Tonight is another example of what is starting to feel typical in my battle against my underactive thyroid.
I’m tired. That typical kind of tired I feel a lot – just not quite able to focus or concentrate, with a heaviness settled on my chest that sometimes steps up to making my breathing feel thick. My brain is fuzzy, like I’m thinking through cotton wool. Simple things take more energy to manage, which in turn makes me more tired. It takes me a moment to realise when something outside my immediate subjective field is trying to get my attention. Multi-tasking is a myth.
I could sleep, but I know it won’t really do much. I can either sleep for 5 hours or less, or over 12. Anything in the middle and I just won’t wake up – or will be so exhausted I cannot process anything and basically pass out. I can cross a room to switch an alarm off without really leaving my sleep state (and do, frequently). On bad days the sleep will be more in the 15-17 hours bracket.
What’s worse is the tiredness stays, no matter how much sleep I get. Things are a bit sharper on less than five hours, but it’s unsustainable. Even if I am repeatedly prodded until I drag myself up after 8 or 9 hours, I’ll then spend the rest of the day feeling like a zombie. I’ll normally need a nap at some point.
It gets frustrating when partnered with a sense of impending deadlines or general creativity. I get restless and unfocused, too tired to do anything as useful as actually form words into creative sentences and other endeavours are too big to take up or require a wait time. I can’t even game properly, as trying to concentrate makes it worse.
And I don’t want to sleep. God, I don’t want to sleep. I know what sleep brings – another morning of the slow and painful process of waking up and getting myself moving. Randomly disrupted sleeping patterns, or worse, the long zombie sleep of the more than 12 hours variety. I know once I go there it’s so hard to come back. It’s exhausting on its own.
This isn’t even the tiredness of CFS or ME or any ‘real’ conditions. If I push myself and I get lucky I can leave the house, I have hobbies that I plan ahead for and manage, and although I feel dulled and not-quite-alive a lot of the time, I can function. I’m not bedridden. I feel like I’m being weak.
I need to make a doctor appointment but being up at a time when there’s one available (or getting up to attend one) sometimes feels impossible. I get cynical, too – they’ll test my blood levels, find out it’s not my thyroid or my iron or whatever, and then just go, ‘well, that’s just your life now’. Between mental illness and thyroid and sod knows what else, that’s my life. Suck it up. Three appointments total (one GP to get them to request a blood test, one blood test, one GP to discuss the results). Zero progress made.
This is a grumpy, ranty entry.