How To Understand CFS Crashes in 5 Minutes or Less
If you have a friend with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome you’ve, no doubt, heard about how she’ll crash after an eventful day. But hearing about such a thing and understanding it are two very different things. What amount of activity is ok and what isn’t? Does she crash all the time or only every once in a while? How can you make sure that you aren’t the cause of one of her crashes?
The answers aren’t always simple, but it can help to understand a little more of what’s going on. I created the following image to explain what it feels like. It’s not based on science (though there are studies showing what’s going on, but they are way harder to understand than my cute little pictures!), just based on my life. For those of you who ever wondered what my life is like- here it is as best as I know how to describe it. I do these calculations every single day.
It is so hard for people even those of us with ME to understand how to make best use of our energy and why we get payback for what we do. Also to explain why we can do some things if it is worth the effort, although its not always possible and varies on a daily basis.
It makes sense explain this way, its a bit like getting a loan you can live of that money for a bit, but then it runs out and if you keep borrowing then you will end up in big trouble at the end of the day. If you keep borrowing the effects just last longer and longer and eventually there is nothing to borrow from and an awful lot to payback.
Everyday life can easily use up all the beans and you can't just go out and buy more as you need beans to do that. Of course every day is different and the number of beans varies as does the demands on your beans and there is nothing for an unexpected event like a visitor, a child's tantrum or an emergency which can leave you borrowing well into next week!
Of course this still doesn't make life any easier and the people who need to understand what happens to us probably won't be reading this as they are not interested or think they know already.
Wouldn't it be easy if the solution was just to eat more beans!