignored because sleep is subjectively good. Sleep clinic just said I'm a "long sleeper." They prescribed amphetamines but I didn't take them because we were TTC Zoe at the time.

  • Depression - doctors often suggest this, but I don't feel depressed, or have any other symptoms of it. I've read descriptions of what depression is like and really don't recognise it.

  • Atypical depression - apparently this is like depression except you cheer up when good things happen (which makes me wonder how that's different from just not having depression). That fits with the non-constant nature of my condition, and its symptoms also include hypersomnia and increased appetite - but also some symptoms I don't have, like weight gain, and oversensitivity to rejection (I don't think I have this - what do people who know me think?) And again, I don't feel "depressed", even on the bad days, just tired. I am still able to be happy and enjoy things on those days, within the limits of the tiredness; and any emotional effects, like irritability, seem to be a consequence of tiredness, like they would be in anyone who's tired. OTOH, I do find the tiredness seems to alleviate for a few days whenever I come up with an Exciting New Theory about it, so maybe that's the atypical depression responding to hopeful events?

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome. I don't like this because it's kind of a last-resort diagnosis - like "you're tired, we don't know why, we've ruled out most other things" - and there's no actual test for it, and no cure. I don't have the other symptoms that often go with it, like joint pain or bowel problems. No one really knows what causes CFS, but there is the "central governor theory" - the mechanism which normally shuts off functioning and forces you to rest at a point short of actual exhaustion (but could be overridden by adrenaline if you suddenly get chased by a tiger or something). The hypothesis is that this is set too sensitive in CFS patients, so their body thinks they're close to exhaustion when they're not, and shuts down. I wonder if it's possible to change this set point? Hypnosis or something?


Ruled out:
Diabetes (this has been ruled out multiple times, but they keep testing for it anyway because the symptoms seem to match so well)
Anaemia
Diabetes insipidus (kidneys removing too much water, causing dehydration)
Celiac
Thyroid levels (checked with GP today; already tested)
Tiredness caused by waking in the night with kids and/or breastfeeding (no longer apply)

Tried:
Cutting out sugar
Cutting down heavily on carbs and eating more protein and veg
Increasing exercise
Drinking even more water
Eating more (this seemed to be going well for a few days, but then I had a really tired day on Sunday and slept all through church)
Folic acid (high dose supplement - random GP suggestion)
Modafinil
Keeping sleep and food diaries - not spotted any obvious patterns, could apply techniques of big data, recording loads of things (don't even know what things could be relevant)

Things maybe not been checked:
Absorption of oxygen - VO2 max?
Absorption of energy from food
Some kind of food allergy
Some kind of nutrient deficiency

Current status:
Saw the GP today. She's sent me for yet another round of blood tests, checking the same things they always test, but she thinks something might have changed (?) If those come back normal, she will refer me to the chronic fatigue clinic (which I didn't know existed before today). I had trouble ascertaining whether it's a chronic fatigue clinic (as in, for people with fatigue which is chronic, to try and figure out the cause) or a Chronic Fatigue clinic (for people who they believe have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome specifically, giving them coping strategies).

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33 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
gerald_duck From: gerald_duck Date: May 1st, 2015 12:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I assume the sleep clinic monitored enough to ascertain you don't have sleep apnoea? If not, that feels like an obvious thing to check.

Have you checked vitamin B levels? What about vitamin D and/or more sunlight and/or seasonal affective disorder?

Have you tried less sleep? I tend to need about 7½ hours of sleep now (down from 8½ pre-CPAP) and I know that two hours more makes me feel every bit as grotty as two hours less.

Is your bedroom dark enough? Are you getting bitten by bed bugs? Is the temperature of bedroom and bedding stable and comfortable? Do you sleep any better when Alex isn't there? (I note that Papworth won't have recorded any consequences of sharing a bed.)

From what I know of depression, I'm not sure it can be discounted simply because you're not unhappy, if you see what I mean. Though, increasingly, I'm coming to feel that health is a holistic combination of spiritual, mental and physical health, each affecting the others. If you are fatigued and depressed, trying to say that one has caused the other might be a chicken-and-egg problem.

As for the spiritual dimension, God has His place in this situation; how could He not? But I don't know how much to say about that in a medical-themed posting!
woodpijn From: woodpijn Date: May 1st, 2015 08:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the helpful suggestions/comments.

I assume the sleep clinic monitored enough to ascertain you don't have sleep apnoea?

IIRC, both when they lent me a monitor to sleep with at home, and when I slept at the clinic, the machine failed to record data, so they couldn't be sure, but they went "well, you're the wrong age and weight and sex to have sleep apneoa." Also I thought you said that if I did, I'd snore loudly enough that you'd be able to hear it downstairs at GamesEvening.

Have you checked vitamin B levels? What about vitamin D and/or more sunlight and/or seasonal affective disorder?

The GP said there were some B vitamins included in the routine blood tests, which they've done before and are doing again next week. The tiredness doesn't seem to follow a predictable seasonal pattern, so I don't think it's SAD.

Have you tried less sleep?

Having had two babies in the last few years, I have a lot of experience with less sleep. I'd say it's worse, but not linearly worse.

The bedroom is fairly dark - thick navy-blue curtains, purple walls - and again, there's no seasonal pattern, i.e. I'm not less tired in winter when it's dark in the mornings. OTOH, there are a lot of electronic devices (two phones, two digital clocks), and we don't shut the door (if we do, cats scratch at it and wake us up).

I haven't noticed any sign of bed bugs. The temperature seems fine. Alex is a mixed factor - occasionally he snores and wakes me up, but if he's not there I noticeably sleep less well because of the unfamiliarity (and semi-consciously worrying if he's OK).
gerald_duck From: gerald_duck Date: May 2nd, 2015 02:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, with typical sleep apnoea you'd snore loudly enough to be heard from downstairs if you were actually asleep rather than merely resting, winding down, tossing and turning or whatever.

Is there any indication why the pulse oximeter twice failed to get a reading? To me, that in itself is surprising having used one several times now without incident. Is there something strange about your fingers, or about how you move about in your sleep?
woodpijn From: woodpijn Date: May 2nd, 2015 07:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was a while ago so my memory is hazy, and they weren't very clear in communicating to me in the first place; but I believe the problem was at the other end, in the part that records/saves the data, not the oximeter than goes on the finger. I think on the overnight visit, someone had misconfigured it so it was receiving data but not saving it anywhere.
gerald_duck From: gerald_duck Date: May 3rd, 2015 08:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Those things are pretty cheap nowadays. Your GP's surgery likely has its own; maybe it's worth asking to borrow it for another try? I mean, sleep apnoea is such an important contender it seems worth being conclusive about.
woodpijn From: woodpijn Date: May 1st, 2015 08:50 am (UTC) (Link)

Depression

If you don't have to be sad to have depression, it... doesn't seem like a very useful category? My cynical side thinks that the pharma companies are deliberately expanding the definition.

I already feel that our understanding of mental health is about where our understanding of physical health was pre-germ theory. They don't know what causes depression, and people often have to take several different ADs before they find one that works, and it's a bit random. And they take weeks to start working, and my tiredness varies so much anyway it'd be hard to tell if it was the drug or not.

I'm also cautious about the side-effect profile of SSRIs - they have some which last a lifetime even after you stop taking them, and some which would make me much less functional than I am at the moment (especially concerning when in sole charge of kids most of the day), so I'm reluctant to take them, especially when any diagnosis of depression is so speculative.

I posted some more about possible depression here: http://woodpijn.livejournal.com/44633.html
gerald_duck From: gerald_duck Date: May 2nd, 2015 03:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, this is the NHS list of symptoms of depression, but this is the Wikipedia article on differential diagnosis. I seem prone to mild depression, and the onset is so gradual that I'm never exactly conscious of being sad. It's more that fun things don't seem quite as fun as they ought, problems seem more problematic than they should, everything is a little daunting, there's a sense of coping day to day rather than any more fulfilling trajectory to life, etc.

At the same time, I end up eating more, exercising less, sleeping more, aching more, being generally slower mentally and physically. Now that I'm a Christian, on a sample size of one episode I've also noticed my ability to engage with God is impaired.

To be clear, I'm not advocating drugs. I've refused SSRIs twice, now.

Out of interest, what do other people say about your mood? I notice that previous posting about depression is from before I first got to know you, so my own experience may not be terribly useful.

What are your milestones and ambitions at the moment? It occurs to me that Z starting school is still almost 3½ years away (?) which could at some level be feeling like a thousand days stretching out in front of you. On the other hand, though it seems we think very much alike in some respects, you appear far more keen on the idea of watching an infant grow up than I will ever be. (-8
woodpijn From: woodpijn Date: May 2nd, 2015 07:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
this is the Wikipedia article on differential diagnosis
Interesting. I wonder how many of those things my mysterious blood-tests-for-everything have ruled out. The tumour story (citation 28) is scary.

. I seem prone to mild depression, and the onset is so gradual that I'm never exactly conscious of being sad. It's more that fun things don't seem quite as fun as they ought, problems seem more problematic than they should, everything is a little daunting, there's a sense of coping day to day rather than any more fulfilling trajectory to life, etc.
At the same time, I end up eating more, exercising less, sleeping more, aching more, being generally slower mentally and physically. Now that I'm a Christian, on a sample size of one episode I've also noticed my ability to engage with God is impaired.

That does all sound very familiar to me. But I put it down to the effects of exhaustion.
I'm also a bit sceptical of the idea that we have a right to or expectation of things being fun and fulfilling, when they haven't been for most people in most cultures throughout history. It's nice when they are, and it's valid to try to achieve that; but I'm sceptical that the absence, or even relative lack, implies an illness.

To be clear, I'm not advocating drugs. I've refused SSRIs twice, now.
Oh, OK, I didn't realise that. How do/did you treat your depression? Counselling? (With A.?)
Even if I do have depression, the fact that it subjectively feels like a physical rather than an emotional problem means I find it hard to understand how a talking therapy could help. What would we talk *about*?

Out of interest, what do other people say about your mood?
Alex doesn't think I'm depressed or have lost enjoyment in things. His mum doesn't either, and she has the benefit of both being a psychologist and knowing me personally. The only people who've ever suggested it have been doctors etc, not personal friends.

What are your milestones and ambitions at the moment?
I'm looking forward to Z not being a toddler any more. Age 3 seems like an important milestone in terms of my personal preferences and strengths/weaknesses in parenting - I found Bethany a lot easier from that point on. I'm really looking forward to when we have two children (as opposed to babies or toddlers) and can do things together with them that all four of us enjoy.

I do think about future career plans and look forward with some excitement to what I might do once they're both in school. I'm aware that if I want to get back into programming it would be good to keep in practice with some personal projects, like most of the people on ToothyChat do (and like I used to do to some extent pre-kids), but I don't have the energy; and I'm aware that if I want to get into data analysis, that's very well suited for an amateur to do on their blog, for fun, practice, and reputation-building; but again, no energy.

I want to write - I used to write fiction, and do NaNoWriMo every year. I've done really tiny little bits of writing in recent years.

I also have a lifelong on-and-off ambition of starting some kind of startup. It was always going to be software-related, although about a year ago I came up with a baby-equipment invention, which I did some research about how I might bring to market, and contacted a manufacturing company for quotes and advice, but ran out of energy to get any further.
gerald_duck From: gerald_duck Date: May 3rd, 2015 08:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm also a bit sceptical of the idea that we have a right to or expectation of things being fun and fulfilling

Maybe not fun and fulfilling. Certainly not a right. But I do believe we can have confidence, by the grace of God, in… spiritual nurture. Peace. Joy, in the sense C. S. Lewis uses,or in the sense of the "tidings of comfort and joy".

To put it another way, if we are travelling the path in life that God has chosen for us, God will be with us on the journey.

they haven't been for most people in most cultures throughout history

Hmm. It's worth noting that the strife of megalomaniacs and tyrants makes better history than humble lives lived well. Also, that existential angst is so prevalent now that it's become a cliché. We have a standard of living people in centuries past didn't even dream of. We have freedoms they never dared imagine. We build communities with people they didn't know existed. And yet lots of us aren't happy.
gerald_duck From: gerald_duck Date: May 3rd, 2015 09:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
As for SSRIs, they wouldn't work on me, for reasons I'll try to explain in talking about faith ↓ down there somewhere.

The first time, I was prescribed them but didn't fill the prescription. I was pretty sure my depression had to have some root cause and was determined to find it. Sure enough, I came to realise that the problem was deceptively simple: my dream job sucked. The reality is a little more complicated but the narrative truth is that when I found a new job the depression lifted.

The second time, last summer, my NHS counsellor and I agreed that I was depressed (I can't remember which of us said it first). She suggested getting my GP to prescribe some antidepressants. I said no. She said I'd find it far harder to emerge from depression without. I pointed out that I knew I was going to get better and had the determination to get better. She relented, and later commented that she was surprised at how much I'd improved.

This is not not not to say I'm in any way better or more blessed or whatever than people whose experiences differ.

I think the Christian counsellor I've also been seeing, by contrast, has found me quite confusing. She spent many sessions trying to work out why I was even going to see her! She's been another point of safety in my support network through some difficult months, but that's not the reason I've been seeing her.

I'm looking forward to Z not being a toddler any more. Age 3 seems like an important milestone…

I could be barking up completely the wrong tree but, well, I'm not surprised to hear you say that. Deliberately overstating to render this starkly, if your life has been on hold while you wait for Z to turn three, and there's still a year and a half to go, I can see that being problematic.
woodpijn From: woodpijn Date: May 6th, 2015 11:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Not sure I understand that last point.

I feel a bit rhetorically trapped: I thought that if I said I had no ambitions or milestones and my future was a featureless void, you'd go "aha, depression," so I can't win.

If my life is "on hold", looking forward to Zoe being 3 isn't the cause, it's a source of hope, like "maybe I won't be this tired forever; maybe it'll let up in a year or two." But the tiredness has been present since way before having either of the kids.
gerald_duck From: gerald_duck Date: May 6th, 2015 09:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
For me, at least, it seems to be healthy to have some significant milestones in the next month or two. Indeed, when I start finding the midwinter a bit bleak, I begin to look forward to my birthday at the end of February as a kind of mental corner-turning, and on January 2nd that can seem far too distant.

I'm not sure I'd cope well with listing milestones and having none of them closer than eighteen months. But your mileage may vary!
woodpijn From: woodpijn Date: May 7th, 2015 09:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I thought you meant more long-term and significant milestones, not things on the order of birthdays.
In that case: Alex's birthday at the end of May and Bethany's in July (both comparably exciting to my own); theme park trip the weekend after next; church weekend away with friends the weekend after that; another theme park trip in July; probably staying with family sometime in summer.
woodpijn From: woodpijn Date: May 6th, 2015 01:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I found this article on depression versus CFS. That makes me think it's chronic fatigue, if not actually Chronic Fatigue, and not depression. Particularly items 1, 2, and 6: depressed people feel discouraged and guilty generally, and lose interest in activities; CFS people feel discouraged and guilty specifically about the things they don't have the energy to do, and wish they had the energy to keep on doing the activities they're interested in.
gerald_duck From: gerald_duck Date: May 6th, 2015 10:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is difficult territory. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and its ilk seem to be unhappy baskets in which phenomena are put which aren't a good match for any more specific disease. I've been diagnosed with post-viral fatigue syndrome before now, where with the benefit of hindsight I'd explain my symptoms as a combination of sleep aponoea, abusive aspects of a relationship, some significant dissatisfactions at work, malingering and not being Christian. My GP said PVFS was different from CFS; Wikipedia says it's not.

The Wikipedia section on differential diagnosis says, in part, "A 2006 review found that there was a lack of literature to establish the discriminant validity of undifferentiated somatoform disorder from CFS."

In any case, so far as I can see, unless you're hoping to be prescribed antidepressants, the treatment for any of depression, CFS or somatoform disorder is psychotherapy, coupled with general healthy living?
woodpijn From: woodpijn Date: May 7th, 2015 09:31 am (UTC) (Link)
That's what I was getting at in the OP, about CFS: it's kind of a last-resort diagnosis - like "you're tired, we don't know why, we've ruled out most other things"

There is a practical difference between CFS and depression in that physical activity apparently makes CFS worse and depression better. It looks like Bekki's recovery from CFS was largely helped by rest and pacing.
pigwotflies From: pigwotflies Date: May 2nd, 2015 07:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Depression

I've taken SSRIs (fluoxetine initially and in the last 2 years, sertraline as it's safer for breastfeeding and we were TTC when I started it) on and off since 2008 with few side-effects. I had very vivid dreams on fluoxetine, however, they didn't diminish as much as I thought they would when I came off it, so might have been part of the CFS (which can mess with REM sleep). My eyes are a bit dry, which has only been a problem recently since I've been trying out contact lenses. Other than that, no downside, lots of upside. I suspect I'll keep taking something long term as it seems to keep me stable and happy.
Obviously that's just my experience. But I'm a big advocate for anti-depressants as they helped (and continue to help) me a lot.
What makes you think some would make you less functional?
woodpijn From: woodpijn Date: May 7th, 2015 09:35 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Depression

In my other thread on depression, the_alchemist said she didn't sleep for two nights when she first tried an SSRI. I'm frightened to think how crazy I'd be after two nights of no sleep, extrapolating from how I am after one moderately sleepless night. And aiwendel said "One made me sick, and the room spin etc and was bad."
pigwotflies From: pigwotflies Date: May 8th, 2015 01:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Depression

I can see how that would put you off. It can take a while to find something that works for you. Though if you're not depressed, anti-depressants probably aren;t right for you anyway. They're sometimes prescribed for CFS, but I think mostly as depression seems to come along with it.
woodpijn From: woodpijn Date: May 1st, 2015 08:51 am (UTC) (Link)

Spitirual dimension

Feel free to talk about it on here.

I do pray about the tiredness.
woodpijn From: woodpijn Date: May 1st, 2015 02:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Spitirual dimension

Sorry for rushed replies; was under pressure from kids. I agree physical, mental and spiritual are interlinked. I don't know if my physical-and/or-mental problem has a partly spiritual cause. I'm pretty sure it has spiritual effects; it's hard to be mindful of God, remember to pray, etc when I'm tired.
gerald_duck From: gerald_duck Date: May 3rd, 2015 09:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
No worries about rushed replies. For my part, it's taken until now for me to reply to your replies at all. (-8
gerald_duck From: gerald_duck Date: May 3rd, 2015 09:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I feel I understand — through life experience and through revelation — a little of how things are interlinked. On the one hand, much remains mysterious and I yearn to know more. On the other, I'm forced to admit that what I do know is enough — sufficient unto the day, sufficient to fill me with wonder at God's… texture and subtlety. It's not that God is changeable or diverse, more that billions of people can each lean into thousands of situations with Him and time after time He shows His perfect nature in a different light.

This is amazing grace; this is unfailing love.

I feel I understand. Putting words to that understanding is another matter.

Somewhere out in l-space is the posting I cannot write. It talks about health, and medical science, and faith healing, and the placebo effect, and miracles, and what wellness is for.

I have been in a room with two fellow Christians. Each had a relative involved in a serious road traffic accident in the past year. One thanking us for our prayers and saying the relative can now walk again after the second bout of surgery; the other is talking about how hard it is to come to terms with the death.

Once upon a time there was a couple where the husband was an atheist and the wife a Christian. One day, the husband was injured at a party. The wife and her church prayed for him, but it gradually became clear he was permanently paralysed. She divorced him. The husband's brother saw this situation unfolding and drifted from agnosticism to emphatic atheism.

And, of course, I spent many months too close for comfort to someone whose health problems were pretty baroque.

They say — those generic people who always comprise the them — they say that we see such situations and it's hard to believe they all form part of God's perfect plan.

Going back to C. S. Lewis, "There is no neutral ground in the universe. Every square inch, every split second is claimed by God, and counterclaimed by Satan." On good days, when my faith is strong, when I talk with God and am at least trying to love Him as much as he deserves, He speaks to me and loves me and helps me understand and calms my fears about what remains a mystery. On bad days, I don't feel like talking with God, I feel unloving, unlovely, unloved. I still know that everything I experienced on the good days is real and true, but I am distanced from it. Such is Satan's guile.

On the good days (I've waited for a good day before replying!) I have clarity concerning how great a gift is what wellness I possess, how great a gift is my very life. I cannot undo past mistakes and I have wounds that will never heal, but I praise Him because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, with life and health enough to satisfy the purpose for which He made me.

The good days are a win-win situation. I am equipped to cope with whatever happens, and what little we know of the placebo effect gives a glimpse into how powerful grace might be in improving health. And, of course, I win anyway, because I'm Saved.

The bad days are a lose-lose situation. But at least I'm still Saved.


My hunch is that if I work to improve my physical health, my mental health and my spiritual health, they will all improve. If I try to concentrate on one to the exclusion of the other two, they will not.
gerald_duck From: gerald_duck Date: May 3rd, 2015 10:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
You've said that your experience of prayer is not the same as mine.

If I were in your situation, I would have confidence that I could turn to God in prayer, bring Him the situation, be guided by Him towards the proper question and the proper way of thinking, receive any answers I needed.

I wouldn't necessarily pray the prayer, mind: Satan does a "good" job of keeping me reluctant and apprehensive a lot of the time. I've gone five weeks without praying properly before now and that was not nice.

I feel that kind of prayer would help you greatly right now. And I'll be bold: I sense that the problems you've articulated in this posting and your not experiencing that kind of prayer have a common root cause.

I wish I knew how to help better. We can chat offline some time. We can pray together some time. I do pray for you. An off-the-wall suggestion is that maybe it would help to talk to a mature Christian with strong prophetic gifts. Angela Kemm at City springs to mind, but maybe you know somebody at Eden?
woodpijn From: woodpijn Date: May 6th, 2015 11:41 am (UTC) (Link)
And I'll be bold: I sense that the problems you've articulated in this posting and your not experiencing that kind of prayer have a common root cause.

That sounds quite M Scott Peck to me - there was a theme in his book of people discovering one simple[*] key that unblocks everything that's wrong in their life, and everything is traceable to that, like a satisfying mystery novel. I think real-life problems are usually more complex.

If my tiredness and my spiritual limitations do have a common root cause, I expect it's something fairly immutable (modulo God being able to change anything if he chooses) like mild autistic-spectrum issues or something. I do find I get tired when experiencing sensory overload, although I don't know if that's the only trigger.

[*]Simple in an informational sense, still requiring hard work emotionally. Not meaning to trivialise Peck here.
gerald_duck From: gerald_duck Date: May 6th, 2015 11:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, yes, I have more time for Peck than you seem to. On the other hand, it's worth noting that he explains up-front that the case stories he presents have been abbreviated, anonymised and filtered to illustrate just one point from a complex patient history. While he describes various "eureka" moments, I don't think he's saying they're one per customer even if his narrative style wrongly suggests that.

I'm also put in mind, though, of C.S. Lewis in the Screwtape Letters. I can't find the exact phrasing right now, but he says that one of Satan's more effective tricks is blinding people to the surprisingly obvious.

There are also many Biblical examples of people receiving sudden clarity where previously there was none. Especially Acts 9, from which we get the "scales fell from his eyes" idiom (as well as "road to Damascus", of course).

I've had at least a dozen "doh" moments so far, where God has pointed things out to me which then seemed obvious with hindsight. Often, as well as being informationally simple, revelation has been conveyed with a healthy dollop of grace so that working through the solution seems joyous rather than onerous. "Equipped" is a good word, which evangelical churches seem rightly fond of.

I expect it's something fairly immutable (modulo God being able to change anything if he chooses)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. [Romans 15:13]
gerald_duck From: gerald_duck Date: May 6th, 2015 11:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
It bears mentioning, incidentally, that God's hand is already upon this situation. Romans 15:13 is from Him, not from me.

I was going to say something quite different, but when I went Googling for Biblical references to fountains, I found that verse. Which, I note, has precisely nothing to do with fountains…
pigwotflies From: pigwotflies Date: May 2nd, 2015 07:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
When I had CFS, I didn't have joint pain or bowel problems. A lot of stuff you describe like brain fog, general lack of energy fits my experience.
I expect it's the Chronic Fatigue clinic in Peterborough. They were moderately helpful to me. Lots of stuff on pacing, managing energy levels. I also went to group therapy for a couple of hours and did some CBT. These days I don't think I have it anymore. I'm not sure if any one thing made the change. Time, slowing down to recover and then re-starting work part time which helped to give me a routine again. It was about 5 years between when I first got ill and when I felt I wasn't ill any more.
These days I'm as tired as you'd expect the mother of an 8 month old to be, but not more than that and I find I can cope on less sleep than I used to without crashing out too often. That was a surprise as I expected new parenthood to trigger off exhaustion and inability to do stuff again, but it didn't, reinforcing my feeling that it's gone.
woodpijn From: woodpijn Date: May 6th, 2015 11:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, that's informative and encouraging.
woodpijn From: woodpijn Date: May 5th, 2015 04:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Something else I considered at one point and forgot to add - adding for completeness.

Something external to me, like atmospheric pressure or humidity. I thought of this because subjectively it feels like high pressure in/around my head when I'm tired, and when I'm not tired it feels like the opposite, like a cool fresh breeze is blowing through my head (yes, I know).

I mentioned this possibility to a GP once and he fairly sensibly pointed out that even if it is that, there's not a lot I can do about it.
gerald_duck From: gerald_duck Date: May 6th, 2015 11:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm grouchy when a thunderstorm's brewing.
toothycat From: toothycat Date: May 18th, 2015 09:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm a bit late to the conversation, but this just came into my head after Alex mentioned he's been really tired recently. Have you been checked for glandular fever and its many relatives? It causes bouts of extreme tiredness and it has been known to recur, although my encounter with a relative at university was a one-off. It's a viral infection, so could be catching. I'd be surprised if they hadn't checked for it, but it's not listed, so I thought I'd ask.

Anyway, I'll keep praying.
woodpijn From: woodpijn Date: May 21st, 2015 08:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks.

I don't know. It's difficult to get the doctors to tell me anything, and even harder to get them to tell me anything true (e.g. when I recently asked the GP if I'd already been tested for thyroid, and she said yes, but the phlebotomist looked on my records and they said I hadn't).

I haven't heard anything back yet from the blood tests (and I don't know if they would include glandular fever or not). I might need to phone and chase. I assume not hearing anything means they didn't find anything interesting, but the GP did *say* she'd phone me either way to discuss next steps.
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