Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Getting up on Time

I wasn’t able to drag myself out of bed until about 11:00 this morning. I wasn’t dressed and downstairs until 11:15. Here it is, 2:00 in the afternoon, and I’m still dragging.

This, my friends, is my life with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Sleeping Cat and DogI’m in the middle of a CFS flareup – or maybe it’s a couple of flareups back to back. I don’t know. It’s hard to tell. But it’s hard for me to fall asleep at night. I don’t feel all that well rested when I wake up in the morning, and I’m exhausted all day long. I’d had such high hopes for writing today. It’s not happening. I’m just grateful I don’t have any client deadlines this week, and nothing has come in early from my writers that would require my attention.

Even when I’m not having a flareup of my CFS, I do not get up at what most people think is a respectable time of the morning. My alarm is set for 9:20 am. I get away with this because my wonderful husband Tom gets up with TJ and gets him on the school bus each morning. He kisses me before he leaves for work, and I doze until my alarm goes off. It takes me anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes to get out of bed on any given morning. If I know I have somewhere to be, I can make myself get up faster. But  have to plan ahead for such things and make sure I’m in bed at the right time.

If I have to get up even earlier – like for a conference, a meeting, or a television appearance – I have to start preparing my body days in advance, and I have to take extra medication the night before to make sure I fall asleep within 30 minutes of going to bed. (Otherwise, it can take hours, even with the sleep meds I take every night.) Ambien is my “OMG I need to get up early” medication of choice. I can’t take it regularly, because my body builds up a tolerance after 4-5 days, and then it stops working. So I only take that a few times a month, as needed.

I didn’t take Ambien last night. I’ll probably take it tonight in hopes of breaking the cycle. On days like this, though, all I want to do is go back to bed, even though I was in bed for 11 hours last night. (I think I only slept 8 of them. Which would’ve been enough, if not for the flareup.)

People like to bust on me for sleeping in all the time, but it’s just the way my body works. I’ve tried going to bed earlier, but my body doesn’t let me fall asleep before 1:00 am unless heavily medicated. It’s like my body is functioning on West Coast time – but I live on the East Coast.

I keep trying to remind myself that getting up early is not a virtue, though many people seem to think it is. I’m at my desk every night until nearly midnight, so I just keep different hours.

Just try to keep that in mind when you find out someone has been “sleeping in” to what seems like a terribly lazy hour. There’s usually more to the story!

Christina Gleason (973 Posts)

That’s me: Christina Gleason. I’m a professional copywriter, editor, and blogger. My company is called Phenomenal Content. (Hire me!) I'm a multiply disabled autistic woman doing my best in this world built for abled people. I’m a geek for grammar, fantasy, and select types of gaming, including Twitch Sings and Plants vs Zombies 2. I hate vegetables. I have an intense phone phobia, so I’ll happily conduct business over email or IM instead.


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