Crash. The most dreaded word in the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome lexicon. A crash is a CFS relapse that can happen at any stage of illness or recovery.
I'm dealing with the aftermath of a crash myself. In September I felt pretty darned good. Then old CFS symptoms reappeared.
First reaction? Disbelief. I'd forgotten just how bad this feels and how hard it is to live with.
First step? Go to bed. I spent a few days there. As I became less seasick and more clear-headed, I thought about what I wanted to hang on to and what I was willing to let go. Because crashing decrees that it's time to conserve energy, so it can be re-routed for healing. Trying to carry on ensures a worse relapse. To begin to economize is to begin to climb back up.
What do you hold dear? What do you want to still have in your life when the CFS tsunami dissipates? Put up safeguards there.
My family is essential. I want to have some presence in my kids' lives and I want to spend time with my husband. And writing is of paramount importance. I'd lost the ability and the outlet for this eight years ago and I won't go through that again.
Anything else I was willing to jettison if need be.
And I did.
How to maximize recovery? The ultradian cycle is our body's way of saying, a rest every hour or so is dandy. Research has shown that approximately every ninety minutes, a rest of about 20 minutes gives a nice boost.
Ideally, this is 20 minutes of sleep in a quiet room. If you sleep longer than that -- Bonus. If you can't go to bed, get as relaxed as you can, lay back, breathe deeply.
Re-evaluate your diet and supplements.
Rest, however, is the best tool in your arsenal.
And as you begin to recover, hang on to your regeneration periods. If you're enjoying yourself but it's nappy time ... go to bed. Close your eyes. Put the world on hold. This is, paradoxically, how you will keep a hold on your world, and not have it slip through your flaccid or twitching fingers.
It is simple. But it isn't easy. Life is calling, and we long to answer. But we must delay our answer to its call, so that we can offer a better response. Later.
After a little rest.