Of course, we’ve all heard the expression, “We all have 24 hours per day.” However, I challenge this basic assumption for those who face the multiple challenges of living with chronic illness.
Our bodies consistently require more sleep than those who are healthy, leaving us fewer hours in the day to accomplish what needs to be done. We fatigue more quickly, and require frequent rest breaks. This further diminishes the amount of time that is at our disposal.
I remember being astonished when I came across the following statement: it takes 5 times more energy for a person with MS to complete the same given task, compared to a healthy person. Furthermore, I know that I have struggled with feeling very depressed as a result of my persistent fatigue; being depressed, of course, makes us feel even more tired, too.
Add in the powerfully sedating effects of needing to take multiple medications, on a long-term basis, and it’s rather amazing we even keep our eyes open! Everyone with chronic illness also experiences the effects of somewhat diminished energy, as well as decreased task efficiency, as our minds and bodies age.
If you happen to develop a short-term infection, on top of being chronically ill, your energy level is even further compromised. Just some thoughts about how the diminishing sand in the hourglass is different for those who struggle with persistent illness…