We sometimes talk about our lives in terms of what things cost us. How much things cost monetarily. How much time an activity costs us. Or how much energy something costs.
As someone with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome the activities of life cost me more energy and brain power than your average person. Say you take a walk around the block. That will cost you some energy but chances are you will bounce back quickly. Whereas a walk around the block will, most likely, put me flat out on the couch for a day or more.
One of the, oh so wonderful, defining symptoms of CFS is Post-Exertional Malaise (PEM). PEM is what I would describe as my body over-reacting to everything I do. Simple activity and my body reacts like I ran a marathon (minus the runners high). Exhaustion, pain and not being able to think straight.
And PEM is not predictable. The same activity may cause me to be exhausted for a few hours one time and flat out on the couch for two days or two weeks other times.
So how much does it cost? This year Trick-or-Treating with my kids has so far cost me 2 1/2 days of recovery. I am having a hard time writing this post because the words aren’t flowing properly.
How much did it cost you?
I don’t really have a point to all of this. Just to open up, inform and encourage everyone to consider that what costs you a little bit of energy might be a big decision for someone else. Just as with money and time, we are all in different places.
For more information on PEM read Post-Exertional Malaise by the CFIDS Association of America.