021. Fatigue

tldr: finals week on steroids

I have talked about my disability on this blog before, but not *too* much in detail. Maybe once or twice. Honestly, I need to talk about it more– but that is another issue. One of the symptoms of this (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Type 3) is fatigue: exhaustion beyond exhaustion. Fatigue on its own is a symptom of EDS, but realistically it is a culmination of other symptoms: low muscle tone, fragility, and joint pain. Most students go through this every now and then, whether it be after cramming for a test or doing too much on the weekend. For me, it can be more subtle things that cause being fatigued, including but not limited to: walking too much, dehydration, or just everyday living.

Yesterday, I was feeling it. So I decided that I would write about what this feels like. Maybe it’ll be insightful for some, but at the very least I will be able to look back at this post when I have my energy back. Til then:

what i experience when i say i am fatigued

  • Walking turns into a sort of waltz. Like I am stumbling through the motions. Sheila Black said it best in her poem “What You Mourn”:
    • “the body, which made walking difficult
      and running practically impossible,
      except as a kind of dance, a sideways looping
      like someone about to fall”
  • It feels like I am trapped at the bottom of a well, with no amount of coffee being enough to lift me to the surface.
  • Even watching Netflix feels like too much.
  • A wet towel over my eyes, somehow strained after being closed all day.
  • Aches from moving around too much and aches from laying in bed.
  • My room smells of essential oils meant to help with pain. Because ‘for some reason’ you can only take Ibuprofen every 6 hours.
  • Getting a headache from the smell of essential oils.
  • Fatigue days are multiple showers/baths days.
  • Every activity that brings joy ends up being ever so anti-climatic.
    • Reading books leads to reading the same sentence and words over and over again. Reading books leads to reading the same sentence and words over and over again. [This is one of my favorite meta-reading jokes. Lemony Snicket included this sort of joke in A Series of Unfortunate Events.]
  • Songs with a high BPM that are usually energizing lead to a sense of sadness.

I mean what can you do. Yesterday, all I did was sit waiting for people to tutor, and it was still so exhausting. Everything felt slow in the worst kind of way. Today is so much better, and it feels like whiplash. Honestly, the fact that I have a corporeal body is low-key wack sometimes. Maybe it’s just the quarantine? Besides the tiredness, the year just keeps crawling forward, yet somehow it is July? [Fake.]

That being said, I am glad school is coming up. A non-busy schedule (for me) seems to do more harm than good. I like to be distracted by obligations to a higher authority such as school. One thing is for certain though: this is not how I pictured this summer going. I pictured days with friends, road trips, movie nights, roller skating, star gazing, and sleep overs. The helplessness of quarantine [as well as EDS] makes everything sting just a little bit more. I don’t know. C’est la vie.
In other news: the blogger application came out! Very excited and lowkey nervous. I choose to think feeling nervous in this case is a good thing. More on Friday.


Published by Paige Bright

Hi- my name is Paige Alexandria Bright. I am a rising junior at MIT interested in mathematics and philosophy. I have been writing this blog since the beginning of COVID. Lets see where this goes.

2 thoughts on “021. Fatigue

    1. It does suck but honestly it does make the other days just a little bit better. The whole cliche of “there can’t be a rainbow without pain”


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