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Chronic Fatigue

Posted 08-13-2015 at 05:58 AM by Phylum
I have it.

So uni is really hard at the moment. Impossibly hard. The new semester has just started, and it's looking a lot like I'll be dropping out at this point, again. I'm not sure though. It looks like it might vaguely be possible to push through, but I really don't know. It's confusing, it's stressful.

I managed to struggle through last semester somehow, but I only really started getting bad in the last few weeks. Now I'm starting the semester out of juice. I was getting a bit better after my doctor gave me the entire first week back off, but now I feel like I'm going down hill again.

Music performance is a pretty physically demanding course. There are 4 hours of ensemble rehearsals every week. There are a few hours of classes, plus an hour 1:1 practical lesson. Then there's the practice - at least 2 hours a day, but as many as 4 if you really want to do well. You can never get ahead, you really have to do that much every day. As it stands I can barely play for 5 minutes at a time, and only a few times a day. It wipes me out. Makes me dizzy, makes me lightheaded, gives me hot flushes. It makes me feel so exhausted and heavy, sometimes even light and sound become too much and I just go to sleep.

I need to have some stuff together by next week basically, or my year is over. It's looking pretty grim, and I feel like being back at uni the minimal amount I have been (it's week 3 and I've done less than half of the classes so far) I already feel like I'm going back down hill.

And in a way, I'm ready to be done for this year. I've spent so much time stressing and uncertain that I'm just fucking ready to make a definite decision.

If I drop out this year, then next year I'll still have 3 years to go. That means the last 2 years will basically have been for nothing. I think I'm at the point where I have to say "I have health problems that are making music impractical" and give up. I tried, and I tried hard. I've dragged everything out for as long as I can, but it doesn't look like it's going to work. I'm feeling surprisingly good about the idea - I've still leaned a lot, and I'll always be a musician even if it's not my day job.

I think I'd like to take the rest of the year to focus on my health. Go for some walks, and runs. Help dad build some shit for his latest crazy project. Do odd jobs, finally clean out my computer room and get a proper office-like setup with draws and space to put things. But most importantly work on my fitness. It's something I've needed to do for a while, in the face of fatigue, but it just hasn't been feasible with uni and school. Last year I stayed on half time in the second half of the year, and that meant that I was able to get some topics done but at the cost of having no energy for my physical well-being or social life. My health actually needs some attention right now.

I'm thinking next year I might transform into a CompSci major. I'm not sure yet. It's all just ideas at this point. But music is really obviously not working.

Oh also I came off of the antidepressants, because of the onset of this latest bout of fatigue. We wanted to rule out that it was nothing to do with them. It's been 2 months out of my system now and I'm feeling really great. I'm facing a stressful time where I have really limited social interaction and I'm coping really well. I feel calm, and I'm still able to make time to do things that make me happy. I'm conscious that things might get worse again though, but I know where I can go for help now, and I'd actually feel comfortable talking things through with my parents now after the initial hurdle a few months back.

This is a weird time for me. My future is really uncertain, my dream of the last few years is lying in ruins and my health is in the pits. But I actually feel excited about whatever future I make from here, and that there will be better times ahead. I think I'm learning to be optimistic.
Total Comments 9


Varrok's Avatar
-Checking your diet (eat more)
-Going out more
-If you're not going out, open your windows, don't let your room be too stuffy

Keep in mind:
-If your weather is like it's here in Poland, it's not very good for physical activities, many people feel exhausted quickly under that conditions. I feel tired almost every day for a couple of weeks. I like it when it's hot though, so I don't worry much
-Stress may have a negative impact on your physical abilities. It seems that you're not that stressed now, and it's really good! Keep it up, don't give a fuck!
Posted 08-13-2015 at 06:42 AM by Varrok
Updated 08-13-2015 at 06:45 AM by Varrok

Phylum's Avatar
I eat really well, and healthy portion sizes for someone my age. It's hard to go out more when even walking can be so much of a struggle. Uni literally takes all of my energy, to the point where I end up spending the weekends recovering for the next week. It's not healthy, but if I drop out doing things outside the house with other people is super high on my mental priority list. And my windows are almost always open, much to my parents' distaste!

Our weather is nowhere near as cold as yours. Some nights we get down as low as 2-3˚ celcius. The days are never below 10. Dad complains about how freezing it is when it's 14 outside. I think he's a baby. Our summer heat is the killer, where we can get several days in a row over 40˚ at a time. It's not depressing like long cold winters, though.

This is a good list of things though. Thank you.
Posted 08-13-2015 at 07:10 AM by Phylum

STM's Avatar
I don't know if it's been suggested before but perhaps you have ME?

my girlfriend has this and sometimes after a four hour shift standing at work (she's a store supervisor) she's literally ready to collapse and sleep for about 12 hours.
Posted 08-13-2015 at 07:21 AM by STM

Varrok's Avatar
I meant it's HOT in Poland, like 25-30'C

oh gosh, 40... i think I'd drop dead
Posted 08-13-2015 at 07:56 AM by Varrok

Phylum's Avatar
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is another name for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome STM It's pretty rough though, send my regards to her!

And yeah shit I forgot about hemispheres for a minute there. So did you in your first post I guess.
Posted 08-13-2015 at 08:26 AM by Phylum

Varrok's Avatar
Wait, you're from UK or was it Australia? *confused*
Posted 08-13-2015 at 08:52 AM by Varrok

MA's Avatar
he's an aussie.

you know whats best for your situation, my friend, so go with it. like you say, your physical health takes priority.
Posted 08-13-2015 at 10:42 AM by MA

Nate's Avatar
Wait... were you only just diagnosed with CF? How did they not realise that years ago?
Posted 08-13-2015 at 07:15 PM by Nate

Phylum's Avatar
I was really diagnosed a year ago, I've just been avoiding calling it that because I've been healthy since then. So has my entire family, basically.
Posted 08-13-2015 at 07:54 PM by Phylum


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