The Fatigue Is Real

by Heather Loeb

One thing I hate being called is lazy. It’s never nice to hear that from anyone, but because of my chronic fatigue from depression, it stings even more.


I don’t think everyone knows just how bad the fatigue can be. Sometimes, when I’m deep in a depressive episode, I start to feel fatigued the minute I wake up. My body hurts — yes, depression can cause physical pain — and getting the kids ready for school seems like it’s an impossible task.

All my energy goes to getting them to school and when I get back home, I yearn to go to sleep again. So, I do.

When I wake up (again), my limbs are 50 pounds each. Thankfully, my housekeeper comes Monday through Friday, and she’s very understanding and not at all judgmental.

I do what I can while the kids are at school, and if anybody asks I always say I’ve had a busy day. I don’t like feeling the shame that comes along with depression. I can never shake it, though. I’ll even go to great lengths to be busy or appear to be busy, even if it runs me into the ground. I guess I’d rather be rundown than be called lazy. It’s stupid, but sometimes I feel like I don’t contribute — to society or to my family.

I’m so embarrassed of my limitations, but I shouldn’t be. It’s OK that I need to rest. It’s OK to rely on my housekeeper. It’s OK that I don’t work (outside the home).

I stay at home for my kids, sure. But I also stay at home because I don’t feel like I could keep a job now that my depression is as severe as it is. When I did work, I was constantly calling in and it created tension with my coworkers. I felt guilty and ashamed, which led to more downward spirals and more missed work.

Honestly, maintaining my depression and anxiety is a full-time job, and there’s no room to slack off without serious repercussions. Even if I do let up for just one day I could be enter a depressive episode and become suicidal.

I should be proud of my work to stay healthy. And I am, but it’s hard for others to understand how hard I’m working just to be OK, so I don’t share. That’s the thing about invisible illnesses, people just don’t get it, especially older generations. That and the stigma of depression make me stifle my triumphs when really I should be celebrating.

I need to let go of the shame. I’m going to remember that I’m taking care of myself not just for me but my kids and husband. They only benefit from me being healthy and happy. And when being happy and healthy becomes a consistent thing, a few days here and there where I can’t get out of bed aren’t going to be a big deal.

My family, my kids especially, will see me take care of myself and learn how to prioritize their own mental health. There’s great merit in that; my generation (Millennials) definitely wasn’t taught that. But we’re talking about it now. Millennials actually have higher rates of depression than any other generation. Read about that here.

Now that I think about it, there isn’t anything lazy about me — I grind harder than most, even if I do need a nap here and there.

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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Good times at the ER

Good Times at the ER

by Heather Loeb

Good times at the ER

Good times at the ER

Y’all know that I had a stomach bug when I went to the lake house. It was a bad one and even though the throwing up ceased I cannot say the same for what was coming out the other orifice. So, I called me doc to make an appointment for last Friday. I feel asleep and missed said appointment and now I have to wait until tomorrow at 8 a.m. to see him.

On Friday, I go went up my kids but suddenly I start to black out. My vision starts to fade, but I’m able to pull the car over safely and I call the school. David takes me to the ER (which he never does because he never thinks I’m sick enough but then again I’m always sick).

We get in to see a doctor immediately and I explain my symptoms, not just the diarrhea, but the extreme fatigue and what feels like low B12. I also have memory problems and am just so tired. It’s worth mentioning again.

They run labs on me. The labs are fine. Plus my blood pressure is good, which surprised me because I started blacking out.  They can’t run B12 on me, so my PCP will likely do that Monday.

So they give me fluids and they pain medicine for the abdominal cramps I’m having. I did not ask what pain meds but after feeling really loopy, I ask what it is and it’s DILAUDID. In cause you don’t know, that med is used for severe pain. A few minutes into it, I start having horrible stomach pains – I can’t tolerate some narcotics and that’s one of them.

I was in so much pain from the pain meds that I was about to crawl out of the bed. I started sweating and there was just nothing they could do. I asked for a shot of Phenergan and to go home. The Phenergan helped a little and I came home to writhe in pain my own bed.

Long story short, I still feel fatigued and feel off – I don’t know from what. Diarrhea has stopped but maybe my thyroid or B12 got wonky during the stomach bug.

On another note, I ate really healthily last week and lost 2 lbs, making my total weight loss 10lbs.

I’m now 177, having started at 187.

And I did much better with Diet Coke. I went crazy at my parents’ house but this week I toned it down and I plan on cutting it out completely this coming week. It sucks I have to start over like this but thems the breaks.

I admit I’ll be upset if the doctor doesn’t find anything tomorrow. I don’t want to feel like this and I was feeling pretty good before the stomach bug. Hopefully, it’s just an imbalance somewhere and an easy fix. But I need something to be fixed and in a hurry. Feeling like this only adds to my depression, which I’ve been able to stave off for awhile.

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