Elbow Propping, Over-Caffeinating, and Other Coping Mechanisms for Extreme Exhaustion

I have never been an energetic person. From the time I was a teenager, I have complained about always being tired. Prior to my injury, I loved to dance, work out, and play sports, but engaging in any one of these activities meant I was pretty much spent for the rest of the day. Cleaning the house makes me want to curl up in bed and nap forever. I enjoy parties but after a while feel the need to retreat to the corner because they drain me. I was tested for mono, iron deficiency, and hypothyroidism, but apparently western medicine is all…those are the ONLY THREE THINGS that can make you tired and you don’t have them, so you must be okay.

Since doctors can’t figure me out and since I have zero energy and motivation to look into this any further, I spend my days fighting an uphill battle against extreme exhaustion. The first cup of coffee enables me to simply use my words. Prior to that, it’s too tiring to communication using any kind of official language, so I grunt my way through the morning. Getting my child packed up and out the door is like herding cats, and I dread every minute of our 45 minute commute to preschool and work, where he forces me to listen to Katy Perry over and over and I repeatedly slap myself in the face to 1. wake myself up and 2. punish myself for introducing him to Katy Perry.

Once I settle in at the office, a second wave of fatigue washes over me. I will now be sitting in this chair staring at this screen for the next 9 hours so in order to stay awake I down at least two more cups of strong office sledge, take a walk around the block during the 3pm slump, and sometimes sneak off to my car for a midday cat nap. I secretly enjoy it when I’m congested enough to take a Sudafed or Mucinex D and the little adrenaline kick from the pseudoephedrine gives me an extra boost. (No I am not and will never be a meth head, so all you Heisenberg theorists can go back to watching reruns of Breaking Bad.)

By the time my evening commute rolls around, I’m so tired I might disintegrate, but I struggle onward for another 45 minutes in the car before I walk through my door and go directly to the kitchen to start dinner. My poor family. Now that a child has entered the picture, I have no spare energy for concocting creative and/or tasty dinners, so it’s the same five meals on rotation every. single. week. Sorry guys. I really can cook, I swear! But you wouldn’t know it from the pre-made salads and boxed quinoa I serve up on a nightly basis.

Then, after bathtime and bedtime routines for the little guy, and after listening to him shout at us from his crib for another 45 minutes, I finally FINALLY can lay down on the couch and just relax and have time to myself. This is the time I should be using constructively. To blog. To watch movies and TV shows I haven’t seen. To read a book. To reorganize my closet. What happens instead? I have enough energy to queue up Scrubs or Psych for the millionth time and not pay attention to it because I don’t have the energy to FOCUS MY EARS AND EYEBALLS ON NEW MATERIAL ON MY TV. Seriously. I’m too tired to watch TV. Let’s roll that back and say it again.

I’m too tired to watch TV.

And doctors say there’s nothing wrong with me? Come on, guys. Even I know that something’s not right here. I know kids and full-time jobs make you tired. I know the drudgery of life can sometimes feel like pouring molasses down a kiddie slide. But something’s amiss if you can’t even be bothered to flip through your damn channels and find something interesting to fixate your eyeballs on for the next two hours. Right?! Isn’t it?! Or are all you fools just as exhausted as me and this is just how life is?

5 thoughts on “Elbow Propping, Over-Caffeinating, and Other Coping Mechanisms for Extreme Exhaustion

  1. Have you tried sleeping propped up a bit on pillows so that your head/shoulders are elevated? Also, do you grind your teeth? I have achieved much better sleep since I started propping myself up in bed and wearing a cheap drugstore mouthguard.

    1. Wow, I DO grind my teeth! What does propping yourself up do? Get you more oxygen? I believe I might try these things, though I’m not sure how comfortable I will be elevated…

  2. This is also a problem for me!!! I just purchased Floradix iron and herb liquid supplement per my chiro’s suggestion. I totally understand what you are going through. We will never get “enough sleep” as parents. And bc we want to be successful in all avenues of our life (I kinda know you) I believe we exhaust ourselves mentally. Truth, being in our heads is more taxing than doing cardio in my opinion. I’m working on it and will let you know if I find something that works!!!

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